Fine Art Photoshop: Lessons in Digital Drawing and Painting

COMPUTER BOOK REVIEW  

414 words

Title: Fine Art Photoshop: Lessons in Digital Drawing and Painting; by:
Michael J. Nolan & Renée LeWinter; New Riders; ISBN: 1-56205-829-0  
220 pages; softcover; US$39.99

Reviewer, Ewan Edwards,"Fine Art Photoshop provides simple exercises and
step-by-step lessons to unleash imagination and creativity, while helping
to master Photoshop."

Finding the Art in Photoshop

For those who wish to create expressive artistic effects, or polish their
individual style, Fine Art Photoshop provides simple exercises and
step-by-step lessons to unleash imagination and creativity, while helping
to master Photoshop.

I have considerable digital imaging experience and, have seen
many art pieces where I've thought "I could do something like that,"
I've always considered artists to have considerably more patience and
creativity than me. Fine Art Photoshop has changed that.

The authors set out 4 tutorial chapters with several exercises in each.
They begin with sketching and drawing: creating a landscape, a still life,
a portrait, and an architectural illustration. Their book's structure
encourages the reader to work through each exercise in turn or, to select
one as a project and follow it through successive chapters.

Once through the black and white exercise from Chapter 1, the next chapter
discusses the development of custom color palettes, and illustrates
techniques for producing watercolor and pastel effects.

Each lesson conveys an important aspect of drawing or painting,
applicable to digital or traditional media. Chapter 3, which focuses
on enhancing technique and style, presents topics such as
negative shape and color balance, abstract expressionism, volume,
light, balance and contrast.

Fine Art Photoshop encourages the reader to create from scratch, to give
up the tantalizing power of Photoshop's filter collection, although the
filters are used in place of considerable effort. 

Chapter 4 explains techniques for adding special effects, such as lighting
effects, creating a scratchboard effect, rendering in Impressionist style,
or creating paintings with a surrealistic feeling.

I'm already well-versed in Photoshop's operations and printing
digital documents, so it wasn't necessary to delve deeply into Chapters 5
and 6, 'The Photoshop Paintbox' and 'Printing Your Artwork' respectively.
However each covers important aspects of digital art creation, providing a
quick reference for producing traditional media effects in Photoshop,
and a thorough examination of the requirements for digital art
reproduction.

Readers will benefit from the balance between providing instruction on the
techniques involved, and the Photoshop functions required to complete
each step. The tutorials are simple, clear and well-focused. My journey
through the exercises, was interrupted only when I had to refer to the
book for the next step.

By the last page I had changed my impression of creating digital art; it
does require patience and creativity, but the process can be fun and
very satisfying. 

Fine Art Photoshop shows that the techniques are easy and straightforward,
and will encourage readers to continue on their own.


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