Explore Adobe Photoshop's capabilities for image layering, manipulation, and techniques for creating digital collages of traditional painting mediums, photos, and scans.

There are no available registration dates at this time.

Note: This Course will be held in an Online Format using the Zoom Platform.
Class meets Tuesdays & Fridays, Apr 23-May 7 from 10:30am-12pm & 3:30pm-5pm ET.

Digital collage of Camargue horses By Susan Bloom.
Utilizing Photoshop, students will be shown techniques that will allow them to transform existing photos into unique and beautiful digital collages. The example shown is Camargue horses By Susan Bloom.

Guided by Susan Bloom, author of Digital Collage and Painting, dive into the techniques and aesthetics of digital collage using combinations of imagery sources, from photos to scans. Participants explore Photoshop’s capabilities for image layering and manipulation. The class also learns techniques for creating digital versions of traditional painting mediums: watercolor, pastel, oil, charcoal, etc.

Students delve into the technical aspects and aesthetic concerns of the new digital media as grounds for creative, imaginative work. Alternative printing mediums and materials are also explored. Students work with Photoshop’s painting and layering tools, as Sue teaches new techniques and technical shortcuts. Advanced scanning methods are covered along with file size and resolution.

The atmosphere is one of experimentation and discovery with high creative energy. Work is printed and critiqued daily. You do not need to be an artist – just willing and eager to push your work in new creative directions.

Course Schedule

Day 1:

10:30am-12pm ET

  • Overview
  • Student work presentation

3:30-5 pm ET

  • Digital Collage Keynote
  • First Assignment and some basic tools (Selection tools, layers, layer masks)

Day 2:

10:30am-12pm ET

  • Let’s Begin: Powerpoint presentation
  • Intentional approach – think it through
  • How to use blending modes to integrate/combine images

3:30-5:00 pm EST

  • Scanning know-how, Size, Resolution
  • Data Rot

Day 3:

10:30am-12pm ET

  • Resources for imagery
  • Group Critique of the first assignment
  • 2nd Collage assignment

3:30-5 pm ET

  • Individual appointments

Day 4:

10:30am-12pm ET

  • Composition Keynote
  • Tutorials on Photo restoration, lightening, darkening, Clone, liquify, and edge effects

3:30-5pm ET

  • A unique way to dodge & burn in Photoshop
  • Intro to Digital Painting
  • Art History Brush, History Brush, Pattern Stamp Brush

Day 5:

10:30am-12pm ET

  • Class Critique of 2nd Collage assignment
  • Making your own brush in Photoshop

3:30-5 pm ET

  • Digital Painting technique demo
  • Digital painting assignment
  • Class Critique/Closing Thoughts; Materials & Supply ideas/sources

Plus one afternoon of private critiques.

Course Requirements

Students should have some Photoshop experience. 


“Intense, informative, creative, and rewarding!” Charles Klieman, Newport Beach, CA

“I loved practicing new techniques & getting clear instructions on how to do these new techniques” – Digital Collage and Painting workshop student, 2021

“Susan has the ability to make complex subjects simple” – Sherwood Samet

Past student work

(Left to right): Cindy Beams, Jim Auerbach, Evelyn Bell.

Header & workshop description images © Susan Bloom.

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Instructor: Susan Bloom

Susan Ruddick Bloom is known for her fine art photography. She uses alternative photographic processes, digital manipulation and multi-media approaches. Sue is considered a pioneer in digital fine art photography and has been involved in making art on the computer since 1984. She holds a BFA and a MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art. She was Professor and Chair of the Department of Art and Art History at McDaniel College, in Westminster, Maryland. She is now retired and is Professor Emerita. Sue’s book, Digital Collage and Painting, by Focal Press, has been translated into Chinese and Russian. This 608 page book is seen as the Bible for digital collage and painting manipulation and is used as a text in colleges with a digital fine art curriculum. It has gone into a revised and updated second edition. Sue is also the author of  Digital Painting in Photoshop.