New Online Course: Getting Started With Digital Painting: Creating an Animal Character From Scratch

I just published a new Skillshare class for beginners learning how to paint in Photoshop. 

Here's a link:

The course has one hour of step-by-step video instructions to get you started with digital painting. Here's an outline of what to expect:

Artist and teacher Leigh Ann Rooney will guide you through the basics of creating a character suitable for a children’s book, comic, or whatever else your imagination can think up!

This course covers the foundations of creating a digitally painted character in Adobe Photoshop. We will go over each step of the process from picking an animal and designing your character to creating a finished image that can be sent to a client or added to a background.

No experience with Photoshop or traditional painting needed.

Don’t be intimidated by Photoshop - you got this!

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Designing a character: stylizing an animal
  • Using Photoshop brushes for a painterly effect
  • Mixing and blending colors
  • Adding texture and dimension

Materials you’ll need:

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Drawing pen tablet such as Wacom Intuos (optional but helpful)
  • Paper and pencil, charcoal, and/or ink (optional)

Youth Arts For Change Teaching Artist (update)

The photography workshop I led at Estacada Middle School culminated in an exhibit at Estacada City Hall which is hanging now. See the article below for details:

I was so impressed with the creativity of these young artists!
Here are some of their photographs:

New Online Course: Beginner Photoshop

I created a Skillshare course for people just starting out with Photoshop.

You can get two FREE months of Skillshare by signing up with this link to my class:


If you've never used Photoshop before or have been trying to figure out the program and are frustrated - I've got you! I've taught people ages ten to seventy how to use Photoshop and I've developed techniques to break down complicated steps and even make the program fun to use. 

Heres what the class covers:

  • The basics of the program:
    • How to open files 
    • How to save and what different file types mean
    • How to scan (helpful if you’re using old photographs)
    • Changing the file size and cropping
    • Easy tricks to enhance photographs by adjusting colors and contrast
    • Making an image black and white
    • Fixing blemishes, scratches, and red-eye in old photos
    • Building good habits so you can advance in the program

Youth Arts for Change Teaching Artist

I was so excited to be selected as one of the artists to teach a workshop to at-risk middle school students. This is exactly the type of teaching I love to do. The program is called Youth Arts for Change and is through the Clackamas County Arts Alliance. 

Read more about it here:

And here:

Below is my syllabus for the workshop. I've become obsessed with making visual syllabi for my courses because the students respond to it so much better and I think it helps the information stick. It also helps me narrow down the information to the most important things. I made this with Piktochart, it's SUPER easy.



Books I LOVE

My Uncle David, an editor at Vanity Fair, has a new book out about the 90's (The Naughty Nineties) and you can buy it today!!!

I was really inspired watching David write this book. Writing a book while working a day job ( a big day job!) obviously takes large amounts of talent, dedication, and drive. Really though, it's about doing the work and putting the time in. This makes me want to work harder on my own creative goals and it really helps to see someone I've know my whole life succeed.


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