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Video Training Review – Painting For Photographers DVD: Volume 2 – Landscapes By Karen Sperling

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Continuing with the methods of using photographic images to create artistic paintings, Karen Sperling has released the second in her series of DVD’s of Painting For Photographers. This time the topic is painting landscapes in which she shows you how to select and create works of art using landscape based photographs.

As with portraits, composing and creating a landscape photograph feels much easier to create to most people as compared to painting one. Most photographers feel that to paint from photographs, you must be an artist and have vast artistic skills. The goal of this DVD to show you that anyone who can create a photograph can also paint using photos. It is the same visual sense that drew you to photography can also help you turn your photographs into digital art work. The first three lessons are the bulk of this training with the rest a set of bonus features that take the topics that you have learned and put them to use with different subjects. The photos that are used in lessons two thru five are included on the DVD so you can work along with the training.

Painting For Photographers Volume 2 - Landscapes

Lesson 1, “Main 01 – Art Lessons (10:07 min),” begins with a segment on some basic art theories that you should know about when working with landscapes. Here you will look at how some of the masters of landscape painting approached their subjects. You begin with looking at the idea that when you paint landscapes, you paint with tones instead of details. Through the use of dramatic tones you can create dramatic paintings.

You will learn how to figure out what is the subject of your painting is so that you can work to apply the greatest contrast of light and dark to the subject area. You will see how to edit tones to get your point across. You will also learn about the color wheel to get the appropriate tones and color schemes to balance your image. You will also learn about color harmony to blend colors within the image.

Lesson 2, “Main 02 – Oil Painting (39:59 min),” now takes a look at creating an oil painting from a photo using the art theories that are based on oil painting. First you start off with some basics on Corel Painter such as getting around in the program (this is highlighted for versions 10, 11, and 12). You will see how to use the brushes as well as how to install custom brushes that are included on the DVD.

Painting For Photographers Volume 2 - Landscapes

Next you will get down to the business of painting the landscape. Again, much of this deals with seeing how to work with tones and contrasts. You will see which details to keep and which ones to leave out based on what is important to the image. You will work a lot with tracing paper so you can see information from the image below and how your image is progressing. There is quite a bit of this video where the painting is sped up so you can see how it is done in real-time. In this video you will see how to work with trees, grass, mountains, and sky as well as how to imply detail and provide depth to your image.

Lesson 3, “Main 03- Watercolor –Style Painting (41:58 min),” examines how to create a painting using the techniques of the watercolor painters. Again, here you work with the color wheel to determine the best range of colors to work with and make adjustments to the colors in the photos. Next you will examine what techniques traditional watercolor painters used to understand how to do this digitally.

You will then see how to set this photo up and choosing the brushes that you will use. Again, the author uses a fast paced real-time mode so you can see how the painting is done as opposed to coming back at different phases of completion and never really seeing how it’s done. Topics that you will learn about is to paint more detail closer to the viewer and less toward the back and the reasons why, how to paint water, how to create illusions of distance, working with architecture, and how to add finishing touches.

Painting For Photographers Volume 2 - Landscapes

Lesson 4, “Bonus 01: Seascapes (7:57 min),” now takes a look at doing a seascape project. Again you choose your focal point as well as the concepts you have learned earlier in this DVD. Here you begin with an underpainting using a set of tones and colors chosen from a color wheel and complete the painting learning additional subtle techniques for working with this style.

Lesson 5, “Bonus 02 – Cityscapes (9:18 min),” finishes up the training in this DVD by creating a cityscape. Again you will use the techniques that you learned earlier, but now takes on the challenge of knowing what to leave in and what to remove. Here you will again learn subtle techniques that are appropriate for working with city scenes.

Painting For Photographers DVD: Volume 2 – Landscapes really gets to the heart of painting by using Corel Painter. While the work is done using Corel Painter version 12, time is spent addressing the differences in the use of 10, 11, and 12 so any of these version can be used to accomplish the paintings. Again, the photos that are used are included on the DVD as well as the custom brushes that the instructor uses so you can follow along.

There is a bit of a sound balance problem between the interlude music and the voice over so you have to find a balance to where they are not too loud or too soft, but other than that, the quality of the training is very good. One thing that I do like is that you really see the painting being completed in higher speed real time so you get a good feel for the strokes and techniques that the instructor uses.

Painting For Photographers Volume 2 - Landscapes

Painting For Photographers DVD: Volume 2 – Landscapes is available for $199.95 from the Artistry website. If you are looking for a quality DVD training experience using Corel Painter to create works of art from photographs, then I highly recommend Painting For Photographers DVD: Volume 2 – Landscapes.

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About T. Michael Testi

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