The Digital Palette

Modern Tools - Classical Methods

Creating Depth in Photoshop Painting

One of the biggest mistakes novice painters make (especially those who are professional photographers) is blending their paintings too smooth.

Bokeh is not really a thing in painting y'all

When oil painters paint -- it's more about the PAINT than the subject, if that makes any sense at all.  It's the gradual build-up of color,...

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That's NOT Painting!

"That's not painting!" he exclaimed.

Out of the mouths of babes, y'all... 

If there were ever a topic to get me into hot water -- it's this one! I'm about to step on some digital painting toes in a big way.

But truth is truth!

Last week, I had the immense pleasure of spending the day with a very talented young artist.  This young...

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It's Almost Brainwashing...

It’s almost a form of brainwashing.

There is a small pocket in the deep southeastern United States where, from a very early age, girls are taught to moderate their voices; to be confidently soft-spoken in all situations. 

One cannot be considered a lady (a much different definition than a woman) if she speaks at thunderous volume....

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The Subtle Art of Color & Temperature

"Your color is boring."

It was like a knife to my heart. 

An artist that I admired agreed to look at some of my paintings and these were the first words they spoke after looking at what I thought were my most accomplished pieces.

Boring.

This is not a word that an artist EVER wants to hear.

I wanted to give up.  All I could think was,...

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Value vs. Color

Value is one of the basic tenets of art. It refers to how light or dark a color is. 

For example, white is the lightest value and black is the darkest value.

Another way to think of it - and the way most photographers find the simplest - is to think of Ansel Adams's zone system.  It covers all the values from black to white. If you...

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The Brushwork of the Masters

In October of 2018, I had what may very well be a once in a lifetime experience for me... 

Thanks to my dear friend, Julia Kelleher, I was able to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. 

I love art.  I always have. As crazy as it might sound -- with the exception of the works hanging in the Biltmore Mansion -- it...

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Can We Mimic Oil Painting in Photoshop CC?

What is our goal when we create a digital painting?

I can’t speak for everyone, but my personal goal is to fool the eye; to convince the viewer that they’re looking at oil on canvas. I also work in oils on canvas, so I have a pretty good idea of what this should look like.

While I never misrepresent a digital painting as an actual...

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The Curse of "The Sticker on the Wall"

It's the critique I give most often to novice painters...

"It looks like a sticker on the wall."

This comment is not meant to be mean or unusually harsh.  It's simply the best terminology I can find to describe the one curse that seems to plague all new painters.

Before we go any further, just to be absolutely clear - I painted this...

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Color Picker Guide for Photoshop Painters - Part 2

I'll be the first to admit - when it comes to art, there are no hard and fast rules, no "right", and no "wrong".  However, there are best practices that are generally applicable to many of our creations.

If you carefully analyze the brush strokes of the old master oil painters, you'll often find colors that range from cool to warm....

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Color Picker Guide for Photoshop Painters - Part 1

If you're a Photoshop user, I'm sure you've seen and used the color picker. 

It would seem a fairly straight forward tool.  However, when it comes to Photoshop painting, there are several considerations that will make your paintings stand out from those of an amateur.

As artists, we need to have an understanding of color.  As ...

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