The Digital Palette

Modern Tools - Classical Methods

Hand Painting in Photoshop

Nothing strikes fear into the hearts of the self-proclaimed "I can't draw stick people" crowd like the words "hand painting". I've been told many times that people feel like they have no other choice but to use a painting filter because they do not possess the skill to paint in Photoshop by hand.

"Hand painting" sounds much scarier than it...

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One painting - Four Finishes

I did an interesting social media experiment a couple of weeks back.  I created a single painting and then altered it into four slightly different finishes.  Then I posted to social media asking everyone to select their favorite and give a reason why.

What a fascinating glimpse into individual art tastes this was!  

The image...

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The Number One Job of ANY Painter

Do you know what your number one job as a painter is? No matter if you're painting digitally or with oils, acrylics, or whatever...

Your number one, can't miss it, gotta' get it right priority?

S.I.M.P.L.I.F.Y.

If you find yourself constantly obsessed with the details -- STOP.

The majority of the old masters didn't obsess over...

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In the Style of Laszlo

The highest scoring print is the most complex to create, right?

Wrong.

If you've read my article on the making of "He Loves Me Not", you know that it received a "perfect" score of 100.  If you haven't read it, click HERE.  Most competitors assume this is because it was the most complex image in my case (that mysterious 13th...

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The Making of a "Perfect" Score

100

The “perfect” score.

I use quotes because the reality is — 100 does not mean perfection.  100 means that an image exemplifies exceptional application of the 12 elements and therefore has scored at the top of the exceptional category. 

A 100 scoring image can have “mistakes”.

I don’t know...

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Consider Your Audience

One of the things I’ve always tried to do when I teach painting is to teach my students to consider their audience as they paint… especially if the audience is PPA judges.

Let’s face it — print competition is a game that I know how to play well.  So this year, I decided to become an example by NOT following my own...

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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

Think about how paint overlaps when it's placed on one stroke at a time.  When the background is too smooth, it feels overworked and...

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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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