Beard-Detailing Demo December 31, 2017 21:10 18 Comments

Here's a peek at a portion of Lesson Three in my MTDC series, "Painting Portraits with the Mixer Brush."  In this chapter, I use my mixer brushes to add beard detail to an underpainting that was made in a previous chapter.

Mixer-Brush Painting Techniques: Video Sample April 9, 2016 09:37 6 Comments

This is a video sample from my tutorial, "Painting Portraits with the Mixer brush in Photoshop," Chapter 4, "Mixer-Brush Techniques." Demonstrated here are two painting methods - one showing a technique for painting onto a blank canvas, another for painting using the "mixer-brush cloning layer setup action."

Follow Deardorff Training on Pinterest November 26, 2015 09:53

I'm happy to announce that Deardorff Training is now on Pinterest.  I hope you'll join me there.  Be sure to click the "follow" button to see what I'm working on - as well as some of the artwork/artists I enjoy.

If you're not a Pinterest member, it's easy to sign up - and it's free.  Once you do, you'll quickly see that it's a great source for ideas and inspiration.  I look forward to seeing you there!


The Mixer Brush Controls November 15, 2015 21:46

This video is an edited sample from my MTDC series, Lesson 3, "Painting Portraits with the Mixer Brush," Chapter 3, "Mixer Brush Basics."

The “Over My Shoulder” Training Series November 8, 2015 12:16 5 Comments

With my “Mastering the Digital Canvas” portrait-painting series complete, I’m looking forward now to my new series, “Over My Shoulder,” that will cover new subjects and techniques.  The first lesson in this series will focus on my technique for painting birds using the mixer brush in Photoshop.  This is a passion of mine, and I’m looking forward to sharing with you my approach to this kind of painting.  The tutorial will be available in the spring.

Other painting subjects for this series will include florals, landscapes and still-life - as well as some different kinds of portraiture.  If you have any thoughts about what you’d like to see presented, I hope you’ll feel free to share those ideas.

This new series will be structured a little differently than my MTDC series.  I took a lot of time in Lessons 1-3 to introduce the tools I use for painting in Photoshop.  I tried to show all the finer points of the smudge tool and the mixer brush - how they work; designing and creating them; all the different controls that are available.

The OMS series will assume that you already possess all of this knowledge, so the instruction will focus more on workflow and technique.  I plan to be a little more concise with these tutorials, but we’ll see how that goes.

Note: The work-in-progress painting above shows a northern flicker that I photographed on my deck.  This bird is a fairly large, distinctly-marked member of the woodpecker family. They are maybe even more striking in flight - their underwings are magnificent.  One morning my wife, Janet, and I watched as a male and female flicker danced in near-sync on our neighbor’s roof.  It was quite a show.

As I make this painting, I’m using the mixer brush (the same brush configurations provided in Lesson 3 of my MTDC series).

Lesson Three: A Big "Thank-You" September 28, 2015 21:44

I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the response I’ve received to the release of Lesson Three in my MTDC series, “Painting Portraits with the Mixer Brush in Photoshop.” I put a lot of time and effort into producing it, so it makes me happy to know that this is a technique you’re interested in - and that you’re finding this lesson useful. Here’s a sampling of some of the feedback I’ve received over the last few weeks.

So “thanks” to those of you who have purchased this title. Your support enables me to continue making tutorials that will hopefully - to some degree - inspire and inform.

Also, a quick “thanks” to Gary Rose who allowed us to use as a learning tool his wonderful photograph of this “Old Fisherman.” Your generosity is greatly appreciated.


Package Discount Offering September 28, 2015 21:14

I’ve had a number of people ask about receiving a package discount for the purchase of two Lessons at the same time — I had only been offering a package discount on the complete three-lesson set.

In response, I’ve decided to offer a $20 discount coupon that can be applied to any orders totaling $198 or more:


Not only will this coupon apply to the purchase of any two lessons, but it will also apply to any lesson(s) purchased in conjunction with my 1-ON-1 Training. This coupon may also be applied to the purchase of the Complete MTDC Set, bringing the total price for all three lessons to just $229.

*This discount cannot be applied toward previous purchases, and may be discontinued at any time.

Stocking Up: Finding Great Images to Paint September 22, 2015 21:00 2 Comments

The paintings I make are always photo-based, whether they’re photo-transformations or paintings that begin as blank canvases — using the photo only as a reference. And I’ve found sometimes that my own photo library doesn’t always meet all of my needs. This may be the case with you as well.

What i’ve done, and what I would recommend to you would be to seek out and use (with permission of course) images taken by other photographers. These may be images posted to different photography or digital-art forums - some with an invitation to other members to retouch/manipulate/paint the posted image. Early on, as I worked to expand my skills as a digital artist, this was a great resource to me. Not only the images that were made available to me, but the feedback and encouragement I received from other members.

Another great resource I would recommend to you for the purposes of practice and portfolio-building would be the stock-image websites that are out there in increasingly larger numbers. You might be surprised to know that a large number of these sites offer use of their images for free.

Here’s a list of eighteen of my favorite sites offering free-for-use images: Pexels, Stocka, MMT, DesignersPics, Unsplash, Splitshire, Pixabay, Life of Pix, Magdeleine, Stocksnap, Gratisography, Kaboompics, Raumrot, Picjumbo, Im free, Re:splashed, ISO Republic, and Stokpic.

The stock site I use most often when I'm looking for a picture to paint is Dreamstime.  You'll have to pay to use most of their images (a very reasonable price, I think), but they do have a really large selection of free images as well.

So you might want to take a stroll through some of these sites. You might just find the inspiration for your next masterpiece.

MTDC - The Complete Set Now Available! September 11, 2015 09:51

complete setWith the release of Lesson Three in my “Mastering the Digital Canvas” training series, the complete set is now available as a digital download.

The first two lessons in this Photoshop training series explore the use of the smudge tool as a primary means of transforming portrait photographs of animals and people into portrait paintings.

In the recently released third lesson, “Painting Portraits with the Mixer Brush,” you’ll follow along from beginning to end as I transform a photo of an old fisherman into a painting using an assortment of mixer brushes that I've custom designed.

This fairly recent addition to the Photoshop toolbox has really expanded the creative opportunities for digital painters - like you and me. Whether you like to transform your photographs into paintings or paint onto a blank canvas, the mixer brush offers us a wonderful new means of creative expression.

The first two lessons were well received, and I hope this one will be as well. Both the smudge tool and the mixer brush are powerful creative tools in the right hands and with the right training!

Beyond the MTDC portrait-painting series, I have lots of plans for future tutorials that will cover a broad spectrum of subjects and digital art techniques - from the very basic to the more advanced. I plan to offer free products from time to time as well.

Please sign up for my newsletter (at the bottom of this page) to receive further updates.