John's Impasto User: Janet Stoppee

Artist Janet Stoppee of M2 Media Studios recently painted this Blue Ridge Mountains street scene of Sperryville, Virginia.

Janet writes:

I painted this inspired by the Impressionists. It is cloned from a shoot Brian and I did capturing our favorite tree in the Blue Ridge mountain village of Sperryvile. I used John’s Impasto Medium Gloss Varnish on a few places like the tree trunk, steps and a few other areas to give it more movement.

I really tried to step away from too much photographic detail. I used the Fan - Flat Cloner Brush and made different variations of it.

You can see more of Janet's work here

Elias Mina: John's Impasto & Smart Brushes User

Toronto-based photographer and artist Elias Mina works in both Painter and Photoshop. Eli writes, "I used your Smart Oil brush in Painter (John's Smart Brushes) and then moved to Photoshop to use mostly your brushes to paint inside and around the window. I can't make up my mind which is my favourite! I hope you don't mind me sharing with you my excitement. I am applying textures to selective part like sky, etc. and sometimes to a whole image. What a difference they make when I get it right."

You can see more of Eli's work at his web site.

John's Artists' Brushes User: Roland Saldivar

Phillipines-based artist & colorist Roland Saldivar has been using my Artists' Brushes tool presets for Photoshop CS5 & 6.

Roland writes:

I want to thank you so much for making your Artists' Brushes available. These brushes are awesome! I have never been this close to the look of Painter in Photoshop before you made these brushes available. Now, I am having so much joy in playing around with your brushes and making really satisfying digital art.

John's Artists' Brushes and Dry Media for Photoshop CS5 & CS6 are each available for $19.95. If you have Photoshop CS5 or CS6 and are into painting, this will be the best investment you can make!

If you have an image created with my brushes, send me a JPEG and I'll feature it here on the PixlBlog!

John's Dry Media User: Thomas Brissot

Paris-based concept artist Thomas Brissot has been using my Dry Media tool presets for Photoshop CS5 & 6.

Thomas writes:

I purchased your dry media brushes for photoshop, and I wanted to thank you. It is very helpful to me, I always looked for something that could do a bridge between Photoshop and Painter. I now can do extremely playful and fun stuff with Phosothop (and of course, if I have fun doing my work, the result is much better).

John's Artists' Brushes and Dry Media for Photoshop CS5 & CS6 are each available for $19.95. If you have Photoshop CS5 or CS6 and are into painting, this will be the best investment you can make!

John's Artists' Brushes for Adobe Photoshop CS5

John's Dry Media for Adobe Photoshop CS5

If you have an image created with my brushes, send me a JPEG and I'll feature it here on the PixlBlog!

William Low: Traditional Illustrator Goes Digital

William Low is an award winning painter & illustrator with a reputation for exploiting light, color, visual perspective and emotion to create images that viewers find an immediate emotional connection with. Even with decades of painting under his belt, William Low continues to grow artistically.

His latest computer paintings reveal a seamless transition from traditional to digital media. He was not surprised that his digital work met with resistance at first, given the computer's reputation for producing cold, sterile images. Utilizing his skills as a painter, William has helped to change this perception. His digital images are remarkable for their emotional depth, color, texture and even their painterly brush strokes. In fact, many people are surprised to learn, when they see his work on the printed page, that the images were not the product of traditional media.

William has created a trio of highly informational and inspiring videos in which he details his digital illustration process:

Happy 20th Birthday, Photoshop!

It's hard to believe that the venerable Photoshop was released 20 years ago today. In 1987, Thomas Knoll developed a pixel imaging program called Display. It was a simple program to showcase grayscale images on a black-and-white monitor. However, after collaborating with his brother John Knoll, the two began adding features that made it possible to process digital image files. The program eventually caught the attention of industry influencers, and in 1988, Adobe made the decision to license the software, naming it Photoshop, and shipping the first version in 1990.

I remember meeting the Knoll brothers at a trade show in 1989 while demoing Time Arts Oasis (an early painting application I was involved with) in the Wacom booth. John was rather, hmmm—brash. He took a look at Oasis and said there was no use to even try going up against their new application. He certainly was prescient.

One of Oasis's innovative features at the time was the Lightbox. This feature enabled the user to place a blank image window over another open image and see through to the underlying image. The effect was akin to tracing paper (Mark Zimmer later related to me that he had seen the Lightbox feature and appropriated the idea in Painter 1.0 as Tracing Paper). I wrote up a concept document that proposed—with some additional engineering—how Oasis and Photoshop could interact with one another utilizing the Lightbox to trace Photoshop images.

We sent to proposal to Adobe and they indicated that they might be interested in Oasis beyond the Lightbox cooperation—they were interested in acquiring it. Oasis had been getting a lot of press for its natural media emulation in concert with the Wacom tablet. As a result of the Adobe interest, we were sure we had a cash cow.

Photoshop Product Manager Steve Guttman and Adobe Ventures' Fred Mitchell came up to Santa Rosa to meet with us. The discussion went well until the matter of what we would consider selling Oasis for. At that point, we really felt that it was worth more to us as a product as opposed to selling it (especially with Adobe showing interest!), so the meeting ended amicably, but with no sale taking place.

Oasis ultimately failed as a product. Time Arts was small and didn't have the capital to properly develop and market a shrink-wrapped product. Who knows what may have happened had Oasis gone to Adobe. Another application, Fractal Design Painter, would shortly take center stage as the niche-defining natural-media digital paint application. It wasn't long before I was at Fractal, working with Mark and Tom on Painter. Steve Guttman came to Fractal a few years later as Vice President of Product Marketing.

Photoshop has continued as the premier image editing application, and deservedly so. If you would like to hear about Photoshop's history, Adobe and the National Association of Photoshop Professionals will be webcasting a live stream of a lively celebration of Photoshop along with member of the Photoshop team tonight at 7:30 PST. A lot of interesting discussion is sure to ensue!

Happy 20th Birthday, Photoshop!