Moving along on my experimental, digital journey, I took a sketch of these racoons from my sketchbook and tried playing with a few brushes in Photoshop, varying size, shape and opacity. The coloring still felt too flat compared to the texture I get from acrylic, so I began adding some thin fur lines on the tail, just to see how the brush worked. Although this image is still nothing more than a rough, colored sketch, I discovered some things about not only the tools in PS, but how I like to render, regardless of the medium.
My takeaway...I think my frustration with the overall look lies in the most basic part...the underlying sketch. I have always sketched a certain way, knowing that the line would ultimately be hidden under layers of paint. Now the sketch will show, so the quality of the line becomes an important element of the finished piece. I think I have to elevate the line from a sketch to more of a loose rendering, without losing the energy the original line has. Still having fun though! (Click on image to enlarge)