Thursday, January 3, 2013

New John Derry Title Released

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I'm happy to announce the release of my latest title, Transforming a Photo into a Painting with Photoshop CS6.

Here's the blurb from

Learn to think like a painter and render images that look like they were created with oils or acrylics, using the latest digital artist's tools. Author and artist John Derry introduces the process of interpreting a photograph into a painted work of art.

He begins by explaining his system of visual vocabularies, which describe how to replace the visual characteristics of a photograph with that of expressive painting, and also shares the custom brush sets and actions he uses to achieve these results in Adobe Photoshop. The course also covers working with filters, layers, effects, and more to add further detail and texture.

Topics include:

• Setting up a Wacom tablet
• Removing lens distortions
• Correcting distracting image elements
• Making shadow and highlight adjustments
• Simplifying details with filters and Smart Blur
• Modifying color
• Cloning layers
• Using a traditional paint color swatch set
• Using custom actions
• Working with canvas texture
• Creating physical surface texture effects
• Painting with custom brushes

Happy New Year!


  1. I just rejoined so I can follow this new tutorial. I was hoping you could suggest another method to load your Wacom preferences files. Double clicking does not install them on my computer. And after a long search on and Google, I still do not have any answers. They cannot be loaded manually via the Wacom Tablet Preference File Utility because the only allowed files are *.wacomprefs. Your files have a different extension. FYI, I use Windows.

  2. Are you using an Intuos5? I just noticed that the Intuos5 Wacom preference files don't have the ".wacomprefs" extension.

    I don't have a Windows machine to verify this, but I believe you can simply append the Intuos5 preference file names with ".wacomprefs" to get the Wacom Tablet Utility to recognize them.

    If you test this and it works, please post your results to this thread!


  3. I tried that John -- and it doesn't seem to work (error). However, I was able to easily configure the tablet using the handy PDF you included (took one or two minutes to configure).

  4. By the way -- really great tutorial series! I like this one more than the "street scene" series you had done previously. As a total newbie to painting -- I really appreciate the comments you made about basic stroke techniques (mainly the point about starting out with a consistent stroke) and just the thoroughness of this series. Keep 'em coming!

  5. John,

    The closest I came was to rename the extension to .wacomxs. It then tried to load with the proper utility, but it couldn't find my CS6 so it made changes to my Intuos 5 settings for "All Other" applications. Ultimately I did it manually like Brandt mentioned. FWIW, my CS6 is 64-bit only; I didn't bother to also install the 32-bit.

    I like your emphasis on the streamlining of the painting process. A little more effort upfront can make a huge difference in the "feel" of the painting experience. I practiced the HUD Color Picker to HUD Focus till I got it down smoothly. I am looking forward to your Painter 12 tutorial too. I want to be fluent in both applications as it applies to digital painting.

  6. Hi John,
    I renewed my account also, to watch this title specifically.
    Wow, very nice indeed. I'll have to watch several areas many different times to hopefully retain, and write down this information.
    I do have a question on brushes.
    I have purchased all your brushes, Painter, and Photoshop.
    Does the content override, or supplant your brushes?
    Another brush question, there is a restore brush in one of your sets for Photoshop.
    I don't see it mentioned anywhere.
    Did I miss this somehow?

    1. The brushes (tool presets, actually) that accompany my lynda courses comprise a reduced subset, so if you already have my brushes, you've got everything.

      The Restore brush is just the Clone Stamp Tool using a Bristle Tip. This aids in restoring original image detail utilizing the character of the tip.

  7. How to load a preference setting file *.wacomxs for Intuos4 into the Intuos5 ?
    I keep having an error message in the import tablet Setting windows "lightroom (application could not be found") ???

  8. Unfortunately, Wacom pref files are specific to the combination of both the tablet model and driver version. The only way to duplicate the functionality is to manually re-enter the preferences from the older version to the newer one. I don't know if Wacom has any plans to make their preference files more compatible with different models/versions.