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Digital Painting in Photoshop Paperback – February 2, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0240811147 ISBN-10: 0240811143 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Susan Ruddick Bloom is a Professor of Art and Chair of the Department of Art and Art History at McDaniel College in Maryland. She has a BFA and an MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art and is well known for both her traditional wet darkroom alternative processes and her digital darkroom work. Sue has been teaching digital classes since the beginning of Photoshop and has used a Mac from the very first one on the market (128K, with a screen the size of an index card). Trained in drawing, painting, and printmaking, she was at one time a courtroom artist for television and newspapers. Her painterly skills enhance her photographic ones, and her images frequently combine techniques. Sue's work has been exhibited and collected widely.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Focal Press; 1 edition (February 2, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0240811143
  • ISBN-13: 978-0240811147
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 7.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #825,709 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

I highly recommend this thorough book.
Brian M. Stoppee
One of my issues with many of the Photoshop/graphics type books out on the market is that there is too much writing and not enough images in the books that I see.
Dan McKinnon
If you want to either make your photos look like paintings, or create art from scratch, this book will give you the info you need.
William A. Nolan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Bob Nolin on August 5, 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book's intended audience is Photoshop users who have never explored the brushes and painting tools in Photoshop. It's not, however, really about "Digital Painting." The book introduces you (by way of 50 pages of screenshots of the brushes PS ships with) to brushes. Then it shows how to use a single technique, with variations, to achieve photo manipulations resembling watecolor, oils, and other traditional media. The technique, by the way, is not at all new, and you may already know it: duplicate the background layer, run a filter on it, add a layer mask, and then paint on the layer mask to reveal the filtered image. This is a far cry from just running the Watercolor filter and calling it a painting, but it is also not what I consider digital painting. This is a Photoshop cookbook, and it's a pretty good one. The text never references the figure numbers on the screenshots, which makes it hard to follow in many places. There's also a few places where the author neglects to mention how she got from here to there, which will leave beginners frustrated.

Bloom assumes her audience knows layer masks, blending modes, and layers, so her coverage of these subjects is scant. If you are familiar with layers, though, you may find this book is just the ticket to help you release your "inner artist." If you're a photographer, it'll give you some easy methods for artistically enhancing your portraits and landscapes.

A better book, which covers many more techniques, and is more clearly-written, is Photoshop Photo Effects Cookbook: 61 Easy-to-Follow Recipes for Digital Photographers, Designers, and Artists by Tim Shelbourne.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Dustin Williams VINE VOICE on October 18, 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book is a GREAT idea, yet it does need SOME improvements...

Benefits:

1) Provides a very nice introduction to many of the brushes and filters that you will find in Photoshop. The first 70 pages are basically "screenshots" that are dedicated to providing you with a quick, visual reference guide to the many of the brushes that Photoshop has. This does come in handy, especially if you are looking for a particular brush shape -- and don't want to take the time to manually search through Photoshop's large brush collection yourself. ;-)

2) Chapters 3 through 7 are dedicated to teaching the reader how to create various styles of artwork, such as how to produce a charcoal drawing, pastel artwork, work with watercolor, creating oil painting effects, using various artistic, illustration techniques, and even how to use some of the professional grade, 3rd-party plugins for Photoshop. The chapters are designed so that anyone who's had some moderate experience with Photoshop will know how to complete the various exercise. However, please note that this book is NOT designed for absolute beginners, as the author does expect that you have a working knowledge of many of Photoshop's program fundamentals, such as creating layers, desaturating a picture, working with filters, using layer masks, etc.

Disadvantages:

1) The book's title suggests that this book will teach you how to do "digital painting" in Photoshop. Unfortunately, it does NOT teach "digital painting", but instead, how to create similar artistic effects with your photos by using Photoshop's various filters and plugins. If you're looking for a book that teaches you how to paint, this is not it.

2) The instructions in this book seem to be a bit disorganized and confusing at times.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Yo' Vinny VINE VOICE on July 31, 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
OK, so this is COOL! I traditionally though of PhotoShop as a photographic imaging program and when I wanted to get a little 'artsy' with it I'd drop down a filter and run it against the image. I figured the most adjustments I had to it was to use masking, selections and opacity with various blends. This book has really brought me familiar with the brush within Photoshop. So many Photoshop books use the brush as a controlled and localized selection to apply effects. This book really shows you how to use it as a digital version of an actual brush. It is amazing how you can take a typical portrait and turn it into something special.

If you are a pro photographer you will really like how some of the effects can take a wedding portrait that has a good scene but horrible exposure or color and turn it into an artistic work of art that captures the essence of the moment. It really becomes more than just the image and should call for more profits.

if you are a photographer looking to get more artistic with your images or an artist trying to leverage some of the advanced functionality of Photoshop, I would recommend you pick up this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Arielle on April 18, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're expecting a book that will help you learn to paint in photoshop (as the title suggests) this isn't it. It's just glorified photomanipulation, to make photos look like paintings. It's good for what it is, but I feel mislead and highly disappointed.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By William D. Hill on April 8, 2009
Format: Paperback
When I opened the book, I was disappointed by how little real content was in the 236 pages. All illustrations are virtually unedited screen captures. Fourteen pages are taken up to show the brush libraries which are just as easily seen in Photoshop itself. Some pallets are so small, compared to images in progress, that they are illegible. Illustrations take up 50% of the pages, text takes up 20%, and there is a lot of white space.

The author writes as an artist experimenting to see how Photoshop can most closely simulate traditional art and the the process used to produce it. She works empirically and gives someone familiar with Photoshop little understanding of why she chooses to use one tool over another.

The book attempts to document each step in a particular project. However, some steps lack a clear context and can be confusing. This book could clearly have profited from being tested more fully with users.

As a result of the book, I have applied new approaches to my work in this area, and found myself experimenting to see their value.
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