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  • Software Used: Photoshop Painter

  • Difficulty Level:

    workshop-level-f F
  • Keywords: 2D


Join renowned digital artist and teacher Don Seegmiller in eight eight weeks of online training where he will show you how to take traditional painting techniques and adapt them to a digital toolset. Then work with him to build your portraiture skills. Don shares his years of experience in the field by giving you personal feedback on your work via our closed, online CGWorkshop forum.

You will focus on Photoshop CS 5.5 and Corel Painter.  A free version of Corel Painter will be provided to students of this course, time limited for the course duration.


Week 1 - Painting a Head in Black-and-White

This week will be geared to painting the human head and face in black-and-white. The emphasis will be on painting the correct values. It is important to be able to do this for any subject and particularly important with portrait and figure work. Black-and-white reference will be provided. A direct painting method will be used for most of the work. Direct painting means most of the work will be done on the canvas without relying on layers to adjust the image or correct any errors. You can paint either a male or a female head.

Week 2 - Painting a Head and Face in Color

During week two you will paint either a male or a female face in color. Both direct and indirect methods will be demonstrated. You will learn how to create palettes, how to select colours for good skin tones and the color zones in the human face. 

Week 3 - Painting Hair

The subject of painting hair is one of the most requested demonstrations. In week three several video demos will be provided showing how to paint different types and colors of hair. You will be encouraged to paint several examples of hair based on the instruction given. Reference will be provided or you can use your own.

Week 4 - Painting a Portrait of Your Choice

During week four you will start to paint a portrait of your choice. Using your own reference you will use either the direct or indirect method outlined in week two. This is meant to be a week for your own project with personal guidance from Don to ensure it the best painting you can possibly do.

Week 5 - Introduction to Figure Painting.

Moving onto figures in week five the basic rules of figure painting will be introduced including notes on complexion, lighting strategies, transitions of value and edges. Reference will be provided and you will required to paint and undraped figure in value using black-and-white. In this exercise you will begin to build on your ability to perceive correct values while working on proportions, balance, edge quality etc. A black-and-white video demo will be provided.

Week 6 - Painting an Undraped Figure in Color

Reference will be provided and you will paint a figure using both the indirect and direct painting methods. Because of the amount of work involved in painting complete figures these assignments will continue into week seven.

Week 7 - Painting the Figure of Your Choice

During week seven you will paint a figure of your choice using any methods learned in earlier weeks. Reference will be provided but you will be encouraged to find something of your own that you would like to paint.

Week 8 - Final Questions, Critiques and Wrap up

During week eight and the final questions and critiques will be given. Any incomplete work should be finished this week for final appraisal by Don. Work that you have done outside of the workshop can be also be posted and a will be critiqued.


Software and Hardware

You will need Photoshop CS 5.5, and a Wacom tablet or equivalent.