Book Review

The Digital Renaissance

The Digital Renaissance : Classic Paininting Techniques in Painter and Photoshop.

If you’re an artist and a reader of this blog then the chances are you use Photoshop to create new pieces of art, if so then read on. If you rely more on the photographic image to start your image then sorry, this book might not be for you.

There’s 12 tutorials in total each covering a different artist, their style and a tutorial in either Photoshop or Painter. The biography is small and succinct and the development of the style is enough to understand the original process. Then it’s into the tutorial.

Each tutorial is separated, as you may expect, into steps but not a ‘do this, then this’ type, more leading you through the process of creating your piece, with hints like ‘Try not to lift your pen too much. You should have a continuous line to show how lines lead into each other”. When I read through the instructions, I couldn’t help but hear them in a whisper; such is the style and tone of this book.

Chapter 7 : Arthur Rackham

The art created to illustrate a technique is stunning and a clear progress is displayed through each tutorial. If, like me, you’re traditional art techniques leave more than a little to be desired then you may find this a little intimidating, but for those with a drawing, painting or sketching background you’ll be just fine.

The subheading to this book is ‘Classic Painting in Painter and Photoshop’. Alas not every tutorial is for both, in fact only three are. So, how are they spread between the applications? Photoshop is covered in 6 of the twelve tutorials while Painter is covered in 9. Sadly, this reviewer isn’t familiar enough with Painter to know if the skills are transferrable, if you know both, I’d be happily enlightened.

The-Digital-Renaissance_picasso_brush_12I’ve not seen a book like this before and I think there’s a real market for it, especially now Photoshop has the Mixer Brush and some amazing painting algorithms. The look and style of this book is very pleasing and although mentioned in passing above, the whispered tone of the text shouldn’t be under played.

The Digital Renaissance: Classic Painting Techniques in Painter and Photoshop is written by Caralyn Beccia and published by Focal Press.


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