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Sandra Pearce - Painting in Photoshop

Nikki Harrison1 Comment
Sandra Head Shot 1st.jpg

1.  How did you get your start in photoshop painting?

I painted in Corel Painter, took classes from many great Corel Painters, upgraded it every year and still was not happy with it.  I knew I should be able to use PS.  I started out on my quest to be able to make it happen.  I used the Air Brush and smudge tool before the Mixer Brush.  From there people started asking me to teach them how.  That was over 12 years ago in a PPA Super Monday class. I have not looked back and have taught people all over the  country to Paint in Photoshop.

2.  You do a lot of teaching, where can people find information on your courses? 

Well, not anywhere! Not an answer people want to hear.  I have never sold anything with my classes.  I have no excuses other than I enjoy teaching, not making videos.  I have emails almost daily asking for courses.  Maybe soon or maybe not.

3.  What would you say is the hardest hurdle your students have when learning to paint in photoshop? 

I really don’t see a lot of hurdles.  I like people to learn painting by using one layer as they would in traditional painting.  They only concentrate on painting, not layers. Since most people are already familiar PS the learning curve is small and they catch right on. I believe anyone can paint in PS.  Of course some better than others as in all things.

4.  Why do you prefer Photoshop over Corel? 

I got tired of opening in one program and having to  take my piece in another program.  The colors were not the same in both programs.  I didn’t use Painter enough  so each time I opened it I needed to  a little time to learn it all over again.  I also had a problem, as did others, with Painter crashing and I had not saved my art piece.  Gone and never to be found in that file it said it was saved in.  Thus I decided to paint in PS full time.

5.  How long does it take to get good enough at painting in Photoshop to be able to offer it to clients? 

Different amounts of time.  Some people with the artistic talent will fall right into great pieces in class.  Others have to spend more time and work harder.  All people can paint in PS because you have the image in front of you rather than a blank canvas.  PS is such a tool to enjoy.

6.  From your experience, which portrait types are best for painting and which sell best to clients? 

Family & Children Portraits, Composites & Sports  all have a place in the market place.  Once you have learned you need to find what works for your area.  All paintings are up to the person doing the marketing.  If you specialize in High School Seniors that is where you concentrate on first.

7.  On the business side of things, how much more should a photographer offering painted images charge, compared to regularly edited portraits?

One thing to remember  never print on photograph paper, that  is not a painting – canvas or water color paper is your media of choice.  What sets you apart is  whether you are in a high end studio and area as opposed to not.  I see photographers with great reputations charging more than a new person.  If you are established, with a great reputation, of course you charge different prices.  Some artists paint photo realistic, (Me) and some artists paint with lavish brush strokes.  That is called style. Market yourself in area’s you want to sell your work.

8.  For those who are not interested in learning to paint either in Photoshop or Corel, can they hire people, such as yourself, to create painted works for them? 

If that is the line you want to take of course you can.  If people know you are painting for other photographers, and doing it for a lesser price, it can cause a little problem when they are paying you more.  There are labs that do painting for photographers.  I do not paint for other people for the price they offer.  They have to make a profit but I don’t have that amount of time. That is totally up to the artist.

9.  Lastly, is there a website or other place online where potential students can go to learn from you, or is there a link to upcoming workshops you  might be teaching?

Facebook or Instagram

Sandra Pearce is one of the most sought out digital artist in the photographic industry today. She makes her home in Okeechobee, Florida with her husband David.  Her local photograhy group is the Professional Photography Guild of the Palm Beaches. She is a Master of Electric Imaging, Master Photographer, Craftsman and CPP. She is an Image Excellence & Image Excellence 2 Bar Recipient.  Sandra has had the opportunity to speak to thousands of professional photographers across the country from guild level programs to state and national conventions. Her experience in digital imaging has set her apart in competition and she has been awarded Artist of the Year by the Florida Professional Photographers numerous years, Canon Par Excellence 2015, 2016 and 2017, Kodak Awards, Fuji Awards and other awards through the years. Sandra has been in the top ten for GIA awards many times since it’s inception in 2010. Sandra won the GIA Award for 1st place in the Art Category in 2010, 2016 and 2018 at the Grand Imaging Awards. She serves as an IPC Juror for the Professional Photographers of America.