When Photoshop CS5 came out back in April, there was a lot of excitement about the new Natural Media Bristle Tip Brushes, and the Mixer Brush in particular. In this post, I boldly stated, based on watching the release kickoff video, that, alas, CS5 did not include a cloning ability. Even more embarrassing, I stated that “Adobe has simply enhanced the Smudge tool.” Boy was I wrong. Comments from both Tim Shelbourne and John Derry quickly set me straight. Since then, I have played around a bit with the Mixer Brush in CS5, but I have to admit, the learning curve has held me back so far. After years of using good ol’ trusty Painter (okay, maybe not trusty), it’s easy to stay with the old and the familiar. If, like me, you’re feeling intimidated by CS5, you’ll be excited to know that help is available.
I refer to two brush sets from John Derry, plus online CS5 training from Tim Shelbourne.
John Derry is, of course, one of the original designers of Painter, and he’s a wizard when it comes to digital art. We’re very fortunate that he has turned his attention to Photoshop CS5, and developed a set of brushes that bring out the full potential of the new brushes. In creating these new brushes, John’s goal was to mimic the look of traditional oil painting and pastels, much the way Painter does. He has also created a set of canvas textures that can be used with the brushes. I haven’t checked out the dry media set yet, but I have played around a bit with the oils, and I was very impressed. I’m not showing you a screenshot of my work just yet, however, as I’m just a beginner at this. But you can see the work of several other artists here, created with John’s brushes. Each brush set is only $20. There are six videos included, which are just wonderful. John recently did a full DVD for Lynda.com on CS5, as well as many others, so you know he’s very good at training videos. The ones included here are easily worth $20 by themselves. You’ll not only learn about the new brushes, but also workflow and techniques as well. And best of all (drumroll please) is John’s Cloning Layer Action. With this action, you can “dip your paintbrush into a photograph,” as John puts it, just as you do with the clone tools in Painter. For more information, including sample video, click here.
Tim Shelbourne, author of numerous books and articles about Photoshop and Painter, is offering a four-week online class. It begins September 27 (that’s less than a week away), so sign up right away if you’re interested. Enrollment closes on the 27th, and is limited to 30 students. According to the description, “The aim of this course is simple; to take you through the whole process of creating a cloned portrait painting, directly from a photographic source image In Photoshop CS5.” Click on this link for more info. Cost is GBP 90, or about $139 USD.
Other Stuff Worth Checking Out
The MagicPicker is a neat add-on to Photoshop. It provides a color wheel just like Painter’s, so you can say goodbye to squinting at those tiny little foreground and background swatches. Of course, CS5 has the new “heads-up display” color picker, which is nice but takes three fingers to use. $14
ColourLovers.com is an online community all about color and color schemes. The online tool allows you to create color palettes and patterns, and then share them with their huge, friendly community. Includes a seamless pattern maker. Very cool. Free.
Got a favorite tool or site you want to share? Drop us a line: bobnolin at digitalimagemagazine.com, or leave a comment.
- Resources: Online Training for Digital Painting
- Resources: John Derry’s New Watercolor Brushes for Painter
- Resources: Adobe Unveils Photoshop CS5
- Corel Painter Resources: links to Brushes, Papers, Tutorials
- Tutorial: How to Use Photoshop Brushes in Corel Painter
- Resources: Branch Out with Free Software and Training
- Resources: Photoshop CS5 and other cool new stuff