Saturday, April 5, 2014

John's Gouache for Corel Painter Preview

Click image to view full resolution
I'm continuing to get John's Gouache ready for release, which includes testing and refining the brush set and workflow. This painting is a test image for working out the brushes.

The original photo is from my iPhone 5 (with an Olloclip wide angle lens adapter attached). The image below shows a progression from the photo to the final painting.

Click image to view larger

John's Gouache for Painter should be available in the next couple of weeks. Stay Tuned!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

John's Gouache for Painter Coming Soon!

Click image to view larger
I've been working on a new set of brushes for Painter that emulate the traditional medium of gouache in concert with a photographic source. One of the hallmarks of traditional gouache is the use of a limited set of opaque colors to delineate an image.

A unique property of my gouache brushes is that the initially sampled source color is used for the entire painted stroke. This technique limits the number of colors used in the painting.

Painter's other cloning brushes do not behave in this manner. Rather, they bring multiple colors into the stroke, which results in too much complexity for a believable gouache rendering.

John's Gouache can also be used as expressive paint-from-scratch brushes. A color set created from a popular traditional gouache color range will be included with the brushes. A set of video tutorials will accompany the brushes.

The above image was painted with John's Gouache from an iPhone photo I took of a friend's construction project (below).

Click image to view larger

John's Gouache for Painter should be available in the next couple of weeks. Stay Tuned!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Equinox 2

Click image to view larger
Some of you may be familiar with the life-changing episode our family went through 8 years ago when my wife, Pam, was diagnosed with leukemia (AML). By chance, the diagnosis happened on the first day of spring in 1996, also known as the vernal equinox.

On that day, it was raining outside. The rainwater ran down our window, obscuring a grove of trees. This scene represented for me the emotions of that day. I felt compelled to record the moment and the subsequent print, Equinox, was born (shown above).

After Pam relapsed 2 years later in 2008 and required a bone marrow transplant, we offered the print for sale as a means of helping to offset the devastating medical costs associated with cancer treatment.

This past week marked the passage of 8 years since that awful day. I bought Pam a rose to celebrate her victory over leukemia. After shooting a photo of the celebratory rose, I realized that this image represents a bookend of sorts.

Thankfully, life has pretty much returned to normal for our family and those awful days are now in our lives' rear-view mirror.

Monday, February 24, 2014

lynda.com Colorization Course Released

Click image to view larger
I'm happy to announce the release of my latest lynda.com title, Colorizing Black-and-White Photographs with Photoshop. Colorizing black & white photographs has become quite popular, particularly old family photos, as well as historical imagery. In this course, I describe an interactive and non-destructive workflow for the colorizing process. From the course page:

Want to bring old black-and-white photos into the present? Learn how to determine the color in old family or historic photos and accurately paint the color back in. John Derry shows you various methods in Adobe Photoshop to bring the photo back to life with color, using isolated selections, adjustment layers, and his free set of actions, which automate some of the colorization process for you. Plus, John's interactive, nondestructive workflow allows you to come back days or years later and make new adjustments to the image.
Topics include:
• Importing John's colorization workspace and actions

• Understanding resolution

• Maximizing dynamic range

• Using layers to manage color

• Applying fine-tuned adjustments

• Using the Brush and Pen tools to separate color regions

• Tweaking color with Hue/Saturation

• Using noise to add complexity

• Applying global tonal adjustments and color correction

I hope you'll check out this course!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

New Painting App Sketchable: All in the Family

Click image to view larger
There is a new Win-based painting app on the block, Sketchable by Silicon Benders, now available at the Windows Store. Description from the download page:

Sketchable provides the best creative digital journaling experience on the market. Whether you import an image, snap a photo, or start from a blank canvas, Sketchable puts the creative options in your hands. No matter the context, Sketchable is the perfect app to breathe life into your ideas. The elegant interface is designed to get the most out of each device and fast fluid brushes allow for an uninterrupted workflow.

Sketchable is tablet-friendy and pairs nicely with the Wacom-enabled Surface Pro. The app is a free download with and comes with brush and eraser tools. In-app purchases offer 7 additional painting tools. I'm happy to say that I had a bit of involvement with this new app; I created its textures and brush presets.

Silicon Benders is the brother team of Miles & Ryan Harris. Painting apps appear to run in the brothers' genes: their dad is Jerry Harris, co-author (with Keith McGregor) of early Mac paint app PixelPaint Pro, the first full-color paint application for the Macintosh. Jerry is now a Principal Computer Scientist on the Adobe Photoshop team.

Sketchable is designed to be easy to pick up and start using with a minimal learning curve. It is a particularly pressure-sensitive savvy app offering a wide range of expressibility in concert with its tools. Sketchable has a simple interface with plenty of room for expansion. I have a feeling we'll be seeing this app grow over time. Highly Recommended!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Waterlogue App Advances Digital Watercolor Ease-of-Creation

Click image to view larger
My friend John Balestrieri, in collaboration with Robert Clair, have released Waterlogue for iOS. Waterlogue is compatible with both the iPhone and iPad running iOS 7. From the press release:

We wanted to come up with an easy and fast way for people to create images based on the kinds of aesthetic decisions an artist makes when he or she is painting.

The technology we developed for Waterlogue transforms your photos into spontaneous, unique, and brilliant watercolor sketches that look like real paintings. Waterlogue distills your environment down to its essence—just the way an artist would—and turns even an on-the-fly snapshot into something luminous and sublime.

We designed Waterlogue to create the most authentic and aesthetically true watercolor interpretations available, and we hope that as soon as you start using the app, you’ll start seeing the world differently.

I've been playing with Waterlogue for a few days, and I have to say: This app advances the ability to easily create convincing watercolor art from photographs. John and Robert spent a year examining traditional watercolor and have created a deceptively simple app that faithfully replicates all of the hallmarks of its traditional counterpart.

At $3.99 from the App Store on iTunes, this software is a steal. John and Robert have indicated that Waterlogue will continue to evolve with additional features to be added over time. Highly Recommended!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Painter X3 Essential Training Released

Click image to view larger
I'm happy to announce that my newest lynda.com title, Painter X3 Essential Training course is now live and available for viewing by lynda.com members. Here is the course description:

Get your creative ideas out of your head and onto your canvas. John Derry, one of the original Corel Painter authors, teaches the tools and techniques that will get beginners up and running with Painter X3 and help old hands harness the best new features.

Learn the basics of painting on a computer, and learn to set up your system (your Painter preferences, tablet and pen, and your palettes) so it works best for you. Then John shows you how to mix and manage color, wield Painter's brushes with maximum control, work with layers and selections, and integrate with that other digital painting powerhouse, Adobe Photoshop. John also covers perspective-guided strokes and the Universal Jitter control for adding analog-like sensitivity to your artwork. Dive in now and get your creative juices flowing.

Topics include:
Working with a pen tablet
Creating, opening, and saving files
Configuring panels and palettes
Controlling and mixing control
Calibrating brushes for maximum stroke quality
Working with jitter brushes
Working with digital watercolor brushes
Selecting with the Lasso and Magic Wand tools
Preserving transparency in layers
Cloning artwork
Comparing Photoshop and Painter
Troubleshooting Painter

If you have X3, I think you'll find this course highly useful!