dekeSpeak December 8, 2010

Greetings, fellow Deke-o-philes!

This issue of dekeSpeak comes from a cool place. As the thermometer dips and layered apparel becomes increasingly conspicuous, I’m enjoying the warm fuzzy feeling I get from sharing the treasure trove of insights available on Deke hooked up with Bert Monroy, and got a close look at Bert’s most recent masterwork. Read on to get a glimpse of it yourself. Our tip for this installment comes from Deke’s Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery course for And, I bring you good news: we’ve been able to extend the special (and very popular) Fotolia offer from the previous newsletter.

dekeSpeak Newsletter December 8, 2010

That’s the news for now. As I’m sure you know, Deke sends all his virtual love.

Best regards, and I hope you’re having a creative day,
Lou B
Speaker of the Deke, dekeOnline

Comprehensive Video Course “Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced” Goes Live

Deke’s 153-movie, 14-hour and 53-minute Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced video course went live last week at If that sounds long, it’s eight hours shorter than Deke’s introductory course (Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals). That’s a savings of one full work day and a couple of coffee breaks. And besides, it goes down easy. Click here for a full chapter-by-chapter breakdown of the contents.

Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced

The above artwork sports a Celtic knot created using Illustrator’s Live Paint feature. Note how the green, blue, and orange paths loop in and out of each other, and how any one path loops in and out of itself. This is just one of the many vector impossibilities that Deke imparts.

More »

Three Years in the Making: Bert Monroy’s Amazing Times Square

Hand-painted details and more pixels than there are galaxies in your head. Get a glimpse of how it’s done.

During a recent visit to the production studios (to record segments for his forthcoming Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery course), Deke ran into his esteemed cohort Colleen Wheeler and mad genius Bert Monroy. As many of you know, Bert’s a Photoshop Hall of Famer who continually pushes the envelope of digital art.

Armed with Photoshop, Illustrator, a Wacom tablet, and his unusual brain, Bert creates reality by hand, “painting with light,” as he describes his process. He literally creates hairs strand-by-strand. His intensely time-consuming digital paintings have a photo-realistic quality that is both inspiring and humbling.

Bert Monroy's Times Square

Bert acknowledged his friends by painting them into his tableau. OK, Colleen and Deke aren’t rendered in Day Glo colors and they don’t have a giant hand pointing to them in the actual piece (as above). Read Deke’s post for a closer look at Bert’s emerging artwork, which starts with a simple sketch.

Tip: The Self-Made Mask

Today’s tip comes from from Chapter 26: “Masking Essentials” of Deke’s video course Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery from And because this course is all about mastery, Deke takes on tougher masking challenges in this chapter, delving into such deep techniques as exploiting the native components of an RGB image to create highly exacting alpha channels and masks.

Photoshop Tip: The Self-Made Mask

Deke shows how you can precisely mask hair and other low-contrast details by exaggerating and accentuating flesh tones, merging channels with the Calculation command, and refining contrast with Overlay painting. Read more »

Martini Hour 93, The Photoshop Bad Habits Show

This week’s audio-only podcast comprises a list of bad habits that Deke and Colleen have collected in their travels (and Deke admits to having occasionally collected based on personal experience). The two delightfully and hilariously discuss their candidates for the things you are free stop doing in Photoshop. With their blessings, if not their insistence.

Martini Hour 93: Photoshop Bad Habits

Colleen also includes a highly entertaining blog post on dekeOnline that documents all 14 of their “don’t do"s, which begins with “Do not add heavy-handed precious-memory vignettes no matter how easy it is these days.” Sage advice indeed.

Read more »

Featured Image from Fotolia

I live in a little city about 6 miles north of NYC. A week ago, we saw our first snow flurries, and I’ve got winter on my mind. The Hudson Valley looks beautiful blanketed in snow, though our trees don’t get hoarfrost and rime the way they do in this photo by Iosif Szasz-Fabian. You can license this and other fantastic seasonal imagery from Fotolia, the worldwide social marketplace for stock images.

Fotolia Iosif hoarfrost

For the record, Fotolia offers the largest bank of royalty-free photos, illustrations, and videos perfect for any medium, whether print, motion, or web. Photographers and designers constantly update Fotolia with thousands of juried submissions each day. Fotolia protects its artists and offers high commissions while keeping prices low, so that everyone may enjoy and afford high-quality artwork.

Visit Fotolia »

How to Get Gorgeous Prints From Photoshop, Redux

With apologies, we’re including a fresh link to the hot tip from our last issue. Due to a technical glitch, the page containing the tip wasn’t available on when we sent out the newsletter. That’s been remedied now.

Read more »

(Please note: this link requires dekeOnline membership.)

“Hi, I’m   Deke, and I approve this Newsletter.”


Next entry:Martini Hour 094, In Which We Hypocritically Mock Some of Adobe’s Odd Feature Names

Previous entry:The Self-Made Mask


  • Deke’s Techniques

    Still looking for the Five Photoshop Type Techniques via

    Hope that is still in the works soon