advanced photoshop

Tutorial preview: Paint from photo references

Posted in:
Magazine previews, by Julie Bassett

Learn to work from photos successfully while improving your painting skills

Photos are everywhere. Their availability and wide variety of subjects, which may or may not be present in our daily lives, make them a huge asset to our creativity and knowledge as artists. Working from a photo reference can prove to be a fantastic learning experience as it enables us to gain invaluable knowledge by diving right in to endless possibilities of colour, composition, perspective, form and anatomy, to name just a few. This is while we are all practising and teaching ourselves the skills and application techniques to make our artwork the best it can be.

In this tutorial we will walk you through the complete painting process, show you how to get the most out of working from a photo reference and how to apply these techniques to all of your future works of art. Before you begin working, open your reference image document in Photoshop. Create a new document with dimensions set identical to the reference image. You can work with the documents side by side or on different monitors, as we have in this tutorial. It is a good idea, if working on separate monitors, to remain aware of colour variations and adjust monitor settings as necessary.

Read more in Advanced Photoshop issue 95, which is on sale from 19 April 2012 at

Tutorial preview: Paint from photo references


  • Great intro into the process of digital painting using photographs. Reminds of the photorealistic work of digital artist Kyle Lambert.