Bert Monroy. Photo-realist painter.

Bert Monroy is a digital artist pioneer, specialized in photo-realistic digital painting. He spent 20 years in the advertising industry as an art director and creative director for various agencies as well as his own.

Upon discovering computers with the introduction of the Macintosh 128 in 1984, he embarked on a new digital career. He embraced the computer as an artistic medium and is considered one of the pioneers of digital art. Bert’s work has been seen in every major trade publication of the computer industry. His work has also been featured in scores of books which include Making Art on a Macintosh, The Photoshop WOW Book, The Illustrator WOW Book, The Art of Digital Painting, The Grey Book and The Photoshop A to Z in Japan.

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His work has also been used to introduce many software products such as Photoshop, VideoWorks (predecessor to Director), PixelPaint, SoundCap and ImageStudio.

Bert co-authored The Official Adobe Photoshop Handbook, which was the first book on Photoshop and the only one for almost two years. It won various awards. He also co-authored Adobe Photoshop: A visual Guide on the Mac which was published in 14 languages, Photoshop 4, published in Japan by Agosto and BNN, and Photoshop Channel CHOPS, co-authored with David Biedny and Nathan Moody, which concentrates on the most advanced features of the program not covered anywhere else. In 2000 he released his first solo book from New Riders called Bert Monroy Photorealistic Techniques with Photoshop and Illustrator. It concentrates on the techniques he has established over the years in the creation of his fine art works. It is available at Amazon.com. His second solo book Photoshop Studio with Bert Monroy, from New Riders, is another compilation of his techniques specifically for Photoshop 7.0. January 2004 saw the introduction of Commercial Photoshop with Bert Monroy, from New Riders. It is also a compilation of techniques but deals with Bert’s commercial illustrations where photographs are sometimes used. This book deals with aspects of production that the two previous technique oriented books did not – such as image retouching. In his latest book, Photoshop Studio with Bert Monroy: Digital Painting, published in 2008 from New Riders, Bert shares with the reader the techniques he has developed in the creation of his photo-realistic paintings.

Bert was inducted into the Photoshop Hall of Fame in 2002.  He also does animation and special effects, but his main interest is photo-realistic digital painting.

“As a photo-realist painter, I have often been asked why I don’t just take a photograph. Good question, when you consider my paintings look like photographs. Well, for one thing, I’m not a photographer. To me, it is not the destination that is important-it is the journey. The incredible challenge of recreating reality is my motivation. ”

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Lunch in Tiberon, 2007

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Lunch in Tiberon – detail

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Old Chair,2004

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Old Chair – detail

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Shoe Repair, 2004

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Shoe Repair – detail

Now, having you introduced in Bert’s complex works, i want you to be careful with the next piece, because it is dangerously big and complex. I’m talking about “Damen”.

So, this is Damen:

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It is a panorama of the Damen Station on the Blue Line of the Chicago Transit Authority.
Adobe Illustrator was used for generating the majority of the basic shapes as well as all the buildings in the Chicago skyline.
The rest was created in Photoshop.
The image size is 40 inches by 120 inches.
The flattened file weighs in at 1.7 Gigabytes.

It may not impress you at a first glance, but wait till you see the details in this one

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You probably didn’t notice this phone booth in the first place.

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There’s a couple of things i would like to add about this astonishing artwork

It took eleven months (close to 2,000 hours) to create.
The painting is comprised of close to fifty individual Photoshop files.
Taking a cumulative total of all the files, the overall image contains over 15,000 layers.
Over 500 alpha channels were used for various effects.
Over 250,000 paths make up the multitude of shapes throughout the scene.

If this does not impress you, i don’t know what will.

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8 Comments Bert Monroy. Photo-realist painter.

  1. Jonny Pioww Jun 5, 2009 at 05:01

    Very impressive! I’m struggling to see what the point is though!

    Reply
    1. Tim Oct 27, 2009 at 13:06

      This is the point. It’s a quote by Bert himself:

      “As a photo-realist painter, I have often been asked why I don’t just take a photograph. Good question, when you consider my paintings look like photographs. Well, for one thing, I’m not a photographer. To me, it is not the destination that is important – it is the journey. The incredible challenge of recreating reality is my motivation.”

      So, if you still don’t see what the point is, then don’t worry about it.

      Reply
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  3. Paul Nov 27, 2009 at 13:05

    I like your consistent use and attention to shadows, very effective.

    Reply
  4. Paul Nov 27, 2009 at 19:05

    I like your consistent use and attention to shadows, very effective.

    Reply
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  6. Dario Ricardo Garcia Aug 13, 2012 at 12:46

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