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  • REVIEW: Portrait Sketches & Oil Impressions

    DVD TITLE: Portrait Sketches & Oil Impressions

    AUTHOR: Richard Ramsey

    TO GET AN IDEA OF WHAT THE TUTORIALS TEACH ONE TO DO:
    http://ramseyphotography.com/

    PRODUCT INFO/ORDERING: (corrected link - 9/2009)
    www.RichardRamsey.info


    ====================================================


    PICTURES WORTH 1,000 WORDS

    ==> Check out screenshots and example images that accompany this review:

    http://www.pbase.com/dannyraphael/review__richard_ramsey_sketch_tutorial


    DVD CONTENT:

    Lessons (.mov format, which requires QuickTime player for Windows users):
    · Pencil sketch: 3 movies
    o Fascinating technique; one of the BEST I’ve run across anywhere
    o Easy to follow
    o Step-by-step, beginning to end
    o Can be twisted/morphed into other methods

    · Oil painting: 5 movies
    o Two methods presented; both very basic and easy to learn
    o Background enhancement and replacement; painting eyes, skin, hair, clothes; restoring detail
    o Two ways to add highlights
    o Creating an underpainting in two minutes or less

    · Skin retouching: 1 movie
    o Another fascinating, easy to follow technique
    o Useful to retouchers as well as artists

    Goodies:
    · Painterly background files: .psd, .jpg
    · Photoshop custom brushes file: .abr


    NOTEWORTHY:
    • About 30 seconds into the “watch me” video Richard reveals a contact phone number and encourages anyone with problems or questions to call. Now, that’s service.
    • Although the methods he presents are easy to follow and not difficult to learn, each is quite effective and once mastered can yield very pleasing (and marketable) results.
    • His demonstration of how to sync up color management between Painter and Photoshop was enlightening. I’d never before considered synchronizing applications.



    OBSERVATIONS:
    • Richard is an exceptional, award winning photographer and when it comes down to it (no matter whose method one uses), starting out with great images like the ones he captures can make all the difference in the world.
    • While the sketch method requires little more than basic Photoshop skills like duplicating layers, adding layer masks, using the brush tool, adjusting layer opacity, tinkering with adjustment layers, etc., it does require (for lack of a better phrase) artistic judgment that comes with time and experience. Quite frankly I struggled with my first few sketches, but feel I got better with each attempt.
    • For those who like to experiment, his basic approach can be the foundation for and adapted to unique variations.
    IS THIS DVD FOR ME?




    Yes, for those who:
    • Are visual learners
    • Want to learn the recipe for Richard’s unique pencil sketch look. Judge by the examples he crafted (see above for link to pBase gallery), not necessarily my "still learning" attempts.
    • Have a fundamental grasp of layers, layer masks, Levels and/or Curves in Photoshop or their functional equivalents in other image editing programs
    • Are new to Corel Painter and are looking for super easy methods to get started with photo painting
    • Are fairly comfortable with selecting brushes and navigating among palettes in Painter
    • Already have the following plugins or plan to acquire suitable equivalents
    IMPORTANT:
    Richard uses LucisArt and Alien Skin’s Snap Art plugins to render his sketch look, and a few Jeremy Sutton custom brushes in his painting illustrations.

    Photoshop’s Curves adjustment or plugins like Topaz Adjust, Flaming Pear's Mr. Contrast, Nik Silver Efex Pro or Alien Skin’s Exposure might substitute for LucisArt. Under some circumstances Akvis Sketch might work in place of Snap Art. Some of Denise Laurent’s free brushes, e.g., Den’s Oil Funky Chunky, could be used in place of Jeremy’s brushes.

    The bottom line is if you want to achieve the sketch look Richard gets, in my opinion Snap Art is a requirement. LucisArt is a ”nice-to-have.”






    No, not recommended for those…
    • Familiar with painting methods taught by Sirkis, Sutton, Sholin, Connor-Ziser, Woeck, etc., each of whom present similar painting techniques
    • Who don’t already own or do not intend to acquire Snap Art
    FINAL THOUGHTS

    As of this writing I now prefer Richard’s sketch technique over any Photoshop action (including some pretty spiffy sketch actions I have written), plugin or method of any sort I’ve seen or used since 2000 when I first got hooked by this photo-art obsession. Snap Art and LucisArt have gone from a plugins I used very, very seldom to ones I now consider essential since adopting Richard’s recipe.

    -------------------------

    Comments and questions welcome.
    Last edited by DannyRaphael; 10-19-2009, 09:18 AM. Reason: fix order link

  • #2
    Re: NEW REVIEW: Portrait Sketches & Oil Impression

    Very impressive stuff. Never liked Snap Art.Time to take a second look at it. Makes me want to buy the DVD.

    Joe

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: NEW REVIEW: Portrait Sketches & Oil Impression

      Originally posted by Joeven View Post
      Never liked Snap Art. Time to take a second look at it.
      That was me. After the initial excitement faded, Snap Art just sat in my filter menu. Never used it.

      It now has "a new lease on life" in my world.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: NEW REVIEW: Portrait Sketches & Oil Impression

        Would you like to give any clues on what settings he's using in Snap Art? I've tried all the Pencil Sketch ones and have had no luck at all with getting anything close to looking like a real sketch.

        Joe

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: NEW REVIEW: Portrait Sketches & Oil Impression

          Originally posted by Joeven View Post
          Would you like to give any clues on what settings he's using in Snap Art? I've tried all the Pencil Sketch ones and have had no luck at all with getting anything close to looking like a real sketch.

          Joe
          If Richard was giving away his DVD, I'd happily type out the details.

          Since he's not, it would not be ethical for me to reveal hints of any kind. It would be a breach of his trust in me.

          Thanks for your understanding on this...

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: NEW REVIEW: Portrait Sketches & Oil Impression

            I understand. But I had to try anyway.

            Joe

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: NEW REVIEW: Portrait Sketches & Oil Impression

              Thanks for the review. I like Jeremy's DVD's. Sirkis I find pricey for what is presented.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: NEW REVIEW: Portrait Sketches & Oil Impression

                I love the outcome Richard's technique produces. I don't have Snap Art nor LucisArt plugins. I do have the comprehensive onOne Software Plugin Suite 4.

                Do you believe the onOne plugins would sufficiently replace the functionality Snap Art and LucisArt plugin provides in Richards approach to Portrait Sketches & Oil Impressions effects or is his tutorials closely tied to these two tool-sets?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: NEW REVIEW: Portrait Sketches & Oil Impression

                  Originally posted by Phil467 View Post
                  I love the outcome Richard's technique produces. I don't have Snap Art nor LucisArt plugins. I do have the comprehensive onOne Software Plugin Suite 4.

                  Do you believe the onOne plugins would sufficiently replace the functionality Snap Art and LucisArt plugin provides in Richards approach to Portrait Sketches & Oil Impressions effects or is his tutorials closely tied to these two tool-sets?
                  Welcome to RP, Phil...

                  The sketch look is very closely tied to Snap Art. I honestly don't know of any suitable alternative - plugin or action - that would achieve the look Richard gets with Snap Art as a part of his method.

                  I'm not familiar with the OnOne Suite 4, but I did check out the video demo at their site. Based on the video, I did not see any of the Photo Tools effects that would substitute fo SA.

                  Richard uses LucisArt to render a high contrast, almost HDR-like effect. In my opinion the LucisArt contribution to the recipe can be sufficiently mimiced by other means, whereas Snap Art is about as close to a requirement as one can get.

                  Great question. Thanks for asking.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: REVIEW: Portrait Sketches & Oil Impressions

                    This URL is not working:
                    http://web.mac.com/ramsey616814/Site/Original_DVD.html

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: REVIEW: Portrait Sketches & Oil Impressions

                      Originally posted by gholmes1936
                      HOW does one find out where one can order this DVD. I have googled until I am ready for a nap-but then I must be fair and say that I am always ready for a nap. Nonetheless, it seems I WANT this DVD and cannot figgur out how to get it. Thanks for all your hard work Danny.
                      George Holmes
                      Sorry you're having difficulty with the link. It "worked" when I originally posted the review, but...

                      There are numerous entries in his photography site blog for the past several months (two for September 2009), so I assume he's still in business.

                      I will try to reach him this week to find out what's up, and will update the DVD order link.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: REVIEW: Portrait Sketches & Oil Impressions

                        Here's the updated link: www.RichardRamsey.info
                        Last edited by DannyRaphael; 10-19-2009, 09:21 AM. Reason: link update

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: REVIEW: Portrait Sketches & Oil Impressions

                          Originally posted by ISeek View Post
                          Here's the updated link: www.RichardRamsey.info
                          Much appreciated; thanks.

                          Comment

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