I've been working on location designs for a new animation project. The story (most of it) is set in a victorian library with large windows providing a sort of 19th Century version of film noir lighting. In the interest of practice I started with some tonal studies on the computer. I painted each of these a little bit differently to try different approaches.
This first one I painted using transparent washes followed by linework. It came out looking a bit like an ink wash:
This next one I painted with the brushes set to completely opaque. I have to say this is my least favorite way to work. BTW, this is the library at the Skywalker Ranch.
This version (the original came from a furniture ad with good lighting) I used transparent washes but no linework, and started out painting large blocks of tone rather than from a sketch, and kept the brushes at a constant size.
This last version (it's the library from Hurst Castle in California) I tried the mixing brushes in photoshop. They give the whole thing a sort of finger painted look.
With some reference under my belt I went back to pencil and started making things up. The sketch at the very bottom is going to be the final design.