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Digital Painting: Architecture
Illustration by John Hersey

Looking at reality through a mental painting filter


From:

Digital Painting: Architecture

with John Derry

Video: Looking at reality through a mental painting filter

When you're out shooting photos, an essential skill to utilize is to look at the world as if it were painted. I call it my mental painting filter. This skill goes hand in hand with taking the time to look at and analyze traditional painted imagery. One of the best ways I can recommend for improving your eye for painting is to look at painting, lots of them. Study the compositions, colors, subject matter, brushstrokes, and the like. A lot can be learned from simply searching the web for examples of genres, styles, and artists that interest you.
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  1. 26m 4s
    1. Introduction
      1m 3s
    2. Using the exercise files
      32s
    3. Installing custom content
      2m 46s
    4. Setting up Wacom express keys
      13m 32s
    5. Setting Wacom touch ring preferences
      2m 14s
    6. Setting Wacom stylus preferences
      3m 24s
    7. Division of labor: Image prep and painting
      2m 33s
  2. 19m 9s
    1. Visual vocabularies
      3m 49s
    2. The vocabulary of photography
      7m 38s
    3. The vocabulary of painting
      4m 59s
    4. Looking at reality through a mental painting filter
      2m 43s
  3. 38m 57s
    1. Removing lens distortion with the Adaptive Wide Angle filter
      6m 47s
    2. Removing distractions
      8m 7s
    3. Don't be a slave to the original photograph
      10m 51s
    4. Correcting image adjustments
      2m 58s
    5. Telling a story with added image elements
      10m 14s
  4. 25m 2s
    1. The eye has a better sensor than a camera
      3m 2s
    2. Adding natural shadows with Field Blur
      8m 47s
    3. Using the Shadow/Highlight adjustment filter
      7m 48s
    4. Using the HDR Toning filter
      5m 25s
  5. 39m 56s
    1. Resolution is in the brushstrokes
      3m 26s
    2. Using the Surface Blur filter
      6m 17s
    3. Using the Displacement filter to add imperfections
      6m 22s
    4. Using the Oil Paint filter
      11m 51s
    5. Making tonal and color corrections
      12m 0s
  6. 22m 40s
    1. Nondestructive layer painting (NDLP): Your creative safety net
      5m 54s
    2. Setting up the Mixer Brush cloning action
      7m 29s
    3. Using cloning layers
      2m 58s
    4. Working with adjustment layers
      6m 19s
  7. 20m 7s
    1. Using tool presets and not brushes
      3m 41s
    2. Categorizing and organizing brushes
      6m 14s
    3. Adding canvas texture
      4m 51s
    4. Using Sample All Layers
      5m 21s
  8. 14m 48s
    1. You must destroy detail
      2m 9s
    2. Establishing compositional structure
      3m 46s
    3. Determining a style and sticking to it
      7m 30s
    4. Painting in progress: Finishing the underpainting layer
      1m 23s
  9. 26m 40s
    1. Understanding simplified indication
      9m 9s
    2. Understanding color: Warm advances, cool retreats
      4m 9s
    3. Painting in progress: Introducing texture to the intermediate layer
      13m 22s
  10. 40m 19s
    1. The play's the thing
      5m 18s
    2. Focusing on the subject through detail
      4m 40s
    3. Using a traditional paint color swatch set
      4m 37s
    4. Painting in progress: Completing the detail layer
      16m 25s
    5. Adding surface texture effects
      9m 19s
  11. 12m 47s
    1. It pays to wait a day
      1m 55s
    2. Adjusting your importance hierarchy
      4m 49s
    3. You'll never paint the same thing twice
      2m 7s
    4. Helpful resources and inspiration
      3m 56s

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Digital Painting: Architecture
4h 46m Intermediate Jan 03, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • 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
Subjects:
Design Design Techniques Digital Painting
Software:
Photoshop Wacom
Author:
John Derry

Looking at reality through a mental painting filter

When you're out shooting photos, an essential skill to utilize is to look at the world as if it were painted. I call it my mental painting filter. This skill goes hand in hand with taking the time to look at and analyze traditional painted imagery. One of the best ways I can recommend for improving your eye for painting is to look at painting, lots of them. Study the compositions, colors, subject matter, brushstrokes, and the like. A lot can be learned from simply searching the web for examples of genres, styles, and artists that interest you.

Some museums' online websites have representations of paintings that can be navigated in high resolution, and that lets you get your nose up close and see the detail. Later in this course, I'll show you how to incorporate some of these physical surface effects into your paintings. This technique works especially well when finished artwork will be viewed on a display or the web. Take note of how lighting affects a painting's appearance. Look at how physical paint has a third dimension, depth. Some artists exploit this via the technique of impasto, which is intentionally applied thick paint.

Observe how the painting incorporates the canvas weave into a painting's physical quality, as well as how thinly applied paint allows canvas texture to be visible. A traditional painting projects an aura of physicality that is a part of its perceived value. Projecting some of these physical qualities into a digital painting can intimate some of this value into the artwork. Another important observation is to look at paintings both up close to examine its physical characteristics, as well as stepping back to see how these characteristics' interpretation change with distance.

For example, a few seemingly abstract daubs of paint, viewed up close, can become well-delineated foliage with highlights and shadows. This is something that many digital painters ignore. When painting, you must be aware of both close and far interpretations of painted artwork. Another very useful activity is to simply play with your digital paint brushes. You don't need a subject or goal in mind, the idea is to explore the breadth and variety of marks the brush is capable of. Experiment with how different colors mix and interact.

In essence, know your brushes, they are the voice of your expression. The more you study and absorb the language of painting, the better your results will be when interpreting a photograph. Armed with this knowledge and experience, you can effectively look through the lens of a camera, with your mental painting filter in place, and reactively adjust how you choose to frame, compose, and light your subject matter.

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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