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Video Training Review: Fun With Digital Art: Painting In Photoshop With Fay Sirkis From NAPP

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Fun With Digital Art: Painting In Photoshop is a new training video from Fay Sirkis. She has produced a series of videos for those who want to take their digital painting techniques to the next level. Other of the instructor’s DVDs include Fay’s Master Brush Collection, Paint Like A Master, and Weddings Portraits and Faces.

Fun With Digital Art: Painting In Photoshop

Fun With Digital Art: Painting In Photoshop continues your education in the use of Adobe Photoshop CS5 for creating digital art work. This video focuses on the use of the tips, tricks, and secrets behind using the Adobe Photoshop Brush engine (new in CS5) and its powerful painting capabilities. You will learn how to turn your ordinary photographs into professional looking paintings. Whether you are looking to create modern art, classic art, or you’re just looking to create art as a hobby all the way through the use these techniques you can transform your photographs into painted masterpieces.

Fun With Digital Art: Painting In Photoshop is contained on two DVDs that run over 265 minutes (almost 4 3/4 hours) and can only be used on a computer system. The author goes over the material in 26 lessons.

Disk 1
Lesson 1, “Introduction to Digital Painting,” begins with an overview of digital photo painting from within Photoshop CS5. She shows the various types of styles that she will be teaching you how to create as well as an overview of this training.

Lesson 2, “Bristle Tips,” introduces the new Bristle Tips that come with Photoshop CS5. Here she shows you where they are located and how to access them. She also introduces the series of her own custom brushes that are included along with this training series.

Lesson 3, “Mixer Brushes,” looks at the new Mixer Brushes and the Mixer Brush tool that was introduced with CS5 and she shows how you can mix colors to create realistic brush strokes. She shows you how everything is set up for both wet and dry mixing.

Lesson 4, “Tips and Tools,” continues with the Mixer Brush training, now looking at some great tips for installing and working with the presets that are included with the course. She shows you how the presets are named so you can understand just what they do.

Lesson 5, “Watercolors,” begins the painting process by taking a look at how to take a photograph of a flower and turn it into a watercolor painting. By adding a border, working with specific brushes, and the use of special techniques for painting, you can begin to see this photo take shape as a watercolor painting.

Lesson 6, “Masking Fluid,” now discusses the use of masking fluid in traditional watercolor painting and how this technique can be adapted for use within its digital counterpart through the use of a layer mask.

Fun With Digital Art: Painting In Photoshop

Lesson 7, “Custom Palettes,” shows how you can create custom pallets so that you can sort your brushes into groups that are useful for your workflow. You can save any combination that is useful for your needs.

Lesson 8, “Painting Passion,” will now show you how to paint a specific image using the techniques you have learned in the last three lessons. She takes you through the process in creating this watercolor painting.

Lesson 9, “Fun with Filters,” begins with a review of what was done in lesson 8 and now shows what you can do with the Photoshop filters to enhance and change your image. These can make some really dramatic changes changing the overall appearance of your image.

Lesson 10, “Welcome to HDR,” introduces the idea of color into your images. Here she introduces the techniques for using Tone Mapping in your images to adjust the color spectrums. There is a specific set of steps that can be used as a recipe for bringing out the best colors.

Fun With Digital Art: Painting In Photoshop

Lesson 11, “Painting with Oils,” takes the image you Tone Mapped in lesson 10 shows you how to create a work in oils. Unlike a watercolor, now you will paint edge-to-edge. Now you will learn about the European collection of brushes for painting in oil. You will see the tools and techniques for working with oils.

Lesson 12, “Fun with Oils,” continues with the prior chapter on oil painting and now she works with some of the Photoshop Artistic filters to change up the look of the image in a wide variety of ways.

Lesson 13, “Brush Presets vs Tool Presets,” examines the differences between these two types of presets and why it is important to know the differences. Here she explains in detail both the differences as well as how best to use each of them.

Disk 2
Lesson 1, “Introduction to Impressionism,” begins with a discussion of the impressionism movement and how it came to be. She talks about the techniques used for this style and how it can be accomplished through the use of Photoshop CS5 and the new Brush Engine.

Lesson 2, “Let Those Colors Sing,” looks at both the colors that are used as well as the type of strokes needed to achieve the look for impressionistic painting. She begins with a rather blandly colored image of boats and transforms the colors to make the scene more dramatic and the image come alive.

Lesson 3, “Monet Painting,” continues lesson 2 by now transforming this image into a Monet style painting. She begins by putting together the different brushes that she will use for this painting and creating a “Monet Style” set of brushes.

Lesson 4, “Broken Color Technique,” is applied as single separate brush strokes. They are use to create the sensation of light. In this lesson you will see how to work with this type of technique through the use of modifying the stroke of the brush.

Fun With Digital Art: Painting In Photoshop

Lesson 5, “Details,” now takes you through how to work the details. This becomes important when you have a lot of fine details that you have to deal with such as a lot of fine lines that you can’t just brush through. This consists of working specific areas of the image on separate layers.

Lesson 6, “Color Dynamics,” now explores some of the other techniques of the impressionists. This concentrates on the blending of colors that while portraying one color, it is really a blending of many colors. While your eye may see a white jacket, it is really created through the blending of many different colors.

Lesson 7, “Optimize Your Image,” now begins a Renoir style painting of a girl playing violin. You start off with prepping the image to get the colors set and the skin tones correct to get the image ready to paint.

Lesson 8, “Dry Brush Technique,” looks at dry brush filters to use to bring out the colors in your image. In this lesson you will work with layer masks to bring out certain selections of the image.

Lesson 9, “Renoir Painting,” now gets into the real painting of the image that was set up over the last two lessons. Here you will see how to use the techniques and brushes to create a painting in the style of Renoir.

Lesson 10, “Fun with Dry Media,” changes direction and now shows you how to work with the various types of dry media which includes chalk, pencils, colored pencils, crayons, pastels, and more. You start with a custom palette to work with. Then you will see how to work with filters, techniques, as well as how to work with various strokes for this style.

Lesson 11, “Fun with Filters, Chalks, and More,” continues with the image started in lesson 10 and here you will find more techniques to create the background and here you will see how to add depth to the image as a whole.

Lesson 12, “Bonus Charcoal,” will take the image used in the last two lessons and you will now convert it into a charcoal image. This uses some very basic techniques that make this process very easy.

Lesson 13, “Bonus Pencil,” now takes the boat image used earlier and now converts it into a pencil drawing. Once again through the use of filters and the instructor’s sandwich technique, this process is very easy to use.

Fun With Digital Art: Painting In Photoshop

Fun With Digital Art: Painting In Photoshop is another wonderful DVD that works in a very systematic fashion and logical manner. It is filled with a lot of tips and techniques that will totally enhance your ability to use Photoshop CS5 and the new Brush Engine to create works of digital art.

The interface for Fun With Digital Art: Painting In Photoshop is very easy to use and get around in. If you miss a point or want to go back and make sure you understand everything, it is very navigation friendly. There are three sizes that you can make the viewing screen and the navigation controls hide themselves when not in use and reappear when you hover over the screen.

I like how the instructor steps through each technique and explains in detail how it works and all of the variations on that particular topic. I like the way she works through all of the different brushes, but not only that, you also get an impressive set of custom brushes from the instructor that can be used for just about any situation.

The retail price of Fun With Digital Art: Painting In Photoshop is $199.99 and you can get it from KelbyTraining. But for NAPP members it is only $179.99. You should also check out the online training available at KelbyTraining as well.

When you consider that you get all of the images to work with and all of the brushes, this makes for a very complete package. If you want to take your digital painting skills to the next level, then I highly recommend Fun With Digital Art: Painting In Photoshop

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About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.