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More Painted Backgrounds: Day and Night
Discovering the joys of digital painting with Project Dogwaffle:

PD ArtistPD ArtistPD Howler also supports digital painting,  animation & video, 3D and visuall effects

   More Landscape tutorials  |  even more Dogwaffle tutorials 

This is a brief intro-tutorial by Attila Kohl from Hungary who has created numerous illustrations such as for the exploratory foraminifera project.

Attila has used Project Dogwaffle for many years. Here are some of the steps he uses to create a background with foliage, for various moods like daytime or nighttime.

When you create a new canvas, the image size is specified in pixels. You may use an alternate option with physical dimensions and accompanying density (dpi or dpc - dots per inch or dots per centimeter), but at the end of the day, it's all about pixels: how many you get is the direct result of physical dimensions and dots-density.

You can erase it to a color that may be close to the general tone or to the contrary chose a color that is very different and  might not be used in the coming brush strokes. The latter would help in easier chroma-keying: you might be able to isolate the background color as the one to turn transparent.

Particle plants are plentiful. It is rewarding to explore and experiment with the presets. Once you see something close to what you want, make fine adjustments to the numerous parameter values.

To add a blurred wash or similar effect ins some cases, use some of the preset brushes for blurring (smearing) or try the advanced pigment lifting in PostFX tab of brush options. Translucent water color with pigment lifing and minimal tone is a great approach but not the only way.

There are effects brushes for smudging. Those will be fine too.

The image probably looks bright and clear like during daylight with lots of sunshine. You can turn it into a scene that has less contrast, less saturation and looks dimmer, essentially like a night time view with moon light. Try the 'Day for Night' filter. (in the Photographic category)

We'll want to add a bright shiny spot in the sky, perhaps to represent the full Moon. By contrast, the scene might need to be even darker.

There are several ways to make it darker, apart from the filters. Penny paint is one more such option, with a painterly approach: we call it the paint program within the paint program.  You can find Penny Paint half-way down into the View menu. When you do, it automatically grabs a copy of your current image. You can paint away, and when you're done, close the window and it will automatically be transferred into the mian image of Dogwaffle.

Learn more about Penny Paint here.

The water brush can be quite amazing.

Now that the scene is dark, the lens flares will look even more stunning. This is one of the tools in the group of tools called 'gradients'.

Changing the colors of the parts in the lensflare also can change the general scene appearance from night to day. Even better to use it with the scene that was created before using the Day for Night filter.

A few subtle variations can easily convey a sunset impression. Plus there are additional filters to further enhance the ground fog or reds in the sky.

With a little practice and persistence, you'll find that it shouldn't take you more than a mere few minutes to create this type of background images. Whether it is for a book illustration, CD cover, game content or just a new unique screen saver, you'll find satisfaction in waffling with Project Dogwaffle.