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Refining and Adding Details

Now, zoom in to 100% and take a closer look at your brushwork. What areas need refinement? To refine small areas, I reduced the size of the Real Oils Short brush to about 8–12 pixels. To paint crisper edges on some of the petals, I used a small version of the Real Oils Short, and I applied new color using short dabbing strokes. To add accents of brighter opaque color to a few of the petal edges, I used a small version of the Real Flat Opaque.

To add final touches to the center of the flower, I used the Real Oils Short. First, I painted subtle translucent strokes of pink and gold onto the interior, using gentle, curved strokes that followed the direction of the forms. Figure 12 shows this brushwork on the center of the flower. To finish, I painted subtle brush textures on the background. I switched to the Real Fan Short variant of Oils, and I sampled color from the image by using the Dropper tool. Using the Real Fan Short, I brushed back and forth over a few of the shadows areas, using a soft crosshatch pattern. Figure 13 shows the final version of the painting.

Figure 12

Figure 12 To add finesse to the center of the flower, I used the Real Oils Short.

Figure 13

Figure 13 The finished piece shows subtle brushwork on the background and the final details painted on the orchid.

When you’ve completed finessing the details, step back and admire your painting. Good work! You’ve completed the project. For another lesson that features painting with the Oils brushes, see “Painting with the Oils and Real Wet Oils” in Chapter 3 of The Painter WOW! Book. Happy painting!

Cher Pendarvis started with a child’s fascination with art, and graduated from college with a BFA with Highest Honors and Distinction in Art, specializing in painting and printmaking. A pioneer of the electronic medium, Cher has worked alongside other notables from the early digital era, trailblazing the merging of traditional and digital art forms. Her digital illustrations have been published since 1987. Cher’s artwork has been displayed in group exhibitions and individual shows, and her pieces can be found in private collections in the United States and overseas. She is a member of the San Diego Museum of Art Artists Guild and the Point Loma Artists Association. Cher is widely recognized for her mastery of Painter and Photoshop. Her articles and art span nearly three decades of influential books and periodicals. She is principal of the consulting firm Cher Threinen Design, and authored all 10 editions of The Painter WOW! Book and both editions of The Photoshop and Painter Artist Tablet Book: Creative Techniques in Digital Painting Using Wacom and the iPad. An encouraging teacher, she has taught art, illustration, and graphic design courses for colleges in San Diego, and she has conducted Painter and Photoshop workshops for professionals in print and broadcast media in the U.S. and overseas. To learn more about Cher, please visit her website at

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