Product Review: Virtual Painting with Photoshop by Brad Buttry

I love to take time, when possible, to review noteworthy products available to Photoshop users.

I purchased, watched and created a painting with Brad Buttry’s DVD Virtual Painting with Photoshop.

This DVD is billed as,  “Instruction on how to magically transform your photographic images in a myriad of ways using Adobe Photoshop — the digital counterpart of traditional artists’ tools.”

20100120_2621-smWhen I inserted the disk I immediately had problems with my QuickTime program and could only hear the audio. This is an ongoing problem I’d had. I had to upgrade my QuickTime and a hour later was able to view the DVD in iTunes which allowed me to stop and rewind portions as needed.

Stop! Do this first. You will need to load some DVD provided brushes into Photoshop. He mainly uses 2 brushes on the subject and another brush on the background.

Buttry’s narration was pleasant and reminiscent of a southern gentleman. Somewhere around halfway through the DVD I suddenly realized that he sounded a touch like  Mr.  Haney from Green Acres. So I digress…

I used my Bamboo tablet to paint which was very helpful. I can’t imagine trying the techniques with a mouse.

Brad was very thorough and takes you through 2 complete paintings from beginning to end with lots of detailed suggestions. Techniques for hair, eyes, mouth, teeth, color enhancements, sharpening techniques, the background and final details. After a couple of hours I was able to create the sample below.

Buttry suggests that photographers can command a whopping $800-1000 for each complete painting. He likes to have them printed on canvas and embellish them with real acrylic paint. (I’d need a whole new DVD on how to do that!) He also recommends having the paintings printed larger than 8×10 inches, more like 16×24 inches or larger.

One aspect that I really liked about the lesson was that he took a pretty bad snap shot that was very pixelated and dark and transformed it into a beautiful painting. This showed that any photo can be made into a work of art with his techniques. Bravo!

My 2 criticisms are:

  1. I’d have liked to know when Brad was touching the pen to his tablet and which direction he was going with the pen. It’s hard to figure out because of the quick movements and delayed program.
  2. I’d have liked him to show how he uses the move tool that he mentioned at the beginning. I think it would be helpful to cover it at least one time and only take a few seconds to cover.

Are you ready to paint? Brad has many samples on his site including a baseball player. Check out Brad Buttrys’ site now. (I am in no way associated with Brad Buttry)



  • Lou

    Hello Kim,

    I wanted to ask you a few questions about the DVD. I want to buy them, but I don’t know anything about them. He does not even show a sample. my email is likerabbits1972 at yahoo dot com.

    I would greatly appreciate your reply.

  • Kim

    You’ll need to contact the vendor for all you questions. I’m not affiliated with them.

  • Thanks Kim for the positive review! I’ll need to work on my ‘Haney’ voice! LOL!