Undergraduate Degree




DT2012 Digital Painting

[Studio Contact Hours: 39 hours; Pre-requisites: NIL; Academic Unit: 3.0]




Academic Unit


3 AU

Course Description

Learning Objective

To deliver to the students a practice-based knowledge of the paint and compositing toolset of a bitmap editor. To introduce and develop in them a picture-based approach to the application of these tools.


This course delivers the fundaments of digital painting. Painting and compositing techniques are covered as well as such aesthetic values as composition, colour, tone, image integration etc. These skills can be put to use in such practices as: character design, production painting, scene extension, matt painting and fine art photography.

Course Outline




• Introduction to the course

2 - 6

• Layer clipping

• Layer blends

• Adjustments (curves, Hue Saturation, Levels)

• Selections, Channels, Masks 

• Brushes

• Filters

• Integration of composited elements 

• Sourcing reference 

• Composition I (colour, tone, form, placement, perspective etc)


• Mid Sem review of assignments

8 - 12

• Painting (project based)

• Composition II (anatomy, picture quality, ambience, scale etc)


• Final review of assignments


Learning Outcome

The students will have an overview of how compositing and painting principles can be applied to a still image. The students will have developed their image production skills.

Student Assessment

  1. Final Assessment: 30%

  2. Continuous Assessment: 70% (of which at least 15% is participation)

Continuous assessment components may include:

  • Studio-based exercises and projects

  • Individual, group and team-based assignments


    • John Lund, Adobe Master Class: Photoshop Compositing, Adobe Press

    • Katrin Eismann, Photoshop Masking & Compositing, New Riders Press