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I've spent the last year experimenting with making my own texture brushes in photoshop. I hated all of them because they didn't do the job. And besides if I really wanted brush texture I could paint my piece in my Painter Essentials 4 program. Then, a couple of months ago, I upgraded my Macbook pro to apple's Mountain Lion. Woo-hoo, I gained 12 gb of space on my computer...and lost Painter Essentials. No problem, Corel will do a patch upgrade like they have in the past. I called to find out when it would come out. It's not..WHAT! I was told they do not intend to upgrade the program and I would need to purchase the $349 Painter 12.
Amazing what necessity will do for your motivation. It took me only a month to have a breakthrough. I created a thick paint texture brush, I lovingly named "My Monet Brush." I have since created a few more texture brushes over the summer. Tonight I created another and tested it out.
Usually I just paint a sheet, no subject, just get some paint on the canvas and check the teeth of the strokes. Here is the page I did before tweaking the brush a bit more.
I had read in the forms about painting photo realistically...a thread about how important composition is to realistic painting. It had been awhile since I had done any realistic portraiture so as I tested my tweaked brush and it started to look more like an eye I decided to take it to a painterly realistic state. This digital sketch is about the brush work and not composition...