advanced photoshop

Tips feature preview: 20 Digital Painting Tips

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Magazine previews, by Adam Smith

Sharpen your brush strokes and widen your creativity by embracing these top tips from digital artists

Use Modular Design

Ars Thanea/

Warsaw-based agency Ars Thanea cast their thoughts back to yesteryear when they were coming up with the concept to promote HBO’s 2013 original series line-up.

With hand-painted, character-based posters in mind, they set out to create a gigantic four-page gatefold advertisement that would show all of the characters that appear in these much-loved series.

Under the watchful eye of Executive Creative Director Peter Jaworowski, everything in the poster was digitally painted from scratch, with the iconic logo from each individual show accompanying its characters.

The layout of the poster means that it has the flexibility to handle being split up into each of the component shows for different forms of media, like separating the Boardwalk Empire section from the True Blood characters to create a self-standing poster, for example. Ars Thanea went on to create single-page ads, banners, posters and premiums for the campaign.

Balance Out Colours

Marta Dahlig/

To create a seamless finish to a portrait, Marta Dahlig recommends spending time with the Color Balance adjustment.

“The Color Balance tool can be a great starting point when you are still trying to figure out how your shadows, midtones and highlights should be balanced. It can also improve the final result quickly. For example, I have a tendency to use
hues which are more on the yellow side.

I sometimes correct this using the Color Balance tool, adding more blues to the shadows and less red, more green, to the highlights. It helps practically every time, especially for portraits.” Just as helpful is the New Window view. “Having my illustration open in two windows simultaneously – one zoomed-in and one zoomed-out – I can observe how every stroke I apply up-close looks within the painting. This is an invaluable insight which saves me a lot of time during my workflow.”

Read more in Advanced Photoshop 108, now on sale at and

Tips feature preview: 20 Digital Painting Tips