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Learn to think like a painter and render images from photographs 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 elements of an image with expressive painterly qualities, and also shares the custom brush sets and actions he uses to achieve these results in Photoshop. The course also covers working with filters, layers, effects, and more to add further detail and texture.
Besides filtering a photograph with color from a painted source, another technique, especially in the final stages of an interpreted photograph, is to apply additional non-photograph-based color to the painting. To add authenticity to our strokes, we'll utilize colors associated with the traditional artist's palette. Now, the way I'm going to do this is a little bit of juggling between a couple of different mediums. What I've got here is a full range of colors available from a commercial manufacturer of paint, and it's very easy to find these, especially if you go to web-based art stores. You'll find this kind of open stock where they show you all the colors in a particular color range for say an oil set, or acrylics, or whatever kind of medium you want.
It's just a way for you to preview how the colors look. Let's just jump over to a web page, and this just shows you basically what you have here is you've got all of these listings, and you'll notice this won't always happen. It depends on the way they're organized. They just happen to break this up into two different-sized tubes of paint, so it appears twice. But assuming you keep track of that, as you do what I'm going to show you here in a little bit, these duplications, if they appear at all, are not an issue.
Now, let's go back, and we have to start from the point of view of our color swatches. This is the default color set that you find in Photoshop. What we want to do is we want to go in here and delete these individual swatches, so we basically end up with an empty swatch set. If I hold down the Option key on Mac or the Alt key on Windows, you'll see how it shows a little pair of scissors. Well, that lets me click, and that deletes that particular swatch.
So what I have to do is sit here and just click this many times. In fact I've done this enough times, I can tell you that you ma, after you empty this all out, save this as an empty swatch set, so you've now got a swatch set where you don't have to go through this several hundred clicks to eliminate all of your swatches. So we're almost done here, and there we have now an empty swatch set. So we've eliminated all of the swatches from here, and as I said, one thing that's nice to do is in order to avoid having to eliminate hundreds of swatches from a set, you may want to save a swatch set.
The trick is, you can't save an empty swatch set, so I'm just going to put one swatch in here with just anything and in doing so, I can go in here and now I can save these swatches. And I would just save it as empty swatch set. That way, if you're going to do this more than once, you'll have a very good beginning point without having to do a lot of editing. But I do want to get rid of this now, so I'm going to go ahead and get rid of the last one, and now I've got all of the swatches. And the way I did this, I just used a screen-capture utility to go in when I was in my web page and just capture, row by row of these, and then copy and paste them over into Photoshop.
So now we're to the point where we're going to start adding our colors to the swatch set. I'm going to go ahead and double-click this, so I'm up to 100%. Let's move this over here. You can see I've got these duplications, but what I want to do is switch to my eyedropper. I'm going to select this color, and now when I go over here, I can do New Swatch. Now, you can see, I can put a name in here, and what I want is this name, but this is just a flat graphic, so there is no way for me to retrieve that.
However, if I jump over to our browser and go up here to the top, I can copy that text. So I've now copied it. I'm going to go back to Photoshop, and I'm going to paste that name in there and say OK. So I've now added that color to my swatch set, and it has the traditional name associated with it. Now, you're probably asking, are you telling me I have to go through and do this for all of these colors? Well, I did it, and yes, that's how you have to do this.
This is somewhat of a manual process. If you want to create a custom swatch set that has an organized set of colors that you've acquired from something like an online location where these colors are organized like this, yes, you will have to go through with it. However, I have given you this swatch set, as you may remember earlier from the installation. If I go down here and load this up--we don't want to save-- there are our colors. So I've now got all of these oil-based paint colors loaded in here. And you can look at them a couple of different ways, like here is our Alizarin Crimson, but I can also view this, if I want to, as a List.
So this also gives me a different way, if I'm more used to looking in terms of names, I can do it this way as well. But this gives you a couple of different ways to organize the color once you get it. The real benefit of having this set of colors is that the color difference relationships between all these are maintained as they would be in the traditional tube-based colors, and that then gives you a nice source of colors that very much-- if I take Permanent Light Green, and use Cerulean Blue, the difference between those two is going to be the same digitally as it was in the traditional colors.
Therefore, painting with these two colors in an image will give me the brighter pigment-based colors that once again move me away from the language of photography. We're not going to use these extensively. You'll see in a later chapter how I take advantage of these colors and use them in a very limited basis, just to add a few bright strokes throughout the painting that once again imbue that image with a greater sense of a traditional painting, as opposed to a photographic- based source, and that's the goal of this entire course is to make that translation.
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