Graphic Design / Interactive Design / Fine & Applied Arts / Parkland College

Graphic Design Exercises
Photoshop: Painting

Objective

To learn various approaches to using Photoshop as a digital canvas by creating an image similar to the sample above.

Discussion

Photoshop comes with many "canned" effects and filters that are often overused or used for the wrong reasons. In this execise, we'll try to stretch Photoshop's tools and use them in non-traditional ways to create abstract backgrounds that can add texture and visual interest to a composition.

View images by Simon Osborne at Digital Vision

Procedure

making textures

  1. download starter file
  2. open "Painting.psd" in Photoshop, examine layers
  3. dupe a layer (drag layer onto the "new" icon), hide previous layer
  4. run one of the following filters: noise > add noise; texture > craquelure, grain, mosaic tiles, texturizer; sketch > note paper
  5. rename layer
  6. repeat with another layer
  7. new layer set "not used"; drag layers you don't like into this layer set
  8. reveal your favorite textures

distorting textures

  1. dupe a layer (drag layer onto the "new" icon), hide previous layer
  2. run one of the following filters: distort > twirl, zigzag; pixelate > color halftone
  3. rename layer
  4. repeat with another layer
  5. drag layers you don't like into "not used"
  6. reveal your favorite layers

resizing layers

  1. zoom out
  2. dupe a layer (drag layer onto the "new" icon), hide previous layer
  3. edit > free transform (cmd T)
  4. repeat with another layer
  5. drag layers you don't like into "not used"
  6. reveal your favorite layers

colorizing layers

  1. change layer blending mode (optional)
  2. add layer mask, paint (optional)
  3. adjust opacity (optional)
  4. image > adjust > levels (optional)
  5. image > adjust > hue/saturation (colorize)
  6. adjust size and position
  7. reveal your favorite layer; add your name to bottom of file

grading

  1. print a color laser proof with your name on it for grading
  2. file your graded proof in your 3-ring binder for individual review

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Last updated: 3/2/17 ■ Webmaster: Paul Young