As some of you may know already, I consider myself a fairly avid photographer. That’s not to say I consider myself a great photographer; just that I love to take the camera out and take photographs. I’ve been using and teaching Photoshop for many years now, and have learned almost exclusively on my own with no formal training. The purpose of my going through this program on Lynda.com was to see a couple of things:
- How others use Photoshop in a little bit different manner than I’m used to
- Methods I can incorporate into my instructions for teaching Photoshop in my classroom
- Techniques and tips I can integrate when working with photographs and creating artwork
So to start things off, I searched Lynda.com for some photo editing, or painting selections, that I thought I could incorporate into my lessons on campus, and garner some new information from. What I ended up settling on was a series of lessons entitled Dreamscapes, which can be found clicking here.
The really cool thing about the Dreamscapes series is that Bert walks the viewer through the creation of some very nice artwork using simple techniques, and easy to obtain photography.
To start things off, Bert goes over an introduction to the tools, which admittedly I already am very familiar with. After watching through that to see if there was anything new or interesting, I went ahead and moved on to the first painting he showed. It is a nice day/night conversion, which has always been interesting to me, with a fair bit of cleanup work and manipulation.
My biggest take away from this lesson was on the creation of an even further customized brushes than what I usually work with. Bert demonstrated a technique for doing smoke from a chimney that I will definitely be using and showing my students. Even though I’ve been using Photoshop for more than a decade, I still love that I can find little tips and tricks like that to inspire me to create, and help me to educate my students.
The following four lessons focused on more surreal environments being painted and put together. After diving through those as well, I was able to take away some very interesting techniques, tips and tricks to show my students as well.
One of the more interesting and insightful pieces of information I garnered was the use of everyday items, and just how to look at them differently.
In his “Castle in the Sky” painting, he used the root bulb of a dead plant in his garden to demonstrate alternate uses of items, and how to work those into some of your paintings. His use of the burn tool to add detail to the root bulb was also interesting, as I don’t usually approach that technique using that method, but his results were quite good.