John's Brushes User: David Muldoon


Artist David Muldoon, living and working in Dubai, created this image from a photograph of a row of WWII-era RCAF Harvard trainers using both John's Artists' Brushes and John's Dry Media for Adobe Photoshop CS5.

David writes:

"All work was done on my Wacom Cintiq 12 with your Cloning Action, I used ONLY a combination of your Artist Brushes, as well as the Dry Media Brushes and a final contrast adjustment in CS5. I really enjoy working with these brushes so much so that I haven't worked in Painter even though I had a new computer system built specifically for digital painting within Painter!!!"

John's Artists' Brushes and Dry Media for Photoshop CS are each available for $19.95. If you have Photoshop CS5 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!

John's Artists' Brushes & Dry Media User: David Reid


Artist and photographer David Reid created this surreal landscape using a combination of John's Artists' Brushes and John's Dry Media. I first profiled David's work last June.

David writes:

I just thought you'd like to see another one of my paintings created from your fantastic brushes. This one was created from a mixture of the dry and media brushes.

I added some depth to the brush strokes to give it a more 3D approach. It too about 3 hours in total, though am still not sure of the hat and scarf though the umbrella seems to work well.

The brushes I like the best are the the flat blenders and chalk dry brushes as the texture they give is fantastic. Many thanks for creating the lovely brushes.

You can see more of David's work at his website.

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

Architectural Decay in HDR


We grew up near where Interstate 80 now cuts through Omaha. As a result, there were many old houses and structures that were tagged for removal in advance of the interstate. As kids, we spent a lot of time exploring these curiosities. This fascination remains with me to this day.

Whenever I'm on the road, I keep an eye out for abandoned structures. In the midwest, there is a continued elimination of small farms by corporate agri-business. Many of these mega-farms have abandoned farmhouses and out-buildings on the property. When I find one, I'll make a point of documenting these decaying structures.

I usually don't have a tripod with me when these opportunities knock. As such, I've never played around with combining multiple exposures into HDR images. HDR (High Dynamic Range) tools utilize multiple bracketed exposures, combining both highlight and shadow information to arrive at a final image with greater tonal range than an individual exposure is capable of.

A few months ago, I began playing with the HDR Toning filter in Photoshop CS5 and was pleasantly surprised to find that this filter is great at pulling HDR-like tonality out of single exposure images. The result is an enhanced textural quality not prominent in the original image.

Below are a few of my architectural decay images that I've run through the HDR Toning filter.


John's Watercolors User: Kenneth Broström


Swedish artist Kenneth Broström writes,

Thanks for your brushes! I'm still trying to learn. This is a portrait of my daughter. I used a photo for the sketch only the rest is made in Photoshop and Painter. Thanks again from Sweden!" I think Kenneth is figuring out the brushes very well!

You can see more of Kenneth's work at his website. (I've utilized Google's Translate in the link so that text portions are converted to English.) If you have an example of art created with John's Watercolors, send me a JPEG—your work may get featured here!

If you've been frustrated trying to master digital watercolors, John's Watercolors for Painter are the answer!

Two Seasons, Two Tools

I just finished an image with a bit of an interesting story. Our daughter, Logan, is in her senior year at the University of Nebraska/Lincoln majoring in Meteorology. She is a member of Kappa Delta sorority, which holds an auction every year to raise money for the sorority house.

Last year, we donated a print that I did of the sorority house on UNL's campus. I shot the reference imagery in the late summer and then interpreted the photograph into an autumn scene using Corel Painter. The print was purchased by one of the sorority girl's parents and donated to the house where it now hangs in the dining room.


I was subsequently asked if I would create a second version...this time in a different season. For the winter version I used my Photoshop Artists' Brushes. 


I find it interesting to compare the two paintings with the use of each application used to create each in mind. What strikes me—and I think that this should be a goal of the artist—is to not let expressive software impose its signature on the resulting artwork.

Looking at these images, I don't think that either the Painter or Photoshop pedigree is apparent in either painting. Rather, my style —if there is one— is what comes through the pieces.

If you have an image created using John's Artists' Brushes, send me a JPEG and I'll feature it here on the PixlBlog!

John's Dry Media User: Karen Bonaker


Artist Karen Bonaker writes,

Well I must say that I am enjoying CS5. I would like to take some time and learn Photoshop better in the coming year. With that said, here is my attempt with your Dry Media brushes. I used all the brushes and worked free hand from a sketch that I created from some scenes in Sedona recently. This is the culmination of those sketches.

Great fun and will try the clone brushes next.

Karen is the proprietor of the Paintertalk digital art forum (registration required).

If you have an image created using John's Dry Media, send me a JPEG and I'll feature it here on the PixlBlog!