Painting Light – One Pixel at a Time

Posted on 2013/01/02 at 01:53 by daarken 22 Comments

In this tutorial Daarken takes you through his process of painting a female nude from photo reference. The actual painting took a little less than 2 hours to paint and was painted back in 2011.

Reference –
Music – Trash80

Painting Light – One Pixel at a Time from Daarken on Vimeo.

22 Comments on "Painting Light – One Pixel at a Time"

  1. Simon · 2013/01/02 at 03:05 · Reply

    Hi Daarken

    Great tutorial!Enliighten lives again muhaha,just messing with ya.Gotta love the “Aww crap” moment,I get that every time I go back to my drawings!I think a live stream Q+A session would be a great idea,and then put it up on here for viewing for those on different time zones.(I still can’t grasp that copy,paste merge thing you do,just me being thick i guess)Anyhow good stuff and thanks!

  2. jablar · 2013/01/02 at 06:30 · Reply

    great video, thanks for that…

  3. Khasis Lieb - Caricature · 2013/01/02 at 09:31 · Reply

    the great returns!!!!
    happy new year man and thanks for the tutorial!!!

  4. Salv Divin · 2013/01/02 at 10:10 · Reply

    Happy new year ! wait for more stuff!

  5. Ryan H · 2013/01/02 at 10:39 · Reply

    Another great tutorial. Just love seeing you paint. Doing something one a different layer and then changing it back and forward so it turns into 2 frame animation is always a treat. ;P Thanks Daarken and happy new year. (Live stream would be great.)

  6. Trace007 · 2013/01/02 at 13:06 · Reply

    Awesome vid, great to see some new stuff! If you decide to try livestreaming I’ll definitely chime in with questions.

  7. Peza · 2013/01/02 at 20:19 · Reply

    Your back! great vid also.

    • daarken
      daarken · 2013/01/02 at 20:36 · Reply

      Thanks! Hah, well I don’t know if I would say I’m back completely. I had some extra time during the holiday to put this together, but I probably won’t be able to keep it up.

  8. Carlos Arthur · 2013/01/03 at 10:13 · Reply

    *———————————————-* it’s backk! :D
    thanks for the video and welcome back Daarken

  9. Trace007 · 2013/01/03 at 23:14 · Reply

    Hey Daarken.

    I was wondering, at about 10-11 minutes in you use the crop tool to increase your canvas size it seems. How exactly do you do that?

    • daarken
      daarken · 2013/01/04 at 00:01 · Reply

      You just use the crop tool to select the canvas and then drag the handlebars to resize it to the size you want.

      • Trace007 · 2013/01/04 at 00:28 · Reply

        Oh, my crop options weren’t cleared before. I’ve got it now. Thanks!

  10. Nicolas Tyler doyle · 2013/01/04 at 21:49 · Reply


    Do livestreams, you know Noah Bradley and the other “horses” and i think you even did an episode with them i believe.

    If you go and get onto their facebook page we have 1000+ members in our group. If you post that you are going to do livestreams you will definitley get a BIG following. Alot of us know who you are and love your work.

    Team Awesome is the group, ask to join and get to Livestreaming ! It would be so cool, thank you for all of your tuts. You literally have taught me everything i know about painting the figure in photoshop and i am extremely thankful !


  11. Johnny · 2013/01/11 at 22:49 · Reply

    How do you suggest going about doing studies for your projects? Do you work from your imagination in greyscale?

    • daarken
      daarken · 2013/01/12 at 09:01 · Reply

      I actually don’t do studies before the final painting, I always just start on the final painting. Typically people will do greyscale studies and then some color roughs before starting on their final.

  12. Johnny · 2013/01/11 at 22:57 · Reply

    Also could you suggest some color theory exercises? Sometimes I have a hard time seeing what color is actually there, like I don’t know how to “mix” it. Sorry if I’m asking a lot of stuff.

    • Derrick · 2013/02/14 at 17:35 · Reply

      I second this question. While the colors were a bit more saturated than the photo, your final painting had a more “natural” feel to it than the actual photo. How did you initially start learning color theory and what exercises helped you improve on it? Were they primarily from photos, life, books, or all of the above? I’ve tried photo studies before but they never ended up having that “natural” feel that I aim for.

      • daarken
        daarken · 2013/02/15 at 00:56 · Reply

        Thanks! Hah, I’ve never really considered myself as someone who was well-versed in color theory. I took a color theory in school, but I don’t really remember much from it. I spent most of my time drawing and painting from life while I was in school, but I also painted from photos and books as well. I would suggest doing more painting from life.

  13. Dimik · 2013/01/16 at 12:37 · Reply

    Great tutorial! I wached most of your tutorials and I learnt a lot of them. Thank you.

  14. Jackomack · 2013/01/21 at 16:13 · Reply

    Good to see you’re back.

    Not really related to this video itself, but I have a question. Are you mostly self taught or did you attend school as well? I’m finding myself trying to get myself to revisit my fundamentals of anatomy and perspective and having a difficult time having motivation to do it. Do you have any suggestions on how, if you ever had a time where you were unmotivated early on or any time, creatively, what you did to get yourself going again.



  15. Richard · 2013/01/24 at 10:53 · Reply

    This is brilliant. Loved it. Thanks, Daarken.

  16. Lilit · 2013/07/13 at 00:47 · Reply

    Thanks for the stuff man! They’re great!

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