Why I Started Using Painting VR as a Professional Artist07 • 04 • 2022
by Eric Olive
Toys for artists
I have become a solid user of Painting VR and am now also starting to use it in my professional work. While it has been under development, I feel it is already a powerful tool in my toolbox that can help me create illustrations and art assets for various professional products. It is also a thoroughly therapeutic application that is great for just unwinding creatively. The app provides endless ways of mixing colors, textures, patterns, and effects at impressive scales in a lovely immersive environment. I am starting to use Painting VR as part of my professional workflow as a concept artist. Still, I like to turn on a podcast or play music via the embedded interactive studio web browser and make a loose, fun piece. I never run out of paint, and a new canvas is just a click away, so I often spend hours in my virtual studio. That’s what happens when you make toys for artists.
Find your approach
There are some interesting approaches to using Painting VR as a concept artist. One can go one-hundred percent all-in with Painting VR and lay down a color field, using large brushes to create heavy impasto-like strokes that an artist can tease an image from. Use the in-game browser to search the web for inspiration or import and apply a reference image to the canvas to help lay down shapes. For example, a photograph of someone can be smudged into a compelling painted portrait. I have also discovered that loading in a small pencil sketch can make an excellent foundation for a full-on illustration.
Perhaps the best approach for some artists is in-between these methods. I have had good luck with bringing in a photo or other image, loading it into the canvas, and then smudging it into a lush, colorful, and enticing background upon which I can paint.
I'm excited to continue to explore what Painting VR can do for my artwork. I am currently planning some pieces built by throwing together 3D models into a 2D image. Perhaps I’ll do some photo-bashing for the background and then import that into Painting VR for an authentic painted final concept art piece. That will add the emotional excitement and interest that the brushes can bring.
I think Painting VR can become an essential tool to other concept artists making pieces for games, films, or print. It has a lower entry barrier for new artists. It's intuitive to pick up the brushes, dip them into paint, put them onto canvas. Saving files and exporting images is easy enough. Sharing from the ever-more popular Oculus 2 VR headset is a snap. I was a bit sad when they recently added the undo option as I feel it hurts new artists more than helps. But, of course, I use it all the time because I am cheeky.
I won't speculate much on the potentials that are to come. However, the promise of visiting other people in their studio space will be beyond mind-blowing. I hope to give aspiring artists painting and drawing classes one day. I've already recommended Painting VR to at least one art teacher associate. I think we'll see it used more and more in synchronous remote lessons for education.
I am more apt to pick up Painting VR to work now than using Photoshop on an awkward graphic tablet or laptop screen. I just love getting into my work so deeply that I lose track of time. It's a sophisticated tool, and people will create endless beautiful works with it. I am dedicated to building a new facet of my portfolio that relies on this great app that gives me a full-on portable painting studio for a low price! This app, alone, is worth the cost of a new VR headset. Professionals need this tool.