How to use this book

This book is a series of projects. Each chapter opens with an inspirational image, and the step-by-step instructions required to recreate that image immediately follow. You'll find all of the resource files needed to create each image on the accompanying CD. This book is written in a non-linear manner, meaning that you do not have to start at the beginning and progressively work your way toward the end. Each chapter is independent of the others, so you can start wherever you like and move around randomly from one chapter to the next. Pick a chapter with an image that inspires you and follow it through to fruition, it's as simple as that.

This book includes variety in not only style and subject matter, but also in technique and working methods. You'll find a vast array of tools, features, and options as you work your way through. Fundamental and essential working methods will appear repeatedly, but each chapter definitely has something unique to offer in terms of both technique and artistic style.

A guitar teacher once told me that the best way to teach someone to play is to get him or her working on something they like straight away. Forget showing them all of the chords or notes when it makes no sense to them yet, just get them to do something they're interested in. That is the approach I have taken here. You'll get your feet wet while producing something worthwhile, and at varying stages in the process you'll begin to understand the value of what you've done. When knowledge begins to fall into place as you work, and it most certainly will, the proverbial light comes on. At that point, you'll really begin to see the potential of what you've learned. So don't limit yourself to simply finishing the chapters in this book. Try to think of ways that you can take what you've learned from each chapter and use it to create original artwork of your own.

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