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The Photoshop Blog offers the latest Photoshop news and software updates, Photoshop tips and tutorials, and random thoughts from graphic artist and Photoshop expert Jennifer Apple.
FRIDAY - MARCH 03 2006
A Child's View Of Photoshop - Skylar's World
Our friend Genevieve sent us some beautiful drawings that her 7-year-old daughter Skylar created in Photoshop, and we were so impressed we asked her to tell us all about how Skylar worked with the program. Here's her story...
- My daughter Skylar first started using Photoshop when she was about three and a half years old. One morning she climbed onto her father's lap as he was fiddling away on a design in Photoshop on his laptop. After a while she asked if she could try it. He set her up with a new blank page, showed her how to use the brushes, how to use the eraser and how to choose colors. She was hooked.
At the time she was intrigued with drawing colourful various sized lines and then erasing them. She would also chose a motif such as the star or leaf and click until the entire page was covered. Essentially she was experimenting with the basic tools. The amount of concentration and patience required to do this is incredible and not my cup of tea, but that's what made watching her use Photoshop so fascinating. She would do things I never considered doing and produced interesting pieces of work.
Now, at the age of seven she has better control of the mouse and understands most of the icons on the tool bar. And her computer drawings have improved matching the fluidity and spontaneity of her freehand drawings. She has also piqued the interest of her three-year-old brother by showing him her old tricks. I think what is fascinating to her and the reason why she likes using Photoshop as an alternative to traditional drawing, is that it offers her certain options not available to her on paper. For example her favorite effect is using the brushes as erasers and creating ghost like images. Deleting is a good thing, erasing something and starting again just takes the click of the mouse. She also likes the fact that she can save her work and go back to it, manipulate it some more and save it again as a slightly different image. She also says that ecologically it saves paper and she can email the same image to different members of her family. These things may seem obvious to the avid computer user but she doesn't take it for granted and sees it as another venue for her creativity, not as a replacement to her hands-on artwork.
- Which brings me to the true value of Photoshop: the manipulation of photographs and images. Although Skylar primarily uses the program as a drawing tool she has touched the surface of manipulating a photograph. She has experimented with the basic effects such as changing the colour of her brother's face or warping an area, but her favorite is drawing directly on to it. I recently showed her how to cut out a photo of her standing on a boogie board and placed it onto another photograph of a large ocean wave. Now she was surfing and she was totally awestruck by the image. And then she asked if she could draw clouds in the sky!
As a parent I have had to rethink my opinions about my kids and computers. The reality is computers are as much a natural part of their home environment as books or the refrigerator. When they see their parents concentrating on the computer they want to know what they are doing and why. Photoshop is a program that offers self-directed learning, kids can create almost anything they can imagine. Once they understand the icons and how to use them they are willing to spend lot of time getting as much as they can out of the basic tools. As they get older they will already know the basics and can get into the more complicated steps with ease. And that is why I think Photoshop is a great creative tool for kids.
Well, Genevieve and Skylar have inspired us to revamp our Photoshop For Kids Page. You'll find new links to all kinds of cool tutorials and tips, and we've used one of Sylar's creations as the top banner. So thank you Genevieve and thank you Skylar!
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Skin Retouching Tips In Photoshop CS4
Transforming Smart Objects In Photoshop CS4
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Adjusting Exposure in Adobe Camera Raw CS3
Photoshop CS3 Tutorial High Dynamic Range
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