John's Artists' Brushes User: David Reid

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Artist and photographer David Reid created this Italian landscape using a photo and John's Artists' Brushes for Adobe Photoshop CS5.

David describes his process:

I mostly do landscape photography and this is my very first digital painting. The reference material was a photograph I took on an ill fated trip to Italy in 2002. This wasn't painting from scratch but blended from the original reference. With the overall painting in mind, I created my ideal contrast and hue in Photoshop first and created focal points.

My technique was based on the video tutorial you kindly provided. I used the Fan - Flat Blender for the underpainting layer then varied the size of it to add in some detail.

I used a mixture of the Blunt and Angle Blender brushes on the Intermediate strokes layer in large size to scatter the smearing effect for the water. Then I gradually made the brush size smaller. The stroke motions I used were mostly horizontal and vertical and circular for the clouds and bushes. I tried to emulate a heavy oil painting approach by creating a heavy loaded brush effect for the water as I am a great believer of laying on thick and going for drama.

I then spent most of my time filling in the gaps and detailing using the Point Round Blender I tried using this at it's default setting but ended up making it tiny and dabbed or flicked the brush to get the detailing I wanted, creating the main detail in the centre of the painting then getting less and less near the edges. I achieved the heavy loaded brush idea by flattening the work then created two more filter layers to give the depth that it has.

The last time I actually picked up real brushes was back in my college days, but the brushes you have created in their default settings are lovely. The smearing effect and dabbing felt how I remember them, although I only have a Wacom grip pen and am now wanting to get the artist pen as the barrel rotation would help immensely (John's Artists' Brushes comes with versions for both barrel-rotation and non-barrel-rotation sensing pens).

The texture settings added by default is just awesome; I did not feel the need to play with it as out of the box it was perfect. I do not think I could have ever achieved this painting without the invaluable tools and videos I purchased from you. Without these, this would not have been possible. Thank you very much.

You can see more of David's work at his website.

John's Artists' Brushes for Photoshop CS5 are now available at an introductory price of $19.95. If you have Photoshop CS5 and are into painting, this will be the best investment you can make!

John's Artists' Brushes for Adobe Photoshop CS5

If you have an image created using John's Artists' Brushes, send me a JPEG and I'll feature it here on the PixlBlog!