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Final Blending of a Still Life

Lesson 23 from: Painting With Adobe Photoshop

Jack Davis

Final Blending of a Still Life

Lesson 23 from: Painting With Adobe Photoshop

Jack Davis

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Lesson Info

23. Final Blending of a Still Life


Class Trailer

Day 1




Why Do Expressive Painting


Adobe Bridge Setup & Image Optimizing


Jack's Painting Presets


Enhancing Source Images


Photo Hand Tinting & Workflow Options


Working with Brushes & Palettes - Part 1


Lesson Info

Final Blending of a Still Life

Now we're ready to dio the final blending and this is really where it gets fun and this changes the entire personality of the entire painting and that we are as it says here if we expand this out final blending used brush welby oil blender one you a nice person you okay? And windows I have toe not gonna do windows joke no so I'm gonna come over here to my tool presets remember this isn't a brush preset this is a tool preset because it has everything in it so don't look for where is that blender brush wow over here don't look for it you won't find it it's not a tip I need to have control over the brush its tip its parameters and everything up in the options bar so when I come over here to that blender this is why I can always set the wet the load in this case this wet is completely remember what is the photograph below it's picking up everything that's down there the load is it zero it's taking nothing into account? As a matter of fact, I've cleaned the clean the brush sort of speaking ...

it's there's no color whatsoever in it it's just blending um the sample all layers is turned on and that means that this slayer is the one layer in this mix that does not have a one percent and it will be a little bit slower, but by definition, when I come up here and I started blending this and if you want, I'll give you a little trip in a second really cool little tip is the one time where you're going to slow down. You'll also notice I'm no longer using a flat brush it's now going to be a round brush it's got less bristles on it, it's just it's, a more subtle brush and also with those bristles, it's going to show the wispy nature of the bristles more than then, the brush was using before it's very organic, looking in terms of how the bristles interact with it, and I'm going to leave that green thing on just to help you watch it. But this brings up the point about the things like this line. Okay, so these are my lines remember that I can use to help trace or I can use the photograph, you don't need either one of these if you want this would blend what I came up with if I leave this on and again, this is at fifty percent capacity, because when I paint on this with this tool it's blending all layers, if I can see my reference photograph it's blending all layers, including my reference photograph, so, in a sense I can either blend the rough painting that I've done so far or if I want to add a little extra secret sauce if I leave this turned on or maybe even set it down you know teo something like this when I want final blending at a hundred this again, so if I take that down and just get a little bit mohr and leave it visible as I paint on this, I will be painting from the original photograph when you get into a portrait if you feel like doing a riel portrait with eyes and the whole bit this is a real important last step and again you can use this exact same action on a portrait you may want to leave that that face at one hundred percent in other words, you're not just blending, you're going to take advantage of the original photograph and now you're just where you're needed. You're going to be blending in where you want you won't do the entire painting because that would mean you're doing the entire painting from scratch and you might as well have just smudged the whole thing to begin with. This is allowing you to come in with a brush and pull in and blend those colors that you've already done so expressively so in this case first I'm going to turn it off just so I'll I'll blend the paint together and you're going to stay see immediately let's take our brush size down why and again I'm zoom way up so you're seeing pixels because of off the fact that I'm zoomed up so so large so the the blending this is where you start getting the really believable pixels because, um painting aspect of it because you're actually now blending the image together let's do this just so you can kind of see what I'm what I'm doing so now I'm blending in the shadows all the layers are now going to be blended were necessary I'm not going to do the entire painting but were necessary I'm going to come up here and I'm going to take the shadows in the highlights now every layer is being blended together and I should probably just turn this off but I'm going to start off with being able to see that photograph and therefore blended just so I can kind of see where I'm going and then I'm gonna turn that off is a final pass and you're going to see that I'm gonna blend it it's also where you could say you know what? I never liked the fact that this was dead over here and I wanted this brown this area back in the valley you blend right over it you when you blend over you pushed the blue over that brown and because you're no longer referencing um the image you khun basically because you're now are doing true smudging you can overpower anything and move the paint wherever you'd like it you are doing riel you can move the paint as faras you'd like it's not using the reference photograph I can't see what you're doing I know to give me a second I'm gonna do one pass where I'm taking advantage of that photograph I'm also going to come up here let's just go ahead, turn that off so you can see what we're doing is also where you can get away from that chiseled um some that chiseling look so by blending this end okay, you can see it like I can paint even though there's no light blue here since I'm smearing aiken smear that paint and actually make that sky whatever I want even though there was no cloud there because I'm smashing the pixels anyway that I want as faras I want I can, you know, change that if I want a little bluer and want it blue er here along the edge I just it's motion that pain I want to pull this out because I like that edge I can pull it out any way that I want even if they're it was white there are not way hoped that you like oil sketches because this is definitely a sketch and if I wasn't talking about actually be working faster and normally I wouldn't too entire painting but I think to see this process I'm doing the whole bloody thing I'm gonna change the shape of those clouds like that irregular more angle come up here changed the size of my brush and now again you can see where I'm going to start getting the smoother rendition of that anything where because that brush is a little bit lower resolution for speed sake I want to blend it in if there were some were some things that were a little bit pixelated this is where that blender comes in where was too expressive again because I can change the edges I can you know that here other questions we're almost done you guys getthe it's fascinating watching this come together here beautiful xgo bob would do that as haywood he would leave it till the tail in so it was almost like those tricks where you know the very last in he would bring in um just that little teeny bit of something something that would um make it pop it would bring in the speculum highlights who would put the sponge on the water reflections in the lake that all of a sudden just brought the image you know, toe life and so that's a little bit of what this mixer I'm situation is is where I'm tryingto you know, sculpt this last thing world the pieces come together and uh and do that again I'm gonna scoped this is a beautiful volcanic ridge here so I'm gonna you're going to see I'm going to exaggerate about coming in here just like I would with the real pain I can reshape now I'm no longer concerned with it actually being in oh yokohama bay if nobody's going to know this then I can come up here and reshape the edge of this cliff because I now have access to bringing you know colors in so I can actually re shape it the way I want it to regardless of what was actually there with a picture and I know it's so not easy well I am just smudging but the thing is is that I'm smudging it based upon you know my experience and painting that's the reason one of the reasons why were you know taking the time to actually watch me paint is to hear me yak because this may help you in terms of for those of you who don't paint get you break you of the habit of not just smudging you know going g how come there's not a painting showing up um but this one well we'll get there let's finalize this up we will got some things here were almost had that enhancing stage we haven't actually finalized it because you're going to see that that secret sauce at the tail end is actually going to make a big really secret sauce even mohr secret sauce we've got at our disposal but again I'm now shaping this is I wanted to it's very obvious that you are a painter by watching you do this um um I'm thinking there's a lot of you out there that even if you haven't been painting you're gonna bring out your inner painter you actually have been and you would have been if really if billy susie your mom your dad your uncle would have told you how cute that was and how it's too bad you can't draw like your brother you're going to do now for the first time so I can play I don't have to worry about mixing nobody's over my shoulder I'm just going to do this for myself and you're going to find that you're going to come up with things that you didn't think that you had and you're going to paint things that you never would have taken a photograph of or things that you've taken a photograph of that never quite you know so even though yes, thank you that's a very nice compliment uh I'm hoping that what this um class is going to do for a lot of people is have you up late at night obsessed of sex obsessed and literally with a pardon the expression shit eating grin on your face just going yes, yes no dear you can make your own dinner you know billy, I don't just put pressure on the blood it'll stop way do you have a question if you decided at this point it that you wanted a few more highlights on you're like a little bit more light blue highlights is there a way to go back and do that? Have you kind of well that actually that takes us to another point with the final point here this layer that I made that has the highlighted version of it you could try bring it to the top but you haven't blended it in so you wouldn't duplicate it and leave it behind you certainly could you could paint on it, but if you've done a lot of blending, you just have to remember that if now you're painting in stuff, the final stage you're going to dio is one blending so you could do that there's nothing stopping you from taking this extra paint layer reference and now that you know there's actually something they're duplicating it what's a shortcut for duplicate commander control j duplicated move it to wherever you want it in the stack and then go levels or brightness and just give it another twenty percent now you've got a lightened version that you can do whatever you want on the thing is just keep in the back of your mind that you're going to then be responsible for uh blending it back in if it's not doesn't look great to begin with the last thing that we're going to do because you guys are so good and I actually could have added a layer um with this for uh in the action and actual layer that is ready for you guys to work on but I didn't because of the potential of mucking up the painting because it gets us out of cloning and smudging but I've gotta brush over there that is painting from scratch okay so if I want I want this green here that green I want up on that peak that peak isn't as green as I want it so this is just for you guys advanced users okay this isn't part of the action we could do it right on this part of the action right now but I'm goingto not I'm not actually add another layer because you guys are so good and I'm going to call this um direct paint because on this layer it has no special capabilities I just created nothing up my sleeve but this one I can say I want to paint just I want to paint I want to pay I want to choose my own color I'm going to use the foreground I'm not cloning I'm not bushing I just want to paint and that's this brush the very last one solid color and you know is this solid color as soon as we did that it's using this little well here says the foreground for it and the thing for it it's just going to come up here I'm gonna turn off everything but this layer and, uh, it is painting no matter what color if I come over here open my swatches I am now painting on this layer with what ever I choose. Okay, you do want to make sure that this is an interesting thing. This is using my paint and it's got this here because sometimes this brush just doesn't seem to work but it's doing exactly what it should do here, you could actually use any of the brushes. There are ones that are built into it. I'm only giving you these ones down here, but the passed out the oil, the soft opaque, all these, any of these other ones here, because at this stage, your you can be on your own and you can just select all and actually deep delete if you wanted to. Um but, uh, in this case, what I'm going to do is let's, turn back on those other layers and as you probably all know, even with a mix of brush or any other brush, if you hold down the option key on the mac or they all can the pc zoom in for this every paintbrush and photoshopped becomes the turkey baster, otherwise known as the eyedropper and you can select color as a matter fact, if you click and hold it down, you cut your color wheel here to show you what you had before and what you're gonna have now, so letting that up zooming back out, you'll notice my foreground color down here now is that I'm color, which to me is actually a little bit scared that I want. I've got my brush, I just created a direct paint layer. This is on ly for you guys, this is advanced this's, not the action I'm giving to anybody else or putting it in. So now I'm going to come in here, and I'm going to add some brush strokes, and because I have that ability to hold down the option key and choose a different color, I can come up here, and I can choose other colors that I want the blues, I could come up here and shape that and, um, get whatever I want and against them, doing some detail, I don't want that to be to a regular, but this is also why I, uh, didn't have it in part of the action, because since you're painting from scratch, if you're already scared about the process, then you're going to be even more scared about painting, you know, because you're no longer cloning, but this is, again, I want this little short truce up here. I want that no matter what I want, I want that I want it, I want it, I want it. One of the chat room wants to know if you usually listen to music when you paint I do I never listen to music with words to it, or at least not english words. I listen to foreign language, I love music and I didn't do it, but I can't get words get me two I can't track on got that boy thing going, so I can't track. So I love listening to you no latin music or french or things like that. The words are distracting to your painting, just my mental thing. As long as I love words, I love hawaiian chance I love hawaiian music, so I'd live listen to a lot of hawaiian chance when I paint again, I love polynesia, you know? I'm gonna go back over to my, uh, mixer brush because I just did this one, and I could do it to this layer. I don't have to switch back to it, so I'm now going to come up here and, uh, mix those little separate little highlights that I did, so now I'm gonna kind of paint those, so even those now are gonna be mixed into my painting. So I can mix those in and we'll say that's good enough for government work can continue in my painting, but we're going to say that there's my my painting, ok, but now we're not done this one, and this is where I cheated click okay? By simply turning on this layer? What is that? That is this just so that is this canvas right here. And this is what I do and it's also kind of going in and out because remember this action I mentioned to you yesterday uses this difference clouds to make dark and light so the jess oh, kind of goes in and out of intensity automatically, and you can see the difference that that jess oh makes to the painting and how ah lot of these when I was telling you, trust me, it's gonna work out, but the time and I can see I've already would want to blend some more stuff, but that selling of the effect is significant, but we're not. We're going to actually want you to do one more effect, and that is we're going to come up here to my actions because not only have I given you the actions related to this, but remember we have our edge enhanced action, so I'm going to come up here and do in pasta in boss subtle and pasta in boston because I have no dimensionality I've been painting in pasta which means thick went on wet but there's no dimensionality to this painting at all little disconnect there there are other ways you can try and do dimensionality while you paint it doesn't really work trust me I could teach you this techniques but this doesn't work so this action when I come up out here and play it this wow action creates a wow impostor m boss layer above you're currently active paint layer that will emphasize the individual brush strokes a nice effect when you want a thick paint look but not beneficial for watercolors of pastel drawings continue if your paint layer is not active in other words you're somewhere else on your workflow stop click your paint layers name in the layers pout then we click the lift button if you're in but motor the player of click minds in the right place you can experiment with the upcoming in boss filter setting or just accept ours are settings so again it's doing are thick paint so now here sometimes depending upon the lightness or darkness of your file you can make it whether it is raised or lower based upon whether it's going up or down sometimes it'll look as you can see here it looks like it's being cut in as opposed to raise up the thing that you want to remember is um typically um one I have to remember which direction my imposter was going I may have to do this again that's it I'm gonna actually throw that away because we didn't even finish it my imposter I should tell you here is being lit from the upper right so whatever I want from I think uh brushstrokes I'm going to turn off that in pasta I just want my brush strokes here so I'm gonna come up here do that same thing actions they wow and boss subtle go continue continue yes thank you. Thank you very much remember to be polite and I wanted to imitate light coming from the upper right okay and now we can see kind of what effect we want we want I want that ridge to come up here and basically typically your you want your highlights toe look like they're raised hey so this is where you may have to something sometimes I even do this twice where I'll hit it because it's going to raise one it's finding this edge right here and you may do this twice and then use a layer mask to determine what you want is a highlight borders say that this right here is good even though that ridge I like that so that right there again if we look at it did this it's giving me the thickness to my paint ok what is it doing? It's using the embossed filter and it's setting the resulting layer result that's what the boss later does if you were to squint and look at that and you were a betting person what tone would you say that is wouldn't it be neat if it was exactly fifty percent gray and when it be neat if there was a blend mode that allows you to completely have fifty percent gray be completely neutral and then used the lights and darks to dodge and burn the edges of something it's almost as if somebody was thinking ahead so there is my boss and now I'm going to come up here and I'm gonna turn on my impossible so now I've got my brush strokes have got some dimensionality to it I've got my jess oh to really sell the effect those last two effects let's go ahead I'll move the jessa right above this one okay I could not build in the m boss into the action because obviously you need to finish your painting before you could do it so again this is for you guys watching at home the other people who aren't you know just you know go steal those actions will not know it because this isn't written down so using that is going to so here's those last two and you can see the dramatic improvement that they do the last thing that you could do if you want to do our final one that was our sharpening the very final aspect of it and that was sharpening. I'm going to do tow emerged. Copy of everything we talked about this yesterday. The shortcut for making emerge visible copy of everything on the file. Elbow e right or claw e that's, right, which means all your key's in the lower left hand corner command option shift or control shift command option shift on the mat control all shift. And then e look what happens on the layers palate. I've now got a copy of it. Now I'm gonna come up here a filter sharpen and again, we're not going to get too carried away with it. But that is going to tie the all the different parts. Every brushstroke, every m boss, that jess. So everything has the exact same sharing of this pixel texture to it. So what that does it means that there is no despair. Insee between every brush stroke, you did the embossing everything else. So it really helps sell the effect. And especially if you're doing this, uh, prez and then pretty this onto canvas, it does a great job of imitating it. So there is the technique using my paint patented jack davis wow, action for the mixer brush.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Painting Files

Ratings and Reviews


Okay, I'll be first. Jack has an easy, approachable way of teaching. It was more like being in the room with him, watching over his shoulder as he created something utterly new and exciting. Even when he worked on images he had done many times, I never sensed boredom or a lack of enthusiasm. He was patient with questions and answered them completely. I hope Jack enjoyed this way of teaching as much as the world enjoyed watching. Maybe he'll find more to share. I know I'll sign up for his next one. This workshop inspired me to start creating art again. I'm slowly losing my sight and sad to say, I was starting to let it get to me. As I watched Jack, I tried just a few things and realized that I can do this. Digital art is much easier for me than pencil and paper because of the technology. I miss the pencil and paper drawing, of course, but this is so much FUN! The techniques that Jack shared are wonderful and the results rockin' ... or as Jack says, bitchin'. Thanks to Jack and creativeLIVE I'm back in my head in a good way.


Okay, I'll be first. Jack has an easy, approachable way of teaching. It was more like being in the room with him, watching over his shoulder as he created something utterly new and exciting. Even when he worked on images he had done many times, I never sensed boredom or a lack of enthusiasm. He was patient with questions and answered them completely. I hope Jack enjoyed this way of teaching as much as the world enjoyed watching. Maybe he'll find more to share. I know I'll sign up for his next one. This workshop inspired me to start creating art again. I'm slowly losing my sight and sad to say, I was starting to let it get to me. As I watched Jack, I tried just a few things and realized that I can do this. Digital art is much easier for me than pencil and paper because of the technology. I miss the pencil and paper drawing, of course, but this is so much FUN! The techniques that Jack shared are wonderful and the results rockin' ... or as Jack says, bitchin'. Thanks to Jack and creativeLIVE I'm back in my head in a good way.

a Creativelive Student

Thank you Jack Davis. Having tried to paint, both in the real and digital worlds, this is the first time I have seen a comprehensive demonstration of the techniques and philosophy for the artist. This course is valuable for any aspiring artist, digital or otherwise. By the way thank you CreativeLIVE for the long form training space you offer both the teachers and students. Jack is inspirational, talented and sometimes funny. Watching him paint in real time is by far the most impressive sight but the information about why is more valuable. Overall this course will give you ideas, knowledge and skills (if you practice). I highly recommend this course for anyone that has tried to paint in the past and was underwhelmed by the results.

Student Work