Live Lessons: Painting with Photoshop

Digital painting with Photoshop
Get ALL of our courses, ebooks, live lessons, critiques, lesson plans and more today.
This lesson series features:
6 Hours of Instruction
6 Videos

About This Lesson Series...

In this lesson series, we use Photoshop to create a digital painting. Learn how to use the basic painting tools in Photoshop to create a digital painting of caterpillar that resembles a traditional painting.

Lesson 1 (1:08:00)

In lesson one, we discuss the basics of setting up a document, using brushes, and begin painting.

Lesson 2 (1:13:46)

In lesson two, we begin painting with detail and focus on one of the leaves in the foreground.

Lesson 3 (1:03:05)

In lesson three, we continue work on the leaves in the foreground.

Lesson 4 (52:24)

In lesson four, we continue work on the painting but use the Fresco app to develop additional leaves.

Lesson 5 (1:02:02)

In lesson five, we add stripes to the caterpillar.

Lesson 6 (1:01:53)

In lesson six, we complete the painting by adding highlights to the body of the caterpillar.

Resources for this Lesson...

Distributing any content downloaded from this site is strictly prohibited and against the terms and conditions of use.


Photo Reference

Finished Result

Here's what you'll need...

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • OR Adobe Fresco (App)

(Disclosure: Links to art materials are affiliate links which means we make a small commission if you purchase at no additional cost to you.)

Lesson Discussion

  1. Thanks for the great info. I have a Microsoft Surface w/ Windows 10 and I was able to install the Adobe Fresco app for free. (It did freeze overnight and I terminated the app and was able to start it fresh again this morning – minor price to pay for a powerful free version). I’m excited. This will be my first digital piece. You’ve chosen a great image for someone just getting started.

  2. I would appreciate more lessons on using Photoshop and Fresco to make digital art. (And yes, the Photoshop + Lightroom subscription for $10 is a fantastic deal!)

  3. Ashley, if you lock the transparency of the caterpillar layer and clip the stripes layer to it you won’t have to worry about painting the stripes outside of the caterpillar. It’s hard to explain but I can go into more detail if you want. Loving this tutorial.

  4. I just noticed you have different layers for the cat so you would have to do it for each of those layers. There’s probably an easier way also. BTW will the PSD file be available for download? it would make a very good visual training tool. Just a thought.

  5. Matt, I just watched this first episode on the digital caterpillar, and it is so new to me. How do you do a stylus on a laptop? I just don’t get it.

    Also, I’ve heard you say that although you love ‘Open’ Paints, you avoid them because of the caps being hard to get off. If you put Vaseline around the screw top, they are easy to get off. Love your program and you and Ashley together. Thank You, Marjorie

  6. I’m trying to get back to learning Adobe Fresco after being away from it for six months or so. I started this series earlier this year and have just watched all six lessons again. Ashley is so talented and his work is such an inspiration! I was having a terrible time with the mixer brushes until I got to the tip to turn off color. What a difference and much easier to achieve the desired effect! By the way, Fresco has had an update or two since you did this. Mixer brushes now have a “Load” switch in the settings. Turning this switch off prevents the brush from re-loading when you pick it up. Speaking of brushes, I put Kyle’s Oil mixer brush into a Creative Cloud library so that I can use it in Fresco and it works great.

Add to the discussion...