Creative commons and collaborative art

I had found the gorgeous lineart by Princess Elemmiriel on who kindly invites people to do their color version.

I then tried my luck with digital watercolour in mypaint (open-source painting software). I then added textures added in Gimp (open-source photomanipulation software). The background paper texture is by Dierat and the decoration texture by Mouritsa.

Watercolour re-coloring of freely contributed lineart on DeviantArt

This is a great example of what can be achieved by combining free contribution from various creative-commons sources. This ca only be done with free and open-source licences such as creative commons. I would never have done it if I had to pay for any of these resources, even a single penny: just having to signup for an account would scare me into doing some other project that does not require all that hassle. QED – copyright kills creation – period. Now if I had done the project as a paid commission, I’d be glad to contribute in return, but ex-post, once the work is completed and the customer is happy.

Therefore I want to thank warmly all those who contribute their work freely.

CC – attribution – noncommercial – noderivatives (as per PrincesseLemmiriel’s specs). “please do not redistribute without crediting”.


Naboo lake retreat

Naboo lake retreat, aka Villa Balbianello on lake Cuomo in Italy. Pencil and watercolor (digitally in mypaint). Watercolor paper texture effect added in Gimp, based on Zoe Piel’s video tutorial.

Naboo lake retreat digital watercolor

Watercolor paper texture effect in Gimp

The texture is not simply a texture layer set to multiply, which would show even in the white spapces. We want the texture to look like it introduces variations in pigment concentrations. Therefore it is used as a layer mask. Here is the process, in short, for Gimp nerds:

  • Open your mypaint export (or whatever you started from)
  • Duplicate the layer – set the top (new) layer to multiply
  • Right-click on the layer in the layers dialog ‘add layer mask’
  • Paste a (large enough) paper texture (greyscale is best) as the layer mask
  • Play with levels for the texture image until you get the dappled look you want
  • Play with the opacity level of the top layer until satisfied

An added benefit of this method is that it makes the watercolor more vivid (my Mypaint originals tend to be a bit weak).

Fanart, the digital watercolor way

I am no huge fan of the pokemon crowd, but they are a great subject for learning to paint.

Digital watercolor fanart of a well-known pocket monster

This was sketched from a downloaded pic (in a separate layer), then painted with MyPaint. I used a combination of watercolor brushes and a new technique I am finetuning, which mimicks watercolor pencils.

Votes are open to request a detailed video tutorial of how I do all this.