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Digital Collage and Painting: Using Photoshop and Painter to Create Fine Art [Paperback]

Susan Ruddick Bloom
2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

25 Nov 2010
If you already know your way around Photoshop and Painter and want to use these amazing programs to take your skills further, this book is for you! Much more than a simple "how-to" guide, Susan Ruddick Bloom takes you on a full-fledged journey of the imagination and shows you how to create incredible works of fine art. Supplemented by the work of 20+ world renowned artists in addition to Sue's own masterpieces, you'll learn how to create watercolors, black and white pencil sketches, texture collages, stunning realistic and fantastical collages, and so much more, all from your original photographs. If you are eager to dive into the world of digital art but need a refresher on the basics, flip to Sue's essential techniques chapter to brush up on your Photoshop and Painter skills, and you'll be on your way in no time. Whether you're a novice or an established digital artist, you'll find more creative ideas in this book than you could ever imagine. Fully updated for new versions of Painter and Photoshop and including brand new work from contemporary artists, Digital Collage and Painting provides all the inspiration you need to bring your artistic vision to light.

Product details

  • Paperback: 600 pages
  • Publisher: Focal Press; 2 edition (25 Nov 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0240811755
  • ISBN-13: 978-0240811758
  • Product Dimensions: 25 x 19 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,105,803 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


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About the Author

Susan Ruddick Bloom is a Professor of Art and Chair of the Department of Art and Art History at McDaniel College in Maryland. She has a BFA and an MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art and is well known for both her traditional wet darkroom alternative processes and her digital darkroom work. Sue has been teaching digital classes since the beginning of Photoshop and has used a Mac from the very first one on the market (128K, with a screen the size of an index card). Trained in drawing, painting, and printmaking, she was at one time a courtroom artist for television and newspapers. Her painterly skills enhance her photographic ones, and her images frequently combine techniques. Sue's work has been exhibited and collected widely.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Expensive, little direction 28 Sep 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For those of us who use Adobe Photoshop this book is of little value as half of the book deals with techniques used in Painter. Add to this a large section looking at the work of other digital artists and, although some techniques are discussed, they are little value.
The techniques that are explained need some prior Photoshop knowledge so are not good for beginners.
Overall this book has little for experienced digital artists or those new too it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  24 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond my wildest expectations. 4 Jan 2011
By tachi1 - Published on
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I am both impressed and overwhelmed by the amount of pertinent and useful information in this book. Every topic, chapter, and section is important--no filler, no repetition, nothing necessary left out, nothing unnecessary thrown in.

How my opinion dovetails with yours depends on the commonality of our experience and our intended purposes for getting this book. I am, primarily, a photographer both for business and pleasure. I am very competent in the use of Photoshop, and just got Painter as a Christmas gift (two weeks ago). I wish to start turning some photos into illustrations (line drawings, soft images, collages) but for my own use and pleasure, not for commercial purposes or public display. After seeing the book, I might (later) be seriously tempted to go beyond that, but there are so many options, so many styles, so many directions I would want to take that I'm overwhelmed by the choices.

However, while the book is not intended for beginners, a beginner who is familiar with at least one of the programs isn't going to find it difficult to wade right in and tackle a project. It's just a question of finding a simple one that applies to the type of photography you have in your collection.

I have to add that having a certain amount of artistic eye, skill, and background would be a big help because these projects cannot be approached in a purely mechanical way, regardless of how well you use Photoshop, Painter, or the additional programs, plug-ins, filter and action packs mentioned. The book merely provides the techniques, methodology, and inspiration.

Every step is amazingly well explained and illustrated. (Although it isn't done in the usual tutorial style so common for software users: numbered steps, captioned screen shots, the "recipe" laid out in sequence.) There are some more structured sections but, by and large, this is a purely narrative style in long blocks of paragraphs, as if you were learning with the teacher seated next to you and explaining as you go. This requires reading the entire section before you start, wrapping your head around the general theory, adding post-it tabs and highlighting the parts you need to pay attention to, and starting your project. I think that, for this type of photographic project, it's actually the ideal teaching method to use because it explains what you absolutely need to know, then lets you implement the idea your way.

I see absolutely no negatives in this book. It is clearly and intelligently written and well edited and organized. The content is fascinating, from the detailed and informative artist interviews to the full spectrum of styles and options offered to create art and collage based on photographs. I would have enjoyed reading it and learning from it just for the pleasure of it.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What this Book Is and What it Isn't! 30 Dec 2010
By V. Hutson - Published on
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have both the first and second edition of this book and I would recommend this book if you are interested in the following:

1. You want to learn how to use your digital photographs and turn them into works that look more like paintings.
2. You want to learn how to take parts from your photos and combine them together into one digital image that looks more like a painting or collage than a photo.
3. You are interested in seeing a nice variety of images created by other contemporary digital artists.
4. You want a book that covers both Photoshop and Painter.
5. You are interested in learning more about the filters in Photoshop.

I would NOT recommend it for anyone who is primarily interested in learning how to paint digitally from scratch since almost every project in this book starts from a digital photograph with the exception of some of the artists in the "Inspiration" chapter.

Basically it gives directions on how to use a variety of different filters, brushes, etc., to convert and paint over a photograph to give it a more painterly appearance. Many of the finished examples are very beautiful--but if you are hoping to learn how to paint a painting from scratch--this book will not show you how.

The chapter on painting in Photoshop is actually titled "Painting in Photoshop with Your Photos." The chapter on Painting in Painter shows you how to use a variety of clone brushes to take a photo and turn it into a painting.

Bottomline: If you want to learn how to change photographs into paintings--get this book! I will give it 5 stars because it does that well.

(P.S. If you already have the first edition I don't think it is necessary to get this one since it is primary only the "Inspiration" chapter that changes very much.)
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars nice resource 24 Jan 2011
By Shala Kerrigan - Published on
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is one of the nicest books I've seen on the topic of creating digital paintings and collages from photographs and stock art. Many artists are interviewed and featured with their techniques. Instead of being a step by step guide to create the exact same effect, this book has suggestions for layers and tools to use. It's also not program specific which I really like. So if you're more comfortable in Painter than Photoshop, the techniques shown can be used.
Lots of photos show the progression of the images from photos and sketches to finished collages and paintings which makes it very easy to understand what effects the layers, tools and filters have.
While it's primarily written for people who already have a strong interest in these techniques, the book would also be a great inspiration to people who scrapbook in graphics programs as well. The collage ideas and tips are just wonderful.
If you want to get the most out of this, you should have a graphic tablet, a good camera and of course Photoshop or Painter.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Accomplishes Goal of Title 25 Aug 2011
By carol irvin - Published on
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Certainly no one should be thinking that they can create fine art with a computer program, much less two computer programs, if they don't know the first thing about those programs. Thus, you better be at least an intermediate user of these programs in order to fancy yourself as a user of this book. It is not for beginners in those programs. For those who are at those levels, if you wish to make paintings out of your photographs, this is the book for you. It seemingly covers every base you could ever want in reaching such a goal and does so with a very well designed and photographed book.

My biggest complaint about the users of these programs is that they don't look at their projects as art work and art ideas but rather as a set of elaborate tricks. I am glad to say the author here doesn't fall into that trap. The Kelby book series is notorious, on the other hand, for being gimmickry galore. Kudos to the author.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic resource for aspiring digital artists - clear, well-illustrated and thorough 24 May 2011
By Nathan Andersen - Published on
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is an excellent guide for aspiring digital artists who want to take advantage of the resources available in Photoshop and Painter for combining photographic realism with painterly style. Most of the exercises do presuppose some background in one or the other program - she doesn't teach you the basics - but she does explain each of the techniques she employs from scratch. What struck me after I'd gone through a few of the Photoshop exercises is that many of the techniques she explains would be very handy even for those who mostly just want to improve the look of their photography and don't really have any specifically "artistic" aspirations. After just one exercise I had a much better understanding of the history brush and art history brush tools - even though I'd used them several times before I didn't realize just how versatile they can be. The focus here is on adding painterly effects to photographs, or on creating original artworks based on photographs, rather than on painting from scratch. The book begins with several "inspiration" guides where digital artists walk you through the process of creating one of their characteristic works, and the rest of the book consists of tutorials and explorations of features in Photoshop and Painter for creating artworks from photographs. It's a very worthwhile guide - well-written, clear, and with good illustrations.
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