Painting is often best done from simple to complex. This methodology certainly applies to situations where you are painting surfaces with 2D decals like an emblem on armor. A traditional painter might first paint the base surface, and then once the paint dries would be able to paint the 2D decal over top. In this video I'll explore a digital approach to this task. Unlike the traditional process, Photoshop allows us to prepare the 2D image as a flat decal and then distort it into place to match the illustration. You can use this same technique to apply existing images such as logos, or 2D images of your own.
Painting realistic texture can be a challenge. It's especially challenging when you're drawing objects or characters from your imagination. This exercise is designed to help you strengthen your mental texture library. The most important part of this exercise is the mental extrapolation. Often times painting from reference materials is a 1:1 copy, which doesn't force you to fully examine your subject. This exercise requires you to do more than copy, and strengthens your mental texture library in the process.