Bert Monroy Digital Painting Book

Bert Monroy Digital Painting Book
Bert Monroy calls his artistic style “photorealistic”. Although the rest of us may not aspire to photorealism in our personal style, we can all learn a lot from the techniques presented in his book, Photoshop Studio with Bert Monroy Digital Painting. This is the latest of several books featuring Monroy’s digital painting techniques.

Monroy shares his artistic process from start to finish for his “photorealistic” digital art. He begins with a discussion of the basic steps and workflow, from the collection of reference material and the startup sketch to the creation of the elements for the piece and the final complilation. He discusses his techniques for duplicating realistic light and shadows, which he considers most important to creating the mood in his paintings. As you progress through the projects in the book, Monroy takes you down the path that he traveled as he developed his method of capturing a “moment in time”. Each chapter features a different project and covers the how and why behind his artistic process.

With the first project, he discusses his technique for creating the aged texture of the stone wall and the details of the small light bulbs. In the next project, you learn more brush-based texturing techniques. You also learn how to create fabric and add stitching details. The old chair and red truck were my favorite projects. Monroy discusses the how and why behind his decision to switch to a pen tablet. He also discusses how he adds the details of wear and damage to the wooden chair and rust to the red car. Besides texture and shadow, Monroy considers reflection important to his paintings, as can been seen from the great care his gives to the reflections in the car's headlights. Another technique that you will find interesting is Monroy’s masking technique using alpha channels and Photoshop's calculations feature. He uses this technique to create a mesh garbage can. He also discusses more techniques for creating wood and concrete.

Monroy’s technique for creating a complex tablecloth pattern is quite extensive but results in great realistic details such as the soft folds in the cloth and the distortion of the cloth’s pattern when seen through the glass on the table. The last project took Monroy a year to complete. It is made up of numerous elements, all in individual files, and is a great example of organization. He expands on some techniques previously covered in the book such as creating more textures and building a complete brick wall pattern. He also offers new techniques such as making custom brushes for painting trees. The book ends with a few exercises covering layers, text, complex shadows and falling rain. Additional chapters of the book can be downloaded from the Peachpit website.

Bert Monroy is a teacher, lecturer and author of many books on digital art.

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