by Caleb Goellner

How to Set Up Your Cintiq for Digital Painting

When you are painting, you want to lose yourself in your picture and let your mind flow with the colors and shapes that you are creating. Shaddy Safadi, Art Director at One Pixel Brush, is an experienced digital painter and he shares his essential tips on how to achieve that subconscious digital painting experience. Don’t think about the tool you’re using, just about the art you’re creating.

Painting digitally can be as seamless and intuitive as painting on a real canvas. Program the hotkeys and touch strips on a Cintiq22 HD and paint without interrupting your flow to navigate the software. It will be seamless and fluent, so you can focus on what really matters: your colors and your strokes. The Cintiq 22HD has a range of buttons and touch strips placed all around the display. They can be programmed to meet the needs of all artists. A painter will require different settings than, for instance, an illustrator.

Blend colors smoothly

One difficulty that many beginners face is how to blend colors smoothly and evenly. If you have your color palette set up in Photoshop, there are still thousands of shades in between them and you want to have natural and soft transitions. Within Photoshop, hitting the Alt-key will select a color. Keeping your hand on your keyboard or clicking on the software interface would unnecessarily interrupt your flow. Program one of the buttons on the side of the display and the Alt-key will be right under your thumb. While you’re painting, you will be able to grab the shades that you need while blending in a very natural way.

Undo and Redo to paint to perfect line

The beauty about digital painting is that you can experiment to find the perfect shape. Unlike with oil colors, you can erase the strokes that you don’t like. Having the undo and redo button right under your free thumb allows you to paint and add corrections on the fly without having to interrupt your flow. 

Increase and decrease brush size as you paint

The touch strip is located behind the screen, on the back side of the Cintiq22 HD. Shaddy Safadi has placed the brush size function on this touch stip. That means you can smoothly decrease and increase your brush size while you are painting. You can place your free hand next to the display and by moving your finger up and down the touch strip, your brush will evenly get smaller or bigger. This is essential for a natural painting workflow.

Find out more about how to create a seamless and natural digital painting experience in the video.

Visit Shaddy Safadi’s website to see his work.

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