Airbrush space, part 1

After staring at that last showcase pic for a while, I decided that I wanted to do a space pic like that.

But Painter doesn’t seem to have a Distort > Add Noise function anywhere. It has all kinds of really cool effects, but nothing that basic.

So I decided to see if I could do it with the airbrushes.

Starting with a black canvas, I got one of those airbrushes that just leaves a few dots at a time (I think it’s Tiny Spattery Brush or something like that), and painted in some very dark specks.

They’re in there, even if you can’t see them. It makes an important foundation for starfields, and they’ll show up later.

Picking brighter values of each, I added some red, yellow and blue stars:

Because the real night sky is full of all colors of stars, so a starfield should have something other than white. Or so say the various tutorials I’ve used.

I have all kinds of tutorials on how to make planets, but why go to all that trouble when deviantart is awash in stock planets?

They make nice moons. I just had to get them rotated so the light was coming from vaguely the same direction on both. I didn’t want the mysterious galaxy of twin suns. That’s just shoddy art planning. (Or Tatooine, but I digress.)

Now I dumped in a simple black-to-blue gradient. On top of that, I put a radial gradient of yellow-orange to black, then set the yellow-orange one to Hard Light with an opacity of about 45%.

Now for some nice swirly nebulae. I just scribbled around with a soft airbrush, then used the Smear tool on it. Then I added some lighter pinks and blues with the airbrush. Then I used more Smear tool.

It’s kind of like fingerpainting.

Yanking out that tiny spattery airbrush again, I put some stars on top of the nebulae on a new layer, then went back with the eraser and got rid of the ones that went outside the color clouds.

Here’s how it’s looking so far.

It’s time to do the glow effects and the really big bright stars, but I ran out of steam for tonight. That’s why it’s only part 1. 🙂

3 thoughts on “Airbrush space, part 1

  1. So much attention to detail… All of the artwork here is truly amazing but so is the amount of effort and patience that the artwork represents. Thanks for both sharing the art and the subliminal virtues of artistry. Hope that you have fun with the constellations. Uhm. If you need to muck with noise filters, I don’t know if it will be any use to you but there are no end of freeware image editing programs… Irfanview is not supposed to be horrible..?

    But I’ll stick to writing and leave the painting to the professionals. Sometimes I kind of envy the visual artists though. With the shading and lighting and composition arrangments and so forth… In a glance your masterpiece connects with the audience. You can communicate so much so quickly… We can’t always do this, with the written stories.

    Please keep taking care!


  2. Wow, hey, thanks for stopping by! Even if you don’t do art yourself, I always have odd things and eye candy on here for folks to enjoy. The few people who visit here regularly mostly aren’t artists, or their artwork lies in other mediums like design or handcrafts. I consider writing to be an art, too. 🙂

    I already own Painter 9 and Photoshop 6 (hahaha most people don’t even know there WAS a Photoshop 6), and Photoshop does Noise effects just fine. I just wanted to see if I could make Painter do the same thing. I paid all that money for it, so it DARNED well better perform. 🙂


  3. No worries, it has been a true honor to visit. I hope that you’ll forgive my long-winded comments once in a while. I just think that your dedication… All the time you must spend on each piece… This great art deserves so much more than a one liner comment. I really don’t understand why you don’t have tons of comments and reviews – but I’m glad that you can do what you love for fun and profit. I want to be able to do that someday as well.

    You and your art certainly inspires and cheers. You are very skilled in capturing the essence of what you draw -whether that be the soul of a character, the sketched plot of a story or the sparkly mystery of a distant world… It makes me smile to see. It makes me want to be a better artist in any medium – writing just happens to be my best one at the moment.

    I hope to return often and look through more of your galleries but life is full of unpredictable twists and internet access is just one of them. So becoming an enlightened student of your work is going to take time.

    Please keep taking care!


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