Create with Kyle T. Webster, Photoshop Brush Master
During a recent “Create With” event, renowned illustrator Kyle T. Webster treated viewers to some extraordinary feats of spontaneous creation. In our jam-packed hour with him, he painted two images, shared many Adobe Photoshop CC techniques and tips, and discussed his illustration philosophy and his approach to his work. Here are some event highlights and, at the bottom of the page, a recording of the full session:
An educator and illustrator whose work has appeared in in the New Yorker, the New York Times, Time, and many other publications, Kyle is best known as the founder of KyleBrush.com, which offers extremely popular industry-standard Photoshop brushes for professional artists—brushes that he uses to great effect in his own work.
NATURAL MEDIA IN A DIGITAL WORLD
Kyle’s creations have the look and feel of paintings and drawings created with non-digital media. His Photoshop brushes are based on real-world tools, and, in many ways, he approaches his Wacom Cintiq tablet as if it were a true canvas. (For instance, he typically paints on a single layer and avoids masking, instead relying on more-painterly techniques in his work.)
Some benefits of working digitally, however, are that it allows you to mix different media types in ways that would be impossible in the real world. Digital media also give you an unlimited ability to experiment and explore (without worrying about running out of paint or canvases).
In some respects, “exploratory” defines how Kyle approaches his work. He begins an illustration by experimenting with various brushes and techniques to create a surface or background—developing visual interest and a richly textured base, until an image begins to reveal itself. (In our “Create With” session, he primarily used brushes from his Ultimate Megapack.)
CREATING IN COLOR
With millions of colors to choose from in Photoshop’s Color Picker, randomly choosing colors is a “terrible” approach, says Kyle—because it’s all too easy to end up with colors that don’t work well together.
As with painting, he mixes color in a natural-media way, and this helps him create balanced, harmonious color palettes for his images. In all his work, Kyle chooses three primary colors (red, yellow, and blue) and then he mixes those colors to create the additional colors in his image.
WATCH THE FULL RECORDING
Click on the image below to watch the full session.
Ready to try some of Kyle’s tricks and techniques? He has generously provided the layered Photoshop file he used in the session’s color and natural-media demonstration—just download the file and start experimenting. Then, for more tips and information about his brushes, visit Kyle’s blog.
Kyle T. Webster was one of many creative luminaries who spoke at 2016’s Adobe MAX. Visit the MAX website to watch recorded keynote presentations and conference sessions.