Visitors Book 2
Visitors Book 2
Pages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,

14 October 2010 Hi David, I dropped by your website yesterday and saw that your digital painting book has finally been released. I immediately hopped over to Amazon and ordered a copy. I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to getting it. I hope that your pencil/ink sketching simulation techniques are covered—the samples in your Artwork 8 gallery are wonderful. And your watercolor technique, and . . . well, anything and everything you're willing to share!

What do you think of Photoshop CS5's new brush capabilities? I'm taking Tim Shelbourne's first online course (this one's on clone painting, and upcoming classes deal with freehanding in CS5), and he's developed some amazing techniques that give Painter a serious run for its money.

I know I'm not the only one who hopes that your instructional DVD(s) will be produced sooner rather than later. Have you done any tuts for Photoshop Creative or any of the other Photoshop magazines? Or are any on the horizon? Thanks! Diana Sparks

Hi Diana - thanks for your message.  Hope you enjoy the book.  I think I need to stress that I was commissioned to write the book which is about simulating various natural media processes digitally; it's not actually about my picture making approach though of course there is quite a lot in the book about that.  So it's not really 'my' book.  There's a lot of me in it but many - or most - of the tutorials are about how you simulate a process like Alla Prima or Scumbling, as opposed to the way I go about making a picture.  I use a range of techniques and resources for all my finished pictures, not just one.  

Tim Shelbourne is very expert at all this and I'm sure his classes are very good.  I am still coming to terms with the new CS5 brushes - I see opportunities, but am not fluent with them yet.  I need to work with them some more.  Hope to do a DVD soon - no magazine tutorials I'm afraid.  I like writing for magazines, and would happily do more if I was asked. Good luck with your work. Best wishes David


14 October 2010 Hi David, I do see you released a book of your approach to digital painting. Love your work! I create art from cloned images prepped in Photoshop then painted in Corel as I am not a trained artist but as you say "I have artistic ambitions" and enjoy the end result taking it beyond the photograph. I would be interested in videos from you so If you would keep me in mind I would appreciate that. Thank you and good luck on selling more paintings....the buyers are missing out on incredible talent. Sincerely, Andrea Auletta

Thanks, Andrea.  Kind of you to write.  I visited your site and like your pictures - I have of course seen some of them in Marilyn's forum.  I keep saying I will do a DVD but have never got round to it.  Maybe soon... Good luck with your work. David


9 October 2010 Hi David..very relieved to find your site. I'm beginning the world of Digital and am already finding barriers to the acceptance of this medium. People are immediately put off that it is done digitally. So that is an issue that the public has an issue!  I happen to love it ..allows me the speed I love to work at and the endless range of mediums..well u have a kid in a candy store here. Do u print yourself on paper or send it out to print.. also hard to know how to charge for commission portrait work  too. Well I'm self taught it's slow going. But it was great going through your links and beautiful much talent:) Sarah

Hi Sarah.  Thanks for your message.  Digital picture making has me hooked too.  I think that there is a big difference between digital painting from scratch and what I do which is digital clone painting using various techniques.  I completely understand that clone painting is seen as not as challenging as from-scratch painting whether that be digital or the real thing.  I also quite see that people will (and do) consider what I do as cheating because I use a computer.  I don't worry about it now.  I accept that what I do - which is at the far end of the photo manipulation spectrum - is not as skilful as the real thing.   I do it because it makes it possible for me to achieve decent results pretty consistently and way beyond what I would get if I relied on an actual brush and natural media.  I found real watercolour painting frustrating and not enjoyable at all because my success rate was too low.  We can't all be trained artists but we can still have artistic ambitions.

After that moment of contrition let me say that the way I go about my pictures can be pretty complex now and involves many techniques and processes.  Nor is it all machine - I usually have a lot of freehand brushwork in my pictures in addition to the cloned element and of course you still have to make many of the same artistic choices as you do when painting from scratch with real brushes.  Clone painting is in my opinion at its least successful when the clone artist ends up with an image that looks more less like the starting photograph.  This is a common problem and is usually the result of over-painting and of not knowing when to stop or what look you are after.  For me, clone painting is best when it simulates successfully a natural medium and painterly style.  I find that going after this is quite sufficient a challenge for me now and still gives me many interesting artistic problems to solve en route. 

I sell almost no pictures - only a handful of people have asked me to make a painting for them.  Nor do I print my pictures - I just love the challenge of creating the pictures and then sharing the results with visitors to my website.  That's enough for me.  But when I have sold I made absolutely clear that the painting was digitally made using a clone method.  There is no doubt that people are underwhelmed when they learn that a picture is a cloned effort.  But I live with that - I get a kick when people can't tell if one my pictures is a real natural medium or not.

Good luck with your digital picture making.  I love the (real, I assume) watercolour called Carmel on your website. Best wishes. David


7 October 2010 Hello David: I have been enjoying your art for a couple years now on Marilyns forum, in the magazine with your wonderful articles and now I really took a very good look around your huge, wonderful website. I am a huge fan of yours. I am now enrolled in Tim Shelbourne's new CS5 course as well as 2 other painting courses (crazy to do that), but I am always learning. I see you have a book. Either you are very modest or I just have not been observant enough. I will investigate it tomorrow as it is way into the middle of our night in the U.S.  But I just wanted you to know I loved visiting your website and seeing all your wondeful work. You have some fans in Tims class too. You should advertise your book painting tutorials are very valuable to us. Thank you so much for all you do. Wonderful site. I will be back to see more. Best, Judith P.S. Sorry they are spamming your visitor book. It was quite large and I enjoyed reading about your many admirers and how your art and help has impacted them.

Hi Judith Thank you very much for leaving a message.  I am glad you like my pictures - it is always great to hear they are appreciated.  I was commissioned to do the book which is about simulating a range of natural media processes and techniques using digital software and equipment.  It's not about my painting per se  but there is quite a lot of material in it which shows how I go about things.  I am discussing another book, or books, with the same publisher but that's at an early stage and it may not come to anything.  I'm sure Tim's course is very good - the tutorials he does for Painter magazine are always excellent.  Thanks again for visiting. David   


11 August 2010 All your work is impressive and inspiring without exception. The way you wield your brushes and the colours on a digital canvas is absolutely marvelous. I’ve recently discovered the magic of Painter XI and am yet to come to grips with all its media techniques. In time I should. Your paintings have a lot of energy and dynamism. And that’s what makes every painting of yours come alive with such vibrancy. Pray you continue producing such awe-inspiring prolific work to engender similar spark and fire in us budding artists. Wesley Wilkins

Thanks, Wesley.  I am glad you like my pictures.  Nearly all of them have been produced in Painter or Photoshop using cloning brushes of various sorts.  My work is not made from scratch.  If this approach appeals to you, you can use cloning brushes, or brushes in colour clone mode in Painter, and the Pattern Stamp Tool or Art History brush in Photoshop.  You can also use the Smudge tool in Photoshop (and the new Mixer brushes in CS5), and equivalent Blender brushes in Painter, to manipulate photos in other painterly ways.  You can of course also trace from photos as well if you have a Wacom or similar tablet with a plastic cover sheet, or use Painter in colour clone mode but only to see the starting image not to pick up its colours in each brushstroke.  Then, of course, you may just want to start making pictures from the ground floor up not using any cloning or similar tools to help you.  Have fun whatever you do!. Best wishes, David


18 July 2010 Hi David I have just revisited your website and I am (still) so impressed with your work. I like the progression into very real simulation of natural media. I was very surprised to read that you don't sell your work. That's amazing considering that it never ceases to impress. Your water colour of Girls on holiday in Brazil is absolutely beautiful and is really close to the real thing. Awesome. Please continue to impress and inspire those of us that can only dream about producing such amazing work. Regards, Ashley

Thank you very much for your kind email.  I'm very glad you enjoy some of my work and that it is helpful to your own.  The main reason I don't sell my work is that no one asks to buy it!  Best wishes David


2 July 2010 Hi David, My name is Wayne Osborne. I live in Miamisburg Ohio just southwest of Dayton. I really love your work. You do the kind of art that I aspire to do. I have Corel Painter 11 and Photoshop CS4. I have been using Photoshop for years but not really as a painting tool but to create web graphics, abstract art using plug-ins, and graphic design. I am not retired and want to use my time doing what I have wanted to do for years, but never had the time, learning to paint and pencil draw in software. I have been practicing for about two months now and hope to have some artwork up on my imagekind site soon. I really like the art work you do. I want my work to be close to the kind of art you are doing. I have had a terrible time during my life drawing the human figure and animals. Landscapes, buildings, and plants are no problem, but I have block when it comes to drawing living beings. I want to overcome this! Do you have any advice? Also you have a very nice, well-organized web site. Thanks for your time Wayne Osborne

Thanks, Wayne.  Nice of you to get in touch.  I'm glad you like some of my pictures.  Although I have drawn with a pencil and pen, and painted in watercolour, almost all the work on my website is clone painting of one kind or another.  That is, it uses brushes in Painter and Photoshop to paint with colours from one image, usually a photo, into another, usually a blank image of the same size.  The fun is that you do not have to be a skilled draughtsman to get the subject in an image accurately depicted on your blank sheet.  In Painter this is with clone colour painting and in Photoshop, something of the same effect can be achieved with the Art History brush and the Pattern Stamp Tool used as a brush.   The challenge is to end up with a cloned image that looks like a painting rather than an exact copy of your starting photograph.  Achieving this requires that you understand what real natural media  - like oils and watercolour - look like, how texture appears in natural media, how to prepare a source photo so it will make a good painting, which brushes to use and in what style, and what processes to apply to your cloned image to finish it. There are some tutorials on the Corel Painter website which are worth looking at if clone painting appeals to you.  I think there is one on that site that I contributed some years ago to Painter magazine which has easy, intermediate and advanced walkthrough examples. Good luck with your painting. Best wishes David

I am so glad that you brought the subject up of clone painting. I was wondering if what I was looking at on your site to be clone painting. I have a serious question about ethics on this matter. Yes, I have been studying how to do just that with a tutorial CD I got from with John Derry explaining everything about Painter 11 and that is one of the subjects. My dilemma is, is cloning a form of cheating? Please, I am not trying to step on your toes, just the opposite, I want to know how you feel about someone buying your artwork believing that you painted it the old traditional way of just looking at the subject, on location, and painting like De Vinci, compared to what you are really doing, tracing? I want to do what you are doing, I am working on a piece right now, but I am bit reserved about presenting it as a pencil work or oil painting work, when it is not, it is software work. And even beyond that one can get Painter to do AutoPainting, I don’t have to know a thing and I can create an art piece that could pass as a Seriat or VanGogh to the novice. So help me out here, how to do you reconcile your work to your buyers? Also thanks for the tip on the Art History Brush and the Pattern Stamp tool, those are two tools that I have never used in Photoshop. Well, that will change soon.

I never sell my work.  If I did, I'd make clear that the images are cloned.  It would be wrong to sell your cloned work as being free-hand painted.  Also, I always credit the original photographer - where it wasn't me - on my website.  I quite accept that some people think that clone painting is less skilful and tantamount to cheating.  A long discussion can be had about that but basically for me there's enough of a challenge in creating realistic natural media simulations using whatever help I can get.  I'm happy with that.  But you should not represent your cloned images as something they are not.

Thank you very much for your thoughts on the matter. I agree completely. I am new at this posting work on the Internet and trying to sell my art. is a bit confusing for me to use. I am not sure how to go about informing viewers that the work is cloned from a photo. I will continue to investigate. I am quite surprised that you don’t sell you art. It is quite lovely. The portraits of Tim, Susan, Marcella, and yourself are very good works, but my favorites are Ducks in an Orchard (just beautiful scenery), Lilies, and Orange Lilies ( We call them Tiger Lilies here, and I have them every year both in my back patio area [just bloomed] and my front area right by the front door [due in about two weeks]) You really captured their beauty and them swaying in the wind. Thanks for responding to my questions. I feel better about what I am doing now. You keep going too, because your work is well appreciated!


14 May 2010 Hi David. Really enjoyed looking at your site and galleries again!(I have visited a few times in the past few years) I liked that I could see experimentation and evolution of your style over the years. Your art is fantastic, especially your portraits and landscapes! I thought it was so neat to see your reference photos below as well. Digital painting, particularly watercolours have been a passion of mine for some time and I love to share techniques and talk about it with other digital painters. I have had a website and or a blog for about three years, my present one for a year and it’s something I find important for me to do as a digital painter. Even though I’m self taught in all aspects and still have tons to learn I feel that my blogging and demonstrating what I am doing is of interest to many people. Doing my small bit to educate the public (including traditional artists) about what is possible with the digital medium.

Really impressed to see your work published  in Painter Magazine. You mentioned you would like to know about other sites concerning digital painting. May I recommend Karen Bonaker’s Painter Talk Forum . It is a very friendly and supportive forum with an emphasis on learning and sharing. Many of the members are new to digital art, but it’s fun to see people have such fun being creative!

I would like to suggest you have a look at my website as well. I really would like to have more comments and dialogue going on, but I guess that takes time to build. I am going to add a link to your site to my blog roll, and you may link to mine if you like. Meanwhile, it’s been great talking to you. Keep up the great work and HAPPY PAINTING! Kind regards, Joan A Hamilton

Thanks for writing.  I enjoyed looking at your site and see you paint from scratch rather than clone (as I do).  I salute you for doing this - my thing is using a range of digital techniques and processes to simulate natural media.  I escaped to digital from real watercolour some years ago which I found too challenging and rarely produced work I liked.  It is easier for me to get decent results using digital cloning techniques in Painter and CS.  I find this approach pretty challenging but less demoralising that from-scratch painting. There's always more to learn and I am constantly building and refreshing my knowledge about artists I like so that I can try to emulate things they do that I admire.  I'm getting to know the new CS5 brushes at the moment. I have posted this exchange in my website visitors' book and this will show the links to your site and to Karen Bonaker's. Best wishes David 


4 February 2010 Hi David, I recently joined the DPF and was blown over by your portrait of Marcella. I could look at it all day. I tore myself away from it to visit your website. I had already pre-ordered your book from Amazon, because of your tutorials in Painter mag, but I hadn't been aware of your work in watercolour, which is my main interest. I am so pleased to have found it. I am really looking forward to your book. I would like a DVD too... if you can... Next I shall investigate your online tutorials. Will you be doing any articles/tutorials in the new Digital Artist magazine? I'm borderline cancelling my subscription, but if you have been asked to do any more, I'll hang on in there. Thanks so much for your work and website. Hilary

Thanks for writing to me.  I'm glad you like my pictures - thanks for letting me know.  Watercolour is my first love and simulating it digitally is not easy.  I find Painter of little use for this and almost always turn to Photoshop.  Despite having a lorry load of Watercolor and Digital Watercolor brushes I have never found ways to make those brushes work for me really satisfactorily.  I continue to search for a process but haven't really found one - nor I have to say, has anyone else as far as I can see.  The watercolour approach I have grown started with the process set out in pages 212-217 of 'How to Wow, Photoshop for Photography' - by Jack Davis and Ben Willmore published by Peachpit Press.  I strongly recommend this as a place to begin - particularly if you are interested in simulating transparent watercolours.  Amazon sell it.  My picture of Marcella was made with Photoshop.

I just did three or four tutorials for Painter magazine - some time ago now - and have not been asked to contribute anything to the Digital Artist magazine.  I believe that the editorial staff of Digital Artist are the same as for Painter Magazine so I am not expecting to be asked - I seem to be out of the loop.  I haven't actually seen a copy of Digital Artist but in principal I like the idea of it being cross-software.  The reality is that most of us in this area use Photoshop and Painter in our pictures, as well as some filters and plug-ins, and it is good to acknowledge this I think.

No word on the book yet.  It was due out in December but it seems to have hit a rock and is still with the publishers.  No DVD yet either I'm afraid.  I must get round to it.  But do look at the Wow book I mentioned above - the watercolour technique is quite good. Good luck with your painting and best wishes. David

5 February 2010 Hi David, Thanks very much indeed for such helpful advice. I have ordered How to Wow and am now engrossed in learning Photoshop. I see Wow is for advanced users, not beginners, but having experienced the learning curve of Painter, I am starting PS with a beginner's guide to Elements 7! We have got CS3 - it looked a bit daunting, so I got Elements last year, but never got round to using it. About time I did! Next step, CS3, next step, Wow.

When my head is going round too much in curves and histograms, I watch the SAA's TV Anytime watercolour tutorial videos on YouTube. I think I'm probably going to have to get some actual paint as well.

I bought John Derry's watercolor brushes, and was interested that in the video tutorial, he goes into W&N watercolours, and suggests making a color set from that to create the authentic look. He probably needs to go even further. Painting from scratch, I suppose each brush needs to be limited to its appropriate hues - granulating or clear, transparent or opaque, or the choice of colour will still look not quite right. Let alone the traditional English way of mixing a few carefully selected colours for harmony, and depth and distance. Mixer palette, and some Really Real brushes to pick up subtle colour changes in the brushload, I think, and push the opacity slider right down...
This is an engrossing hobby! Many thanks for your help, Hilary


8 September 2009 David love your oils. .  Would you be doing any DVD's in the near future?    Are there any trainings or books or DVD you can recomend?   I have done your tutorials and can't get enough. Here [attached] is a new image emulating watercolor even though the file says oil.  I would like to master oils like I handle watercolors.. Thanks for your help!   Your work really enspires me. Your an amazing artist! Warm regards, Mitch

The cowboy is very well done.  The treatment looks to me like an oil with a lot of watercolorish texture effects like splashes and drops added.  You might try to get the actual look of dried watercolour which often has sediment fringes and granulation effects.  Of course, gouache is also a water based medium but is opaque so it looks more like oil or acrylics.  With gouache you don’t get the texture effects you get with transparent watercolour.

Here is a wonderful watercolour sketch by John Singer Sargent ["In Switzerland"] that illustrates how transparent watercolour often looks on watercolour paper; you should note all the watercolour characteristics []. I liked your version of the boy’s portrait from my Painter Magazine tutorial you published on the Painter Magazine gallery.  A little heavy on the canvas texture perhaps – you were having too much fun with that Grainy Sargent brush!

I have a book coming out in December about digital painting – I assume the publication date is still December – I haven’t heard from the publishers for a few weeks.  It is advertised on Amazon now.  I am also hoping to make a DVD on oil portrait painting to sell from my website around the time the book comes out.  I’m still trying to find a suitable photograph and then I need to get my head round the software.  But it’s possible. David

20 August 2009 David, I happened to stumble upon your site. I must congratulate you on the quality of your work. You're obviously a chap I have a lot in common with, and you're doing fabulous things with Photoshop. Just wanted to let you know how much I'm admiring your efforts. Excellent stuff! Kind regards, Tim Shelbourne.

20 August 2009 Hi David.. I am writing you from the states. Your digital paintings are awsome and  really inspire me!    Your portrait style is organic with wonderful  tension you create with color! I can use some help here with the tutorial in painter magazine..  Getting creative with brushes... I don't seem to pick up the texture that you create with the custom sargent brush.   I also having difficulty with the bristle brush as impasto is much too strong and looks artifical.  I am using Painter 11 and followed the instructions very careuflly.  I know the paper works as if I use a conte brush i get the desired texuture which is illustrated in your finsihed picture.  It just does not work for me with the brushes you explain in the tuturial. Would love to see more of your tututorials..  Are they published anywhere else? Much appreciated!! Warm regards, Mitch

Would you kindly share with me how you achieved these paintings.. Particualry the texture and the  brushes you used. Typically when i use the oily brush its much more wet and you dont see the texture of the canvas.  Not sure what to tweek.  Thanks in advance! Warm regards, Mitch

As I recall it, both pictures were made with a customised Sargent brush.  In the Brush Creator and on the General page, change the Method to Cover and the Subcategory to Grainy Hard Cover.  Then set the Opacity to 100% and the Grain to 11%. David


23 July 2009 Hi David, I'm brand new to digital painting, although I've been an artist and graphic designer for many years. In the past couple of months, I've spent many hours checking out websites and galleries of digital painters, and you are without a doubt one of the very best.  I first became aware of you through your cloning tutorials in Painter Magazine's bookazine "The Complete Guide to Digital Painting" Vol. 1. The painting of Josh in your advanced cloning tutorial made my jaw drop and my heart race. So it was possible (with a whole heckuva lot of practice and the blessings of the art gods, of course) to achieve a painterly style with digital tools! Since then, I've kept an eye out for your name and your work. I'm very excited to hear that you're planning a DVD (more than one, I hope). In the meantime, I would love to study some of your digital paintings at their original size. Is there any way I could do this?  I'm a member of Digital Painting Forum. Could you please give me links to your tutorials there? I wasn't able to find anything using your name as a search term there. And if you have links to tutorials of yours elsewhere online, I'd really appreciate those, too. Back in January of 2007, you said "so far I have not been able to get a decent watercolour effect from Painter in colour clone mode and prefer Photoshop for this." Have you been able to figure out how to achieve a satisfactory watercolor look with cloning in Painter since then? Although I like to do prep and post work in Photoshop, I prefer to do the actual painting in Painter X. So many questions! But you do inspire them, and me. Thanks very much!  Diana Sparks

Hello Diana Thank you for taking the time to write and let me know you like some of my pictures. Sorry I don’t have any full size versions of my pictures on my website or on the Painter Magazine website where I also exhibit – however some of the pictures are reproduced pretty large and you should be able to see quite a lot detail. I have not produced much new work for a while because I have been working on a digital painting book I have been commissioned to produce.  I’m still working on it but I think it’s due out through Amazon sometime in December.  This is not my book in the sense that it does not focus on my painting – it is about real media painting techniques and how you can try to replicate them digitally.  En route there will be many walk through demonstrations which show how I approach my pictures.  If I have time I will try to make a demonstration dvd to coincide with the book publication. There is a tutorial on my website, much of which appears in the book too.  Look under “Art Links and Tutorials”. No, I haven’t cracked Painter for watercolour yet.  I still reach first for Photoshop.  Maybe one day... Best wishes and good luck with your pictures. David 

21 July 2009 Hi David I really like your style of art, is it for sale and if so approx how much? (for example your poppy art is really nice). Thanks. Tim

30 March 2009 Hi David, I wanted to tell you that of all the artists' work I've seen, your use of Corel Painter is the most impressive to me.  You have incredible sensitivity to the use of the program and I'm so impressed with your work. I was a plein air painter for over 20 years.  I have since become disabled and I'm now learning Corel Painter X.  I have been following your PDF tutorial (the portrait of the young man) featured on the Corel website. I have a few questions since using the PDF tutorial and I was wondering if I could pay you to help me with these questions.  Is that a possibility? If you would be able to coach me a bit, I would try to zero-in on my questions so that I wouldn't take up too much of your time. Thank you in advance for any help you can give me. Cheers, Laurie

Hi Laurie I'm glad you like some of my work.  I'm afraid I can't take on any commitments at the moment because I'm working on a book I have been commissioned to write about Digital Painting Techniques.  I'm not sure when the book is being published - this year I think.  There will be a lot of material in there about the techniques I use. Having said that, do ask any particular questions you have.  Painter has a long learning curve - I learn new things all the time.  Just stick with it. Best wishes David

30 March 2009 Good Day ... I hope your day will be a good day ... While wandering through the web, in search of anything related to PhotoArtMaster Gold 1.5, I came across your site. Artists, like you, have eyes attached to your hands and fingers, and that is why your works look so easy to do ... yet impossible, unless one is an artist.  Great eye candy ! I 'use' PhotoArtMaster Gold 1.5 and enjoy the creations that flow from relatively easy input.  Since the creating company has gone 'belly up,' I have not been able to find an answer to this:  I can not get the program to run on Vista 64-bit machines;  32-bit machines, no problem.  Do you know of anyone that has run PhotoArtMaster Gold 1.5 on Vista 64-bit machines? Any lead will be appreciated. Thanks for your time and consideration. Jim, in Michigan, USA
24 March 2009 Hey, love your stuff. Ive been using buzz-pro for a while also. I kinda combine several different plug-ins to get my effects. One I particularly like to use with buzz-pro is Lucis Art. I get some good effects I am leaning more to using painter with a lot of my artwork these days. I have a lot of pictures from Venice also. One of my fav places to to speak. I have included a piece that was assembled in Photoshop CS4 and finished in Buzz-Pro Let me know what you think. Martin
12 November 2008 Love your website... some terrific paintings there!  We miss you at the Inn, but I see you are busy with your own site now.  Feel free to advertise your work, if you sell it, in our new ads forum, near top of main index page.  Or just stop and say hi and show off some of your favorite paintings in our digital forums. Phyllis Stewart, Innkeeper

28 May 2008 Hi David, My compliments for your great tutorial on Charlie Gardening. I´ll try the steps with some of my pictures just to see the results I can achieve. I really appreciate watercolors and have tried lots of techniques trying to approach this feeling using Painter. Thanks for sharing your knowlege. []s. Marcelo

Thanks, Marcelo.  I’m glad you found the tutorial helpful.  Your message prompted me to add some links to the tutorials I have contributed to Painter Magazine.  I keep meaning to do a DVD and hopefully I’ll get round to it over the summer.  David


20 March 2008 Hi David, I've just looked through your website a little more thoroughly than last time I visited. I must say that your work really impresses. Do you share your methods? The portrait of Josh in Artwork 3 is amazing and I would love to know how you achieved the effect. I'm still looking for Buzz Simplifier. If you have any news on developments on that score, please let me know. Good luck with your amazing work. Ashley King

Thanks, Ashley. You're in luck with the Josh portrait. This was done for a feature on Colour Cloning in Corel Painter Magazine. The article was called "Get Creative with Cloning" and was in Issue 10. The detailed walkthrough tutorial on the Josh picture was the third tutorial in the feature. You should be able to get back copies of the magazine from their website - . The cover and Josh article look like this:

Sorry, can't help you with buZZ. Should be out there somewhere. David


23 January 2008 Hi Just visited your site.  Your work is extremely well done.  It shows what can be done with professional digital manipulation with the right skill set.  You might want to take a quick peek at our site - nothing so great as what you have displayed here but some links and some examples of digital art that I have tried.  I can see that I have a lot to learn from others such as yourself Dave. Thanks for a most enjoyable visit! Cheers

I would like to provide a link from my website to yours.  Would that be a problem?

Thanks, Terry. It all takes time but it gets easier - and it's always fun. I don't mind if you want to add a link to my site on yours. Best wishes David


22 January 2008 Hi David, I came across your website while looking for BUZZ Simplifier. I am so impressed with your portraits. They are amazing. You are an inspiration to those of us who would like to do more than just take photographs. Do you know of an alternative to Buzz that I could use? Kind regards Ashley King

Thanks, Ashley.  Glad you like the portraits.  They are always interesting to do.  On buZZ – see my answer to Cindy on 2 Jan 2008 below.  I don’t know of any alternative to buZZ.  Some people on the Retouching Forum of the Digital Photography Review website say that they have, or know of, Photoshop Actions that do the same job.  I have never seen this myself.  You can get a very crude approximation – and an unsatisfying one – using filters like Photoshop’s Surface Blur and Dry Brush but they are no substitute and I don't recommend them.  What we really want is for Corel to buy the apparently failed buZZ company (fo2pix) and add buZZ to Painter 11.  David


21 January 2008 David, just discovered your fabulous website.  What a tremendous amount of talent.  I looked at your pictures and love your  work.  Do you teach classes? I would certainly love to learn some of the many things that you do.  I have been at Painter for about a year now and simply love it although not too much talent.  I find one does progress however! Thanks for your help.  Thanks too for so kindly sharing what you do on your website. Janet

Janet - thanks for getting in touch.  Apart from doing tutorials for Painter Magazine I am determined to produce a demo DVD for release through my website later in the year. I keep saying I'm going to do it but this year I mean it.  Painter is a great program that has so much depth you can spend years exploring it - and I intend to!.  Good luck with your painting and have fun! David 


2 January 2008 Hello David - I came across your site while trying to find some information on Buzz software.  I had the software years ago but lost it.  I have been trying to find another copy but the company seems to be out of business.  I would be most grateful if you could lead me in any direction to finding another copy.  Surely someone out there out there could make a copy etc... any help would be appreciated. Your art is just beautiful!! Thanks so much, cindy mc.....

Thanks, Cindy. As you say, the company that made buZZ seems to have gone out of business.  I can only suggest that you Google to see if you can find a free download of the buzz Simplifier – the most useful tool – somewhere.  Here’s a trial version of buzz Pro that still seems to work: David


16 November 2007 Hi David – just writing to saying I’ve had a quick look over your site – omg – amazing – absolutely amazing. I’m taking up illustration and digital art and I love your work. I got this site address from your Cloner tutorial in Painter magazine. I write because I just need a touch of advice/help in the second one with the boat scene if I can! At the set up at the start, 04 – I selected the original picture as the clone source, but as I start painting on the watercolour yellowed canvas, all I get, even with watercolour cloners selected, is yellow paint. Its like I have the wrong source, but under File/Source, I have the original image ticked.Any ideas or suggestions?? Keep up the fantastic work! thanks Frank Bradshaw 

Thanks, Frank.  I’m glad you like my pictures.  It’s always nice to get such positive feedback. Now, the boats picture from the Painter tutorial.  It sounds to me like you have not clicked and made active the Clone Color button on the Colors palette (this is in addition to having selected the Clone Source under File/Source).  If this button is not depressed and thereby made active, the brush will just paint with the Main colour – in this case the cream colour. Come back to me if this doesn’t sort you out. David


5 November 2007 Hi David, I just found your website through the dpreview forums and I must say that you are an incredibly talented artist! Sadly, that is exactly what I am not ;-) I've always wanted to create beautiful drawings or paintings from photographs, but since I can't draw I decided to create a computer program that could. The result is a small freeware called FotoSketcher ( Having seen what you can do, my goal will be to try and improve FotoSketcher in order to get as close as I can to your art. Thanks again for your beautiful images. David THOIRON (Lyon, France)

David - thanks. I'm glad you like some of my pictures. I had a look at Fotosketcher. I can see where you are going with this. It would be good if there was an option to simplify the image before applying the line creation element. Sketches usually, though not always, simplify an image into a relatively few number of lines - often following contours. The best filter for creating line drawing that I know of is the buZZ Simplifier Photoshop plugin. In fact, all the pictures in my Artwork 8 gallery are hand drawn. Good luck with it. David


29 October 2007 David, I just had the pleasure of viewing you gallery and am so impressed with your enormous talent. I saw your work at the Painter Magazine website after I joined and fell in love with it. It looks better than the real thing. I aspire to work such as yours and thank you for providing such magnificent work for us to enjoy. Sincerely Leah Schmaman

Thank you, and thank you for visiting! I was beginning to worry I might never get any more visitors! I enjoyed your pictures on the Painter Magazine website. David


30 July 2007 Hello David, I have been looking at your gallery, and some of the work is simply breathtaking. Especially liked the new tulips (black and white) in New Artwork - well, actually, too many to mention, but I saw that one first of all. Just thought would let you know. Wish I could do a fraction of this! Regards, Sonya


29 June 2007 Hi David Cole,...Everything in ur site ie paintings, color choice, font very fantastic and eyeful. Some times i browse ur site, it's really cool. many thanks kamal T


17 May 2007 Hi David .. excellent Website and Everything on it …Well done .. good Body of Work scarletjames………


16 May 2007 How succinctly you solved my quandary over the use of Liquid Mask as posed in my recent posting to  DPReview’s Retouching forum!  Thanks so very much for that hint about LM crashing PS.  It might not happen to me,  but why take the chance?  You certainly saved me a stack of money.  I was enthralled with your web site and the masterful images you present there.  I suppose everyone enjoys picking their favourites.  In Artwork 4 I found two personal gems—Inside the barn and Boats on the lake.  The technique used in Artwork 5’s Our Garden Fork is marvelous. Thanks so much for sharing your work!  All the very best,  Bruce

I emailed Bruce to say that it was Vista Liquid Mask seemed not to like, failing to install properly. David [30 July: I see Fluid Mask 3 supports Vista - expensive though.]


11 May 2007 Hello David,  We have corresponded in the past via your visitors book (you have been so very generous with your help). I check out your site regularly and have noticed it has gone a bit quiet. I miss seeing your new work. I have not done much photo manipulation for the past 6 months or so since I had a major crash on my system. I thought "I can recover this", but ran into trouble. When I told my son (who is, incidentally, a very highly qualified techie specialising in digital imaging) he went very, very quiet and eventually said "Dad, you're not going to be able to recover anything at all from your hard drive"! Of course now everything is religously backed up to an external hard drive but  it is all stable doors and bolting horses. Anyway, just wanted to touch base in the hope you find massive inspiration and start putting up loads of new stuff.  Yours Aye,   James

Thanks. There are quite a few new pictures in the gallery - look first at the New Artwork page. David.


4 February 2007 Hello David, we have emailed some long time ago when I was so delighted with your work - at that time particularly the watercolour simulation, that I wanted to comment on it. I wonder if you could advise me. I note that you have said [in DPR] "synthetik, the people who make Studio Artist, have been saying a pc version " coming out this year" for at least the last 4-5 years. I gave up asking them!". I do use Macintosh and so that software is available to me, but it is rather expensive, and i wondered what part of Studio Artist interests you. I have, and I know you also use 'Painter 9'. Is there an element within Studio Artist that you have not been able to do in Painter? I don't want to double up on potential.
regards, Barry

Thanks, Barry. I am not at all familiar with Studio Artist and have no specific reason to want to try it, other than that I am interested to know what it can do - particularly: how far it can abstract colour, create watercolour simulations, and prepare photos for oil painting in Painter. If you can try a trial version for a few weeks that would be good. You can then compare attributes. I don't know if that is available. Best wishes David


27 January 2007 Dear Mr Cole, So sorry but I couldn't email you the other way. Your work is fabulous. Have you ever done any type of caricatures? I love them, just wondering. Laraine Stuart

Thanks. No, I've never done any caricatures. There's a first time for everything I suppose! David


2 January 2007 Hello David, I have been looking seriously at your site and I fell your art is really fantastic. What I like particularly are the portrait of SteveP, Charles (with the clear suit and red tie), Pete laughing and also I like very much the very strong drawing that you made of yourself. I also like the landscapes and still life but these protraits especially appeal to me.  It is obvious to me that you are a true artist. But certainly to acheive what you have done there are number of hours to refine the methods...a lot of hours certainly... Concerning watercolours, you may like to have a look at the book of Katrin Eismann Retouching.

Concerning myself: I have taken pictures on film for many years. I came to digital a year ago when Anne my wife had received a Canon 350D from her mother for Christmas. Anne gave me her Canon 350 and I started digital. I purchased a big printer A3 and got good results. I have registered for a two years home study course in digital photography and got the photoshop CS2 at a good price. (I received Photoshop in April 2006) I purchased 5 books on Photoshop and am learning. With Katrin Eismann I am in the process of reading the second book (Masking and composing). The learning process is long - I feel -  but  I am progressing very well

I am currently working at improving the eyes, skin defects , general tones, colours etc. In the past I have done watercolour (with real brushes pencils etc) but I like taking picures with a camera. When I discovered your site it was very important to me because I felt that pictures (and protraits) had much more appeal when improved by Painter 9, buZZ filter etc. I also feel I will be alble to do this very well ...(after many many hours of learning and practicing)

Question 1: I would like to know if you feel I also need (immediately) the LucisArt software and the Digital imaging suite (from MS) which replaces the Photodraw (discontinued). Question 2: the Corel Painter IX.5 certainly comes with a manual.  There are probably good books that I could have in addition to the basic manual of Corel. Could you recommend such a book ? Or some sites that offer tutorials. Here I am just guessing that the manual of Painter is like the manual of Photoshop.;Question 3: I would like to know what kind of simple exercises you could recommend I would start with to use both the Painter IX and Photoshop CS2.; Question 4: How long will it take to more or less be able to use Painter IX? - 6 months?  If you can take a few minutes to help me with these questions, it will help me greatly. Thank you, With best regards. Bernard Pirenne

Thanks for your steer on the Eismann watercolour technique. It looks complicated but I’ll explore it. From my quick glance, I think I prefer the PS “Wow” technique. Here are answers to your questions: Q1: You do not need LucisArt or the other software you mention yet. Q2: Two good books on Painter IX: “Painter IX Creativity” by Jeremy Sutton (good on painting techniques), and “Painter IX for photographers” by Martin Addison (good on explaining technical side of Painter IX). Q3: Can’t really suggest any exercises. Main things are to practice and experiment, get to know the Brush Creator in Painter IX so that you can tweak your brushes easily, and study carefully, and as often as possible, real paintings in the style you want to emulate. If you are not familiar with the look of the real thing you’ll find it difficult to emulate it. Q4: How long to use Painter? Impossible to say! – we are all still learning Painter. To see what a real master digital painter can do, have a look Craig Mullins work at This is not done in colour clone mode. He uses both PS and Painter I believe. David


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