I think sharpening strokes is a good idea, but it also depends on what technique you use as well. When it comes to the example you used, I love softer edges since it looks like a study/speed painting. When it looks like that to me I do not expect crisp clean lines However, if it's an actual painting depending on how much time and effort I believe you can create sharp pictures without using sharpen, but it is still an awesome tool to use
Just discovered this! Never thought of sharpening. I generally tend to leave things blurred because I thought it gave the illusion of life rather than brushstrokes (forgetting, I just realized, that "life" is very textured. XD)
Definitely keeping this in mind! Thanks for posting!
It does require a careful balance. It's definitely good to have some soft and lost edges in the mix. They can go along way towards creating a sense of atmosphere (which really helps that life-like illusion). Mainly reserve the sharp edges for focal points and important details.
Right, creating a contrast, like you had said earlier, I'm guessing. Contrast should be my new best friend. So it's essentially not something you do to the whole picture but just on the focal points. Gotcha.
This is a huge help, I'm learning a lot by following you. XD Thanks!
Looks good, but one should still be careful to soften some edges unless the painting looks like it was pasted together from different parts. I think a perfect combination would be somewhere between the 1st and the 2nd — the painting should have soft and hard edges. Just my opinion (which has been influenced my Mr. James Gurney).
There's good soft lines (lines intended to be soft, a la Mr. Gurney) and bad ones (lines that are just out of focus.) Even the high Impressionists didn't do out-of-focus, as you can see if you find a good big hi-rez image of a Matisse or are lucky enough to see a Van Gogh live. They may give the impression (!) of soft focus if you stand ten feet away, but if you zoom in close it's all nice clean sharp brush strokes right down to the subatomic level.
The best digital way to do the bad kind of soft line is to take the advice you see all over the place, namely "Start with a small image and do your deep background. Then progressively rez up until you're doing your final sharp details on your final full image size. Sure your background will go soft'n'fuzzy, but who's gonna notice deep background?" 6-of-tentacles will notice, and I bet I'm not the only one.
Sorry, \rant off (and thanks for the clever tut!) --6oT