Division of labor: Image prep and painting
Video: Division of labor: Image prep and paintingI'm dividing this title into two distinct phases, image preparation and expressive interpretation. I'm taking this approach because of a significant difference between traditional painting and the workflow I'm teaching in this title. In traditional painting, these two interrelated functions are simultaneously accomplished. The artist is largely describing the image content while at the same time, expressing himself through the manner in which he applies paint to the canvas with a brush.
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Learn to think like a painter and render images that look like they were created with oils or acrylics, using the latest digital artist's tools. Author and artist John Derry introduces the process of interpreting a photograph into a painted work of art. He begins by explaining his system of visual vocabularies, which describe how to replace the visual characteristics of a photograph with that of expressive painting, and also shares the custom brush sets and actions he uses to achieve these results in Adobe Photoshop. The course also covers working with filters, layers, effects, and more to add further detail and texture.
- Setting up a Wacom tablet
- Removing lens distortions
- Correcting distracting image elements
- Making shadow and highlight adjustments
- Simplifying details with filters and Smart Blur
- Modifying color
- Cloning layers
- Using a traditional paint color swatch set
- Using custom actions
- Working with canvas texture
- Creating physical surface texture effects
- Painting with custom brushes
Division of labor: Image prep and painting
I'm dividing this title into two distinct phases, image preparation and expressive interpretation. I'm taking this approach because of a significant difference between traditional painting and the workflow I'm teaching in this title. In traditional painting, these two interrelated functions are simultaneously accomplished. The artist is largely describing the image content while at the same time, expressing himself through the manner in which he applies paint to the canvas with a brush.
By contrast, with digital expressive interpretation, the image content, typically a photograph, is prepared as a separate function apart from the brushstrokes. Once the image content is constructed according to the artist's wishes, expressive brushwork is applied by utilizing the prepared photo as the color palette. In other words, the image flows through the brush as the artist focuses on expressivity. By separating the image content and brushwork into two phases, the artist is free to focus exclusively on each function.
This presents a workflow in which image elements like color, composition, and storytelling are initially portrayed via a thoughtfully prepared image, and then, personal emotional expression is later communicated via hand-wrought brushwork. It's not my intention to somehow look down my nose at traditional painting and its associated techniques, quite the opposite. Traditional painting techniques have a long and storied history that continues to be a viable method of image creation. Thankfully, traditional painting isn't going away anytime soon.
With the explosion of digital camera technology, literally everybody now has a convienent tool for capturing an amazing sunset, dramatic street scene, or compelling portrait. A wide diversity of observations from life are all potential subjects of the easily transported camera. It is my goal to provide a workflow that begins with these captured moments and interprets them into an expressive, hand-rendered, digitally-painted result in an environment that encourages both experimentation and risk-taking.
Taking this a step further, the final artwork can be inkjet printed with archival inks on both canvas and paper. The result is a physical object that, like a traditional painting, becomes a treasured embodiment of personal emotion and expression, which to me, sounds quite a bit like art.
Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Digital Painting: Architecture .
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- Q: I'm unable to install the custom Wacom settings included with the exercise files. Any advice on how to load them?
- A: After the course was recorded, we discovered that the Wacom preference files are not cross-platform and are specific to the machine that created them, which limits their use. However, in the exercise files you'll find a PDF labeled Intuos4 Mapping_PS_CS5.pdf; using this document, you can manually enter the settings in the Wacom control panel. Also, please note that the settings are not necessary to complete the course.
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