Compositing - Composing in Photoshop

Learn the basics of Photoshop and how to composite using multiple images to create a unique and compelling composition.

Compositing - Composing in Photoshop
Level - Intermediate and Advanced

Photoshop is a very powerful and useful tool, I have used it to compose my drawing and painting reference images for over fifteen plus years. This program makes it possible for me to work out my idea for a drawing or a painting that was inspired by being out in the field, rummaging through my image library, or form a simple thumbnail sketch. I am able to move elements around, create elements that didn’t exist in my original image, resize, crop, distort whatever I need to help create the composition that I have in my head. And it saves me a great deal of time and I get to see if my idea works visually before starting.

In this course, I will walk you through my creative process using Photoshop in five different exercises. We will start with the basics of the program’s tools, interface, and the all-important concept of layers. Each exercise will build on the previous starting with simply erasing the background of a subject and then inserting that subject into a new background. In later exercises, we will even create shadows, rim lighting, and even a haze on top of a pair of zebras, an element that did not originally exist in the image to begin with!

My hope is that after you finish this course and get comfortable using Photoshop that you will see the endless possibilities you have in front of you. You are not stuck using one single image to draw or paint from. If the subject is on the right but you think it works better on the left with a cast shadow, then move the subject and create the cast shadow. And most importantly you can see if your idea works visually before ever picking up your pencil or paintbrush.


    • Computer
    • Mouse
    • Photoshop installed and ready to use
    • A notepad and a pen to write down notes

Your Instructor

Robert Louis Caldwell
Robert Louis Caldwell

Artist and Instructor
ARC Associate Living Master
Signature Member, The Society of Animal Artists

Robert Louis Caldwell is an award-winning artist, internationally renowned for his wildlife and architectural oil paintings. His work has appeared in numerous national and international exhibitions, including the Society of Animal Artists, Art of the Animal Kingdom and Birds in Art, and is represented in the permanent collection at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, Wisconsin. Robert graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a B.F.A. and is the author of the drawing instructional book “Draw Realistic Animals, Wildlife, Pets & More.”

Read more about Robert’s instructional approach, philosophy and credentials.

Visit Robert’s website to view examples of his drawings and paintings.

Course Curriculum

  Welcome to Compositing - Composing in Photoshop
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days after you enroll
  Bonus reference Material
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