So you’re a budding beginner with lots of interesting ideas for digital paintings, you’ve gone and got yourself a copy of Photoshop and a nifty Wacom graphics tablet, now what? This is where Beginners Guide to Digital Painting with Photoshop comes in handy.
With its bright orange honeycomb design, its detailed project overviews from industry experts, and its focus on painting as a beginner it’s the perfect book to get you started.
This review is not really a summary of the whole book as each section is different from the previous one, it is more of a summary of sections.
A Beginner’s Guide – This is the true beginners section of the book. Everything you need to know from how to install Photoshop and set up your tablet, to colour theory and the fibonacci spiral. Nykolai Aleksander does an amazing job of letting the reader know the basics, and although there is a final image at the end of this section this is not a series step by step tutorials. Each method has a very thorough explanation of art theories and some very useful Photoshop tips. I don’t want to get into too much detail on this section but it’s very dense and is useful to all artist in any stage of their development.
Art fundamentals – This section elaborates on many of the art fundamentals introduced in the previous section. More colour theory, perspective, lighting and much more. This section includes words from 5 talented artists and each of them go into an immense amount of detail on the topic that is explained. Out of all the sections in the book this one should be used as a reference and should be referred to throughout the process of creating an image as the fundamentals are what set the foundation for a great painting.
Complete Project – Area 51 – I would love to be a fly on the wall and watch a professional artist create an image from start to finish. Unfortunately that won’t really happen, because not only would that be incredibly time consuming, but also quite uncomfortable for the artist. This section gives you the opportunity to do just that but without the creepiness. Richard Tilbury explains all the important steps he took to put together his image Area 51 and some of the little tricks he uses to put the whole thing together are very smart. Custom brushes, simple shapes and using sections of photos as part of the image. This section is definitely for those who have seen an amazing painting and always wanted to know how it was done.
Painting Styles and Approaches – This section is fairly self explanatory, there are many painting styles this section focuses on five explained by 4 different artists. Some styles you’ve probably heard of or seen somewhere before but there were a few that really surprised me, such as the method of painting from greyscale to colour, or manipulating different photos then painting over them. Very interesting stuff.
Project Overviews – This part is similar to the project overview of Area 51 but contains a slightly less detailed overview and focuses on three very different projects and you can even download free resources for the projects from the . To be honest, this section is not really for beginners it’s more for those who have a little experience in Photoshop as the artist’s talks about specific features. But this section should definitely be taken into consideration during the development of an artist.
Quick Tips – This is a great section for those who want to learn how to paint a single object for their image such as; rain, fire or even laser beams, and much more of course. This should not be confused with a group of tutorials, once again the explanations are not step by step but more of a suggested way of getting the desired effect. Therefore quite a bit of research needs to be done before looking at this section and following what the artists suggest.
Breakdown Gallery – Now this section is probably the most different from all the previous sections as it was the only one that does not contain a word of text (well apart from the intro paragraph at the beginning), instead, contains a series of breakdown images on the left and the final painting on the right of each double page. This is definitely an important section for beginners as one can get an idea of how an image is put together and use this process for their own work.
All in all I would say about three-quarters of this book is truly for beginners, the rest is for those who have read the beginner parts, gotten to grips with Photoshop and are ready to up their game. Which is a good thing since this will probably be the only book on Photoshop, one would need to feel truly comfortable to paint whatever they want in Photoshop. Thank you 3D Total Publishing for putting together this great book and giving beginners the opportunity to improve their skill in Photoshop.