Using Photoshop

I use photoshop for EVERYTHING. I improve photos before I use for painting. Often times, I am stuck or need to change a background.

I use it most to remove unwanted parts of an image to get a clear view at the subject I want to paint. To better composition. (I’m sure others are much better at that, but I need to see it first. Drives hubby crazy when I ask him to cut cardboard before building a piece of furniture for me…so I can get a good look at scale.)

Also to mimic what Carol Marine has said about squinting when painting from life. Works better for me if on a photo if I simplify the texture and get the big shapes only.

I rotate images around to get a different perspective while painting. ( my minds eye compensates too much so I cannot see the shape of what is really there.)
Pump up saturation, cuz I do like to exaggerate color.

Getting art ready to post. I use my laptop and photoshop and I work hard at getting it right but I think with all of the different kinds of monitors, I don’t get it as right as I would like to.

I’m sure lots more. Anyone else use Photoshop in their process?


I don’t know what I would do without photoshop! I have photoshop elements, and it seems it has all the features I need without the high cost of regular photoshop. It is incredible for cropping, grayscale, reversing an image etc. It’s also great for checking a composition or color during the painting process if you get stuck. There is a learning curve, I’m still working on these :smile:

1 Like

Photoshop is essential! I use it to prepare reference photos. I use it to double-check my painting-in-progress. I flop the painting to see what’s out of whack (something is always out of whack!), make the painting thumbnail size to see how it ‘reads’ and so forth.

I’ve been using Adobe Photoshop for a very long time (still have my version 1.0 box, maybe it will be a collector’s item someday :wink:. I rarely use it to prep reference photos because it’s such a fantastic image manipulation tool in itself. The difference I find between using something like Photoshop and traditional media is my thought process when making art. Digital seems more akin to decision making and high-concepts, whereas traditional painting and drawing is more about using my intuition. There are no mistakes when using Photoshop. Traditional art is more about allowing mistakes to happen and learning how to either cover for them or use mistakes as enhancements.

1 Like

PS is good but surely not my GOD to rely upon for painting. Back in the day when I was so attached to it I found my work very stiff and contrived. I realize that others can do amazing things with it and I applaud them
As far as the squinting thing goes, it’s not new but it needs to be used MORE

1 Like

I agree Valri, squinting is possibly one of my useful exercises…I also take off my specs to blur things a bit. Helps to keep things in blocks of shapes and colour. I seem to remember reading that Monet painted some of his masterpieces after his eyes began to fail.

I use Gimp which is a free (open source) program that does just about everything Photoshop does. The price is right and it works with Linux which is much more stable and fiddle-free than Microsoft. Linux (Mint for example) is also open source. On my ipad, I do use Photoshop Express for a few things like cropping and also Artrage to try ideas out before painting.

PS is even a lovely painting tool… downside with digital painting is you have no original.
Also, nothing beats the smell of paint and medium and the buttery feel of it when mixing and applying brushstrokes!

But I use PS mainly to correct my photographs of my paintings now and to create card designs when one of the kids did the holy communion…