Monday, February 22, 2010

John's Watercolor User: Kathy Pilgrim

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Artist Kathy Pilgrim created this image with a combination of John's Watercolors and brushes from Jeremy Sutton.

"I pulled up a colored sketch I did a long time ago. I then painted it with John Derrys watercolor brushes. I also used a few of Jeremy Suttons water brushes in PaintBox 1. I found Johns brushes wonderful to work with. I am really watercolor challenged. I did this in my bold, loose free style. I can find a gazillion things I could do to be more detailed, but it said enough to me so I finished it. I love your brushes John."

You can see more work at Kathy's gallery at PBase.

If you have an example of art created with John's Watercolors, send me a JPEG—your work may get featured here!

John's Watercolors are $35. You can purchase these brushes by clicking the PayPal "Buy Now" button below. If you don't have a PayPal account, an option to pay via credit card is offered as well.

If you've been frustrated trying to master digital watercolors, John's Watercolors for Painter are the answer!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Happy 20th Birthday, Photoshop!

It's hard to believe that the venerable Photoshop was released 20 years ago today. In 1987, Thomas Knoll developed a pixel imaging program called Display. It was a simple program to showcase grayscale images on a black-and-white monitor. However, after collaborating with his brother John Knoll, the two began adding features that made it possible to process digital image files. The program eventually caught the attention of industry influencers, and in 1988, Adobe made the decision to license the software, naming it Photoshop, and shipping the first version in 1990.

I remember meeting the Knoll brothers at a trade show in 1989 while demoing Time Arts Oasis (an early painting application I was involved with) in the Wacom booth. John was rather, hmmm—brash. He took a look at Oasis and said there was no use to even try going up against their new application. He certainly was prescient.

One of Oasis's innovative features at the time was the Lightbox. This feature enabled the user to place a blank image window over another open image and see through to the underlying image. The effect was akin to tracing paper (Mark Zimmer later related to me that he had seen the Lightbox feature and appropriated the idea in Painter 1.0 as Tracing Paper). I wrote up a concept document that proposed—with some additional engineering—how Oasis and Photoshop could interact with one another utilizing the Lightbox to trace Photoshop images.

We sent to proposal to Adobe and they indicated that they might be interested in Oasis beyond the Lightbox cooperation—they were interested in acquiring it. Oasis had been getting a lot of press for its natural media emulation in concert with the Wacom tablet. As a result of the Adobe interest, we were sure we had a cash cow.

Photoshop Product Manager Steve Guttman and Adobe Ventures' Fred Mitchell came up to Santa Rosa to meet with us. The discussion went well until the matter of what we would consider selling Oasis for. At that point, we really felt that it was worth more to us as a product as opposed to selling it (especially with Adobe showing interest!), so the meeting ended amicably, but with no sale taking place.

Oasis ultimately failed as a product. Time Arts was small and didn't have the capital to properly develop and market a shrink-wrapped product. Who knows what may have happened had Oasis gone to Adobe. Another application, Fractal Design Painter, would shortly take center stage as the niche-defining natural-media digital paint application. It wasn't long before I was at Fractal, working with Mark and Tom on Painter. Steve Guttman came to Fractal a few years later as Vice President of Product Marketing.

Photoshop has continued as the premier image editing application, and deservedly so. If you would like to hear about Photoshop's history, Adobe and the National Association of Photoshop Professionals will be webcasting a live stream of a lively celebration of Photoshop along with member of the Photoshop team tonight at 7:30 PST. A lot of interesting discussion is sure to ensue!

Happy 20th Birthday, Photoshop!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Painter Brushmaster David Gell: Jitter Brush

David Gell is a Painter Brushmaster extraordinaire. His blog, Jitter Brush, is a candy store of high quality Painter brushes, tutorials, and utilities. Pictured above is a sample from David's latest brush collection, Concept Glow Brushes, designed with the concept artist in mind. Jitterbrush includes several interesting and useful brush collections for download. David regularly adds unique new content, as well.

If you are a Painter brush hound, paint a stroke directly to Jitter Brush!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Paulo Brabo: The Braboblog

Steal Gogh Flowers from Paulo Brabo on Vimeo.

Painter user Paulo Brabo's blog, the Brabolog, is a great source of Paulo's art, Painter brushes, and other goodies. Paulo's frequent posts of videos highlighting his quick and efficient painting style are worth putting the Braboblog on your list of frequent you can pick up some really great brushes!

90-minute Intro to Portraiture Tutorial

The video from my All Things Painter Introduction to Portraiture webinar (aired last November) is available for purchase as a downloadable QuickTime movie.

This 90-minute tutorial covers the start-to-finish workflow of expressive interpretation of a photographic portrait source into a painted result.

Subjects covered:
Preparation in Photoshop
Non-destructive Layer Painting Explained
Brush Organization
Background-to-Foreground Subject Workflow
Focus on the Face
Skin Treatment
Preserving Facial Character
Eyes: The Window to the Soul
Hair: Simplifying Complexity

Here are some of the comments of attendees that participated in the webinar:
"This was a wonderful webinar. So much to learn and think about my mind is spinning."
"What usually takes a year to learn...John does it in an hour or two."
"Fantastic - throughly enjoyed it and learned a lot."
"Absolutely fantastic. I picked up so many pointers, I can't wait to put them into practice."
"Fantastic Seminar. So many lightbulb moments."
"John had a great, simple way to present the topic."

Below is a short video sample from the tutorial:

Click to watch preview segment

This tutorial isn't intended as an exhaustive class; rather, it is an introduction that will clarify the key aspects of expressive digital portrait interpretation. If you are interested in this creative use of digital paint tools, this tutorial will provide you with a clear starting point.

The Introduction to Portraiture Tutorial is $20. You can purchase this downloadable movie by clicking the PayPal "Buy Now" button below. If you don't have a PayPal account, an option to pay via credit card is offered as well.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Apple iPad in 2001?

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If you've ever seen the film, 2001: A Space Odyssey, then you'll remember the scene of astronauts David Bowman and Frank Poole having a meal and watching the news on their...iPads?

Ever since Apple's latest product introduction, that scene has been nagging at me. With a bit of help from Photoshop, the future past now appears correct to me.