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Digital Collage and Painting: Using Photoshop and Painter to Create Fine Art Paperback – 25 Nov 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 600 pages
  • Publisher: Focal Press; 2 edition (25 Nov. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0240811755
  • ISBN-13: 978-0240811758
  • Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 19.7 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,028,967 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.

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 28 Sept. 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) 24 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
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.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
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.)
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
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.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Books Like This Are Few and Far Between 25 Feb. 2011
By Colorgirl - Published on
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I am a fine artist, but am also a graphic artist. I have been using Painter since it was called Fractal Design Painter many years ago, and have loved the concept of the marriage between fine art and computer generated art. I have found Painter to be one of the best programs I have ever had the privilege to use.

The book Digital Collage and Painting is designed to be used with both Photoshop and Painter and if you happen to know your way around Corel Photo Paint, you can easily adapt the information for use in that program as well.

What this book is, is a collection of individual artists who show a project and then narrate their way through the project with plenty of photos and in depth descriptions of actions taken to get from point A to point B. Then at the last half of the book there is a walkthrough of techniques to learn and use in preparation to do work of your own.

The beginning chapter starts with basic information to walk you through the concepts needed to develop a plan for a design with basic concepts of how to begin to conceptualize what it is that you want to accomplish.

Each successive chapter in Part 1 is then done by a digital artist who is introduced with a pretty descriptive bio that includes information on the artist, their websites, what scanner, papers, printers, color management system, computer equipment and previous experience the artist has had as well as projects they are engaged in at the time of the writing of the book.

The finished project photo is at the beginning and then the creative process is explored with the artist on how they got to the finished project using step by step photos in most cases and a walk through in thoughts and exploration of items used in their collage or composition.

Part 2 of the book has tutorials in using Photoshop to paint, Painter to paint, assembling collages in both Photoshop and Painter, Panoramic creation in Photoshop, Use of Filters, Experimentation and finally techniques to master before you start your own projects.

I have to say that although once in a while I did not feel that certain artists covered the material well enough to walk someone through their process, most of the book is ultra high quality and beautifully laid out. There are lots of photos to walk step by step through projects which is important for someone visual like me to follow.

The quality of the photos and print is exceptional and I really like the way that the book and information flow- you can pick it up and start reading just about anywhere, so if you are pressed for time and can not do a long period linear study of the book, you will still get a lot out of it.

Books like this are few and far between, and I know that I will be using this one a LOT.
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