I am often asked "how did you paint that?". My paintings are created with a variety of media including acrylics, watercolors and colored pencils, using both traditional and digital painting techniques. However, these days almost all my artwork is painted digitally and then reproduced as giclee prints. Here are some of my techinques here for both traditional and digital painting.
My Digital Space Art Painting Techniques
People are most amazed when they see the space art paintings I created digitally (i.e. painted on the computer). When I tell people a painting was done digitally, they often think that means I push a button and the computer creates the artwork. Nothing could be further from the truth. My digital paintings are done stroke-by-stroke in the same way I would paint them if done on traditional media. The difference is I use a digital tablet and pen instead of paper and brush. (and if I screw up, I can hit that magic 'delete' button!) I mainly use a program by Corel called "Painter". It simulates many different kinds of art media. I usually use a combination of simulated acrylic, oil and air brushes.
When I begin a painting I sometimes use landscape generating programs such as Bryce - in conjunction with elevation maps of planets such as Mars - to provide me with a 'sketch' to start on. I then paint over the generated terrain - I don't use the raw Bryce landscape as my finished artwork. Most often my paintings are based on real landscapes on Earth that is analogous (either visually or geologically) to another planet in our Solar System. Other times I will be inspired by some new discovery about our universe and I will use my imagination to translate the information into a space art painting.
I also use Adobe Photoshop for final adjustments to a painting before making prints. However, I never use Photoshop to add an effect to a photograph and then call it a painting. As described above, my artwork is actually painted just like a traditional painting. I paint my pictures at a very high resolution so I get the sharpest details when I reproduce the image and which enables me to print large sized prints at high resolutions without losing detail.
Reproducing Digital Art as Giclee Prints
I usually print my limited edition prints myself in my studio.
Prints made in my studio are created solely by me from start to finish. Each print is in effect an 'artist's proof'. I have a Canon large-format iPF 5000 printer which can print on different textures of fine art papers or canvas. Both the papers and the inks are archival quality, expected to last more than a hundred years if properly framed.