Watch this session to uncover a brand new exclusive product from Nathan Brown from Trailhead Design Co. in action and learn the art of adding realism and texture to your designs.

Nathan is one of our most incredible product creators as well as a phenomenal artist. He has been a professional designer/illustrator for over 16 years and has a real passion for creating design products to help the design community.

Nathan showcased his latest product, developed exclusively with Design Cuts. And we're not joking (or biased) when we tell you it's a pack that will take your artwork to another level. No need to take our word for it though, pull up a chair and join us.

Understand The Ultimate Canvas Creator

The Ultimate Canvas Creator set is divided into paint, wet, and dry media surfaces. The set has 40 surface textures which are split into groupings. For example, there are canvases for paint such as oil or acrylic, wet media with gouache and watercolor, and dry media with pastel, charcoal, and pencil.

Understand Paint Media

As shown in the image below, Nathan created the hummingbird and the beautiful textures by using the Oil Pack from The Ultimate Brush Toolbox.

Add the bird to the classic canvas and notice the canvas texture. Paste the bird on the canvas texture and notice the difference in the texture of the bird. The composition consists of a canvas weave and brushstroke. It has more variation than before by bringing in life using traditional paint on canvas or paper. This helps visualize digital art better and bridge that gap.

Pro tip: Adjust the default settings and fine-tune them. Adjust the opacity and notice the subtle differences that work well together on the canvas.

The settings group is separated until the canvas texture and the paint texture or paint effects are added. So if you turn the paint effects off, it will show you the canvas by itself. Once you add the group, these effects as well as the strokes get added on the canvas.

The Edge Effect Mask in the pack adds an extra level of customisation. Grab a black and white file and paste it on the canvas. See the image below for reference. You will see that the white is a bit harsh on the canvas, so adjust the background to match your painting by adding a subtle effect.

Pro tip: The paint set includes 12 edge masks and paint effects, to help add extra detail and customisation.

Add a gold leaf texture and ajdust the resolution. Copy and paste the gold leaf above all the textures. Add a mask and fill it with black color. Switch back to white color, and use a Hard Edge Brush to paint the gold leaf.

Pro tip: There are 14 different canvases to choose from in the Paint Media Set. 

Understand Wet Media

Wet media is water-based media. It consists of watercolor and gouache. Emulate the traditional techniques of watercolor by adding alcohol, water blooms, and sprinkling salt with wet media. You can also add plastic wrap to the canvas.

Pro tip: Paint with watercolor onto this texture to add a natural water effect.

The set also includes an alcohol paper that holds alcohol effects. The goldfish shown in the image below has sprinkles of alcohol that add transparency and texture.

You can adjust the intensity by playing with the settings.

Use the Salt Paper and paste the fish on it.

As you can see, the salt paper adds a salt texture to the fish, giving it a natural look. The image looks sharper and more realistic than before.

Pro tip: You can also adjust the sharpness of the fish by changing it in the settings.

Add the horse composition on the Old Vintage Paper. Use the finishing brushes and stamps to place a shot of real watercolor. This will give it a bleeding effect, adding splatters of the watercolor. It will give the composition a realistic texture.

Pro tip: Using the brushes digitally can add a beautiful watercolor texture as though allowing the water to flow and move the paint around on paper.

Through the brush set, Nathan has tried to use authenticity and realism to translate a digital painting to a real painting using traditional outlooks. 

Understand Dry Media

Pick any Pastel Paper and change the color of the background. Copy and paste the owl on the canvas.

Use overlays and change the background to add textures.

Pick a high-resolution sketch as shown in the image below.

To add a texture, select and scale them down. Hold the fingers down on the scale from the corners and lock the aspect ratio. Crop and resize the image and then change the canvas size.

That’s it! You have successfully learned how to add realism and texture to paintings using The Ultimate Canvas Creator