The Digital Palette

Modern Tools - Classical Methods

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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Begin With the End in Mind

Oh my goodness, I love this!  How'd you do it?  What brushes did you use?!

It never fails...

When I post a new painting, I get multiple messages, emails, and comments inquiring exactly how I painted the image. What magic brushes did I use?  Is it oils?  Is it digital?  Did I paint by hand or was it some sort of...

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Setting Up the Wacom Art Pen for Painting in Photoshop CC

The Wacom Art pen is a must-have for your painting journey.  The barrel rotation is critical to positioning the "bristles" of your brushes correctly when painting things such as hair. It will quite literally make or break your success as a digital artist!  

If you don't know the difference between the Wacom Art Pen and the grip...

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How to Set Up Your Wacom Tablet for Painting

"I don't need a Wacom tablet.  I do everything with a mouse."

If I had a nickel for every time I've heard this, I'd be a wealthy woman!  The truth of the matter is - if you're doing all your retouching and painting with a mouse or trackpad, you are not creating to your maximum potential. 

The Wacom tablet is an integral part of...

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