Carolina Phlox-Wildflowers


Carolina Phlox are wild flowers that normally grow as weeds in wooded flood plains of creeks and rivers. I cultivated some in the park near my home in order to photograph them.. This is a digital painting derived from a photograph that I took. I published my photograph on my account on view bug.

The software that I used to produce my painting is a combination of Photoshop & Painter. I used Photoshop to prepare my photograph for painting. I then used Painter & a Wacom Pad to lay layers of digital paint onto my canvas.

This image is of my original canvas opened in Painter.

It is advantageous for me to add my digital paint in layers. Each brush, brush size, brush opacity, I put on separate layers for isolation. If I do not like the way my work is rendering, I can simply remove the layer without having to start over. I start off with a smeary oil cloning brush to lay down color onto my canvas, not really regarding any detail…just color. Just basic structure of my composition.


This image shows my first layer using a very smeary oil brush in painter. Like real media painters this is their starting point. Like them, I build on detail using this initial color guide layer by layer, brush by brush.

The next image shows that I have added slightly more detail to my canvas. I find that being patient and added little bits at a time, reconstructs how a real media artist would work. There is the exception of the Impressionists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, whose Impasto and Alla Prima painting styles relied on speed painting over wet paint. Although I am a fan of Impressionism of this period my skill set only allows me to work more slowly.



This image consists of two separate layers. I used the same brush on both layers but different sizes. One layer for the larger brush and on layer for the smaller brush.

Finally, I use a textured brush that adds dimension my painting. This step will make or break my project so I need to extremely careful with the size and opacity of my brush. Usually, I highlight the highlights with this kind of brush, but the overall shade of my painting dictates if I use the highlights, or the shadows to add texture.


This my final image of the painting process. You may notice slight differences in the cherries and spools of thread at the bottom left. The background on the bottom right is lighter and the flowers show a little bit more detail.

Finally, I put my painting back into Photoshop to make some final tweaks and adjustments.


Here I have my finished digital painting opened in Photoshop and zoomed to 100%. The original dimensions of my digital painting are:

Maximum Print Size:

Width- 18.2″

Height- 25.2″

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