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Renowned artist Bert Monroy is known for his hyperrealistic style of extremely large format Photoshop illustrations. As an early adopter of digital imaging tools, he has been working with Photoshop since before it was released as a product by Adobe. He is the author of several books that showcase his illustrations and digital paintings, co-authored the very first book about Photoshop, and has authored numerous courses on photorealism for lynda.com. He is the former host of the long-running podcast Pixel Perfect with Bert Monroy, and an inductee of the Photoshop Hall of Fame. This installment of Creative Inspirations takes viewers inside the home studio and the personal world of this modern-day master. Watch as Bert adds the finishing touches to his largest digital image yet, a 25-foot wide digital illustration of New York's Times Square.
In Bonus Features, Bert talks about the differences between digital and traditional art and how he chooses reference material for his paintings.
(Music playing.) Now, a lot of this stuff is made up. It's not based on the photograph because a photograph can't have this detail. So many times I will go in there, and I will get some actual models, like I got some other salt and pepper shakers. These are the ones that were in the scene, but I got others just to see, how does that light work? How does it look when those reflections go through? Because I couldn't see that in my original photograph.
So, I'll just take other things. I took other glasses to see, how does this thing really look against a material? Things like this little reflection here, I like to do this in my seminars to explain how important it was to get that reflection proper. I couldn't see that reflection in the photograph. It was back there, slightly out of photograph - or out of focus, rather - but I needed, in my paint, to see that reflection of the table cloth in there. There is the printout, flat, the tablecloth flat. All I wanted to see is how the reflection is being distorted, and a little mirror that I just took out. I have little mirrors here that I have in my drawer.
I taped them on a side of a Kleenex box, put it on top of the printout, so I could see how it is that that reflection would bend inside of the glass, so that then when I created the painting, that was the edge of the glass reflecting the tablecloth below it. I've seen - and I myself was guilty many times, years ago, of creating things, and they'd look good. Then I'd print the whole thing out, and then all of sudden, I'd look at it, and it's like, that looks wrong, and I'd have to really study and see why, and then I started working up perspective lines.
I realized that, oh yeah. Well, there is a certain perspective here, and now my shadow is not following the perspective. Since the shadow was not following the perspective, it throws everything else off. So, any imperfections in the painting, people will be drawn to it, and they'll say, "Oh, that looks wrong." They'll disregard that other 24 feet are great, but they'll see that thing that's wrong, and that's what's going to stand out. So it's very important that everything follows the perspective, the proper lighting, the color; everything should work together to make the image look like it really is there.
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