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Russell Brown Teaches Fans His Extreme Painting Technique Using Photoshop CS5

Russell Brown showcased a new way to paint using Photoshop CS5 during Adobe MAX 2010, which he called “Extreme Painting.” This new technique uses lasers to engrave an image onto a canvas made of solid wood and then using a high quality flatbed printer, prints the color image onto the carved wooden canvas leaving the creator with a eye popping 3D version of the original image – the entire process can be seen in the video below!

Russell thought this idea was so neat he’s decided to create a series of “Extreme Painting” videos. He will randomly choose one lucky Fan’s original image, one of YOUR images, to be put through this very process and then mail the final canvas to you for free! To participate all you need to do is post a link to your image in the comments below and tell us why you think your image deserves to win.

Russell will also be giving 10 randomly selected Fans from the comments below free copies of his book “From Reality to Renaissance.” So don’t be shy, let us know what you think of the “Extreme Painting” technique!

P.S. Don’t forget to tell us how to get in touch with you; otherwise we can’t let you know if Russell thought your image was the best. Good luck!

Maria Yap
Director of Product Management, Digital Imaging


I think my image deserves to win, because I am a die hard photoshop fan, I have been since CS, and I think it would be fantastic to see my art come alive. I’m unable to paint or draw, so photoshop is my way to express my creativity.

    Wow, Drew, your picture is so cool. Thanks for sharing.

Wow! That is amazing!

This is AWESOME!!!!!!

here is the header image i created with photoshop of course.

and a real wood version of this would look excellent hanging in our Volunteer Fire Dept.

contact me at bryon3642 at gmail dot com

or through the information listed on my website

This is an awesome technique thanks for sharing!!

that’s pretty sweet man!

you could do hundreds of smaller panels and make a giant one, as the walls of a house or something

The image you see above is one of my favorite photos of my dog and I think it would be showcased wonderfully through this style of printing.

hi can you do that thing to my photo if you may.. ?

I love the creative use of 3d and 2d. Reminds me in several ways of the work being done by the Factum Arte group in Madrid.

I’ve imagined do something like this in many way but they special equipment is usually the limitation. The same is true in this case, the need to have access to two large specialized bits of equipment. It would be nice to see techniques that would be more realistic for people at home.

Regardless, it’s great to see inspiration videos about working with custom substrates.

Great job

Amazing work… amazing idea… amazing.. technology
Adobe Photoshop is the best!

I am in awe….

I think my image has a great approach and I would like to see how his ingenious idea comes to life in my image.
I’m also a big fan of Photoshop since I am a student of graphic design and I think it would be to admire if my picture was selected.

This is new design idea for the my fav bands logo.The fact that I have only been designing for about 1 yr now and turned this out about 6 months ago and that the band wants to use for new shirts sounds like a good reason :). I think it would look would really cool on wood and would be nice to hang in my house

Fantastic technique!!!
Here is a variation on Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir’s “Eve”.

Contact:jean AT

Fantastic technique!!!
Here is my variation on Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir’s “Eve”.

Contact: jean AT

That’s a very cool idea. Wow! And I agree with Jack above: This would look awesome as a giant mosaic on a wall (although one would need some deeper carving then).

This is the picture I would like to have carved in wood. I love her since we’ve first met, and I try to surprise her whenever I can. I made this image for our anniversary, and I think this could be the modern equivalent of carving a heart in a tree:
(just take my email I’ve left in the comment to contact me)

Im an experimental artist in both paint and in digital art , and i would like to further explore possibilities of finished products with my art .


We did this at AdobeMAX 2010. It was awesome. Examples:

I THINK your ideas as fabulous and very creative. I think this photo
might work well on wood.
I am going to look into this method further.

Having used Abobe Photoshop since Beta I am blown away by the progress and innovation of each new release. I believe I have the perfect image to be reproduced using this technique. Not only does it represent what is simple and true about a good old-fashioned root beer but about our country as well. This is my brother who is celebrating his 70th birthday this year. A root beer connoisseur, Viet Nam vet, Honor Guard member who loves his country. To honor him with a one-of-a-kind piece would be the ultimate recognition for a person who has done so much but asks for so little in return.

Hey Russell – GREAT WORK!!! This technique is very awesome!


I think my image have to win, cause my girlfriend is awesome, too and it would be a very nice present for her.

Thank you.

The laser burned and printed images seem to have a lot of depth, but the technique requires equipment that is unobtainable for most people. Cool idea though! As for my submission…I recently lost my dear lil Scruffy. She was a rescue dog that was in pretty bad shape when I adopted her. She is the love of my life and I miss her dearly. I would love to have a keepsakes to hang on my wall.

    Link says the content was not found.


I love your work :)

Here is a prepared image with extra crass carving texture:!/photo.php?fbid=190999944246470

i am learning a lot from tutorials Mr brown :)
see the painting below done as you thought me

Absolutely stunning! I love the combination of art with technology and would love to see this done with a special digital drawing my partner did for me. This was drawn using Photoshop and a Wacom Bamboo tablet after watching an inspirational documentary about the monarch butterflies’ migration to Mexico. (Of course, if I win, I would send a high resolution, unwatermarked version. :) ) The reason I would want to win would be to inspire other artists and as a special gift to the artist who drew it. He creates beautiful art without ever expecting anything in return and this would not only showcase something wonderful with the technology but would be a perfect “thank you” to him and all artists like him who share such beauty with the world.

You have reinvented photography just like adobe. Bringing together the visual and graphic arts to the next level. Thank you.

This is amazing stuff. I have followed the laser engraving progress into the realm of fine art for a while and have been sufficiently inspired. Your tutorial makes me want to go out and actually do this for some clients. Thanks so much.

Win or not I believe this picture of my granddaughter will look better on 3D. Thanks for the chance…

Aside from also being named Russell Brown, I believe the image would be a great way to demonstate the technology in a beautiful way. I hope Russell agrees. Amazing technology, thank you for sharing!

no good or new or amazing

Hey, I think this shot that was worked on with Pixel Bender might be a great candidate, huh, maybe? ha ha ha.

I love Photoshop. The best program for photographers.Here my hyperlink to photo
I done in PS

This is an outstanding way to create a three dimensional color image of a two dimensional PS image. When I saw the video another idea occurred to me, use the laser carved wood as as a block for wood block printing. Instead of the gesso and digital sealer, ink the block and print it like a traditional hand carved block to produce wood block prints. The prints would be two dimensional but would be an “old school” type print with the block created by an original in Photoshop. The facebook link suggested that a link to one of my images could result in getting it engraved by Russell so here it is:

this is exotic. Thanks a ton…

This is just the coolest thing! 3D photographs! Incredible! :-)

I think this picture of mine would be a wonderful candidate for an Extreme painting. –


I can see this as a really cool technique for all types of art mediums. My initial thought was wood block printing, having the laser cut each color plate. Feel free to size the image as necessary. : My image would be terrific in black and white. The texture and detail of the monkey’s face would be an ideal example for the process and the black and white allows the texture to be the focal point.

Finally got pixel bender oil painting to work to add the finishing touches to my above image.
Thanks for an amazing look at outside the box PS applications!
this photo is almost Zen-like. I took this in Port-au-Prince, Haiti while doing some work there. It is a picture of an old, rusty gate, with the promise of a new beginning.

Thanks for all your past photoshop teaching and talks!


Thanks for all your past lectures, and teaching.
This photo was taken in Haiti, this past November while I was there volunteering.
The old rusty gate with the new green growth is almost zen-like, and to me represents the hope that all of us need.


This is awesome! What a grand and creative concept!

This is awesome! I think the process would really work with my photo of a friend’s rat-rod. With the depth in the picture and mixing the old car and rust with a carved wood substrate would be the ultimate!

This is awesome! I think the process would really work with my photo of a friend’s rat-rod. With the depth in the picture and mixing the old car and rust with a carved wood substrate would be the ultimate!

Sorry for the re-post, forgot the link in the first post. duh!

The texture and contrast in this photo would be great for a 3D canvas.

The amount of variation in this photo offsets the lack of colors and would look great on a 3D canvas.

Lots of intricate detail on the mushroom would provide a good pattern for a 3D canvas.

This image has good patterns and shows age…something that would be challenging and different from the crisp clean look of most “beautiful” images.

nice colors, texture and atmosphere for a 3D canvas.

I am loving this idea. I do some wood carving as a hobby and have also just started doing digital painting. Here is a recent image I created fully in photoshop.

I would love to win because I am fascinated by both wood carving and digital painting. I think having a version of my painting carved into wood would be inspiring.

Good luck to all!

Nice detailed organic textures combined with flat sky would be interesting on a 3D canvas.

Good contrast, abnormal lighting mix and nice textures for 3D canvas.

The work that comes out is awesome and in jest a few steps. I would so love to have the equipment to do this. Not much to say but WOW!

This is so neat using a laser to carve out the detail and then to print the picture on top of it! I used the new pixel bender oil paint plugin on this picture. The oil paint plugin is SO much fun to work with!


I think this picture will look great with this amazing technique. Please choose mine! :) Here there is also a preview with this effect.

Amazing technique indeed!
I’d really love to see my picture printed out like that and I’ll tell you why you should pick it: the colors and contrasts are just perfect with the OilPaint filter applied and can’t imagine what whould be on a carved wooden tablet! 😀

Here it is:

Thank you so much , This is amazing!!! you just gave me 1 more thing on my need to do list, love it. congrats!

I love it! It’s a gorgeous innovation and can give so much… As I can see there are a lot great pictures from the readers in the comments but I have to try.. :)

My dear father is on the picture, which is my mom’s favourite photo of him. They are loving each other for 34 years and they are still in huge love. I would like to give them something special like their relationship is.


After spending an hour trawling through past photos I think this one, although maybe not the most interesting subject, would produce the best effect using the novel method show.

I think that the texture of the image, combined with a good depth map would work very well.


The incredible things you can do with PS these days. So many ways to be creative!

This is a really cool technique. I would love to see my image immortalized by Russell P. Brown.

Thanks for the opportunity! Big fan!

Love seeing new things being done. This is stunning.

I would love to see my image :

This is a photo of mine tha people already say pops off the page so just image it done using your technique!!!!

i want this photo to be printed so i can give it as a gift to someone special !!

i want this photo to be printed so i can give it as a gift to someone special !!

Seeing is believing!

Ok, you had me until we went to the special hardware. Can we figure out a way to do this using a canvas inkjet paper and a transparent media to cover it?

It’s awesome, What a grand and creative concept!

That is an amazing process, and an exquisite end product. I wish I had access to that laser and printer equipment.

I submit the following photo for your consideration:

My Native American friend who invited me to this Pow Wow is getting married this summer, and your process would make an amazing wedding gift.

Hi There,

i decided to share this Picture with you guys.
My little son is building Lego every day and bring it up to me. Then he sees me brushing a picture and pleased me to do such one with his Legotoy. He was so happy sitting on my legs and give me orders to setup the scene…;-)

wowww that was amazing …. and yea no more 3d glasses needed to watch some real 3D stuff!!!

The result is amazing, it will surely make a center piece in the living room. I wish I had all that equipments too make them myself too.
I would like to submit this art work that I did when I first started as a photographer and it always remind me that nothing is impoosible if you have enough imagination. Chek it out here

Amazing…Hats Off to Dr.Brown

I would really like to see my image published:

There are a number of reasons. Firstly, I think for old school photographers who published film, a lot more thought often went into presentation of the final image, and that seems to be getting lost in photoshop and expensive cameras. This image keys into that – the grafitti artist has no choice of mediums. I’d really like to extend what this artist did and see his image applied in texture.

Secondly, I think this image would suit the medium. There are a lot of tonal depth which match the medium. For example, if you were to grey scale the image, and then invert it before the initial print, the contour would roughly match the actual image. The sky would come out darkest, and hence be most recessed. The road in the foreground would be lightest, and likewise, least recessed.

Finally, I think the picture itself has merit. This is actually a small version of a very large panoramic photograph. I’ve tweaked it a lot to get some really noce colour rendition. I wanted to go on a cloudly day to avoid shadows and give a little more body to the trees and plants, but subsequently the shot was a little washed out. And I had to bring it back. It is a handheld panorama.

Otherwise, pick the eagle one, and invert the colours on the greyscale print to get the right depth (ie the braches will be raised, rather than recessed).

I would also love to know what effect different woods and materials have on the effect.

Very cool!

That’s a great technique!!! I really love the way it can make images much more dramatic!!!

Here is the image I propose for that effect. It’s not a photography, so it may give a different perspective to the result… I created it as part of my personal portfolio. I hope you’ll find it funny!!! By the way, if you want it in a bigger size let me know.

Keep the good work!

Carles Marsal.

This is pretty fascinating! I experimented with laser burning in grad school ,but never thought, or had the capability, to print directly back onto the surface. MY work depends heavily on visual textures and I think this would be a great process to bring out the physical qualities of my work. Here is a link to my work, specifically the BEFORE MY EYES print. I tend to output my work on paper, and as you say, the texutre is lost and I often have to work back into the image to make it seem more developed. This process would hopefully eliminate that process. Feedback is welcome.


Jonas Angelet

ooops i forgot some of these have water marks on them.
i took them off for now.
Dude, I juat watch the video, and it was awesome!!! I didn’t really felt like going for CS5, so I stayed with CS4. But when I saw some of theses awesome videos,Im going for CS4. Bye bye CS4!

I think my image of Notre Dame reflection at night will be perfect.

This technique is way cool. I’m a die hard fan of Adobe Photoshop since 1993 with Adobe 2.5. I use to watch Russell Brown on a local cable access show he did way back in the early 1990’s where he demonstrated techniques that you could not find in the manual, when they use to print manuals, ha ha.

    Forgot one thing. If I do win, I will submit my high resolution 16bit Pro Photo RGB file.

Wow! This is absolutely fantastic!

My creative muse is working overtime with thoughts surfacing from the video of Russel Brown! Photoshop is like a second skin to me. What a challenge to see if atmospheric perspective of my watercolours can be reflected in your process of laser carved wood and direct printing. A challenge for sure. Thanks for the inspiration.

…oops, here is a link to my images

Wonderful to see traditionel techniques used to fuel new thoughts. Hat tip for the innovative approach.

Kind regards

I like this great creative genius! I am an amature photographer of the “forgoten Kingdom” of mushrooms. I’ve posted a shortened version of my work on Youtube, “Rainbow Connection” and always looking for ways to bring this beautiful part of our world to view. When out taking photos, on the “off trail” side of a tree I found this face created in the moss on the bark of the tree…the face in the woods…I’d love to see it in 3D as you created in your video. you can find the image on my facebook page: Also visit We want to save this urban forest. Thanks for sharing your talents with us all. Julie Sommers

The image of a close-up of a blue morpho butterfly at would be a great subject for this project. Your technique is quite special and I hope that it will become available to ordinary Photoshop enthusiasts!

I’d love to have such a great piece of work. I’m amazed =)

This would just POP in 3D… mature Monarch chrysalis.

This is great! I think doing this with an image of nebula clouds or the aurora borealis would be very interesting.

I love the way Russel use photoshop to express his ideas and almost insane creative ideas

I took this grasshopper picture – it took me 400 shots to get this grasshopper, lighting, and location.

Awesome work!!
Thanks for sharing the video and for the 10 book copies you’re giving away!!
Nice way to start the year.

I’d love to see the cartographic application of this technique on one of my maps. For instance: I’d even be able to supply a custom terrain depth mask for the lasering.

Great work & another great idea from Russell Brown. Russell Brown Rocks! Can’t wait to give it a try myself!

I have used Dr. Brown’s scripts in PS for years. I still love & use the Dr. Brown’s Services for PS the most. Thanks again!

Wow this is amazing would love to see one of these portraits in person keep it up!

Amazing technique and interesting mix between analog ang digital world.

As always, the Great Russell Brown again shows us just how cool Photoshop is, even when used in, or maybe especially because, it can be used in unintended ways.

hello russell i think my image would look cool on wood becose it has a lot of depht i now i would never will have a chance to do somthing like these to mi images becose hou much those machine cost please pic me i have been using photoshop almost 4 years and evry time i find out some ting cool you can do with these program you are awsome fore showing hou to do these tecknike :) tank you

    If you win, you should ask to submit a PSD with a monochrome layer with the depths adjusted. EG colour everything in the background black, horse 50% grey and woman white. Actually, you’d probably want to make it a little more nuanced than that, but you get the idea.

This is stunning! I agree with some of the people above that it’s a shame we can’t do this from home. But the technologies on it’s way I’m sure. I love Photoshop, I use it for painting as well as editing photos and adding the finishing touches to anything else I am doing. This is a link to the image I would like to see in 3D, simple but elegant. Best of luck to us all!

I want to be just like Mr. Brown when I grow up!
Thanks for sharing the video and for the 10 book copies you’re giving away!!

Great ideas – as usual from Russell Brown –
I’m sure we will see a lot of that kind of artwork in the future .

I love the concept and I’m sure the tools will get cheaper and better soon .

I would love to have this kind of technology applied on a sphere for 360 degrees panoramic images :-)

This image won for Best in Show at Photoshop World 2010 in Las Vegas.

It is not a manipulated photo, but a completely digitally painted image done entirely in Photoshop. While I have limited edition giclee canvas prints of this image hanging in two galleries in Banff and Canmore, Canada, I would really love to see what the brush strokes would look like with this laser printing process.

This laser etching is an incredible process with a lot of applications. Whether or not my image is selected, I hope Adobe brings some samples of this printing/etching process to Photoshop World in Las Vegas THIS year so I can see it in person. Keep stretching the limits of possibility, Russell! Brilliant process.

Very Impressive stuff Russell.
I doubt I’ll be owning either the laser etcher or the printer any time soon s please consider this image as a candidate for your technique.

I believe the smooth areas will be quite well offset from the texture on the frogs back thereby enhancing the extra dimension your technique affords.

Thanks for the demo.
But where are the links you mention at the end of this clip please?

This was taken in Vegas during our honeymoon, I believe this would be a good one for the project because of all the color and it is a very unusual character.

Thanks Russell,

Great effect of combining different technologies to create a new art medium. I like hearing about new printing techniques on wood, fabric, metal, and stone. Too bad the technology is out of reach for most of us but that may change in the future.

Here is my image…

This picture of a man half in shadow (so to speak) contains many elements that I think would be brought out wonderfully by this process!
Please consider this, it would mean a lot!

Cool! I love the idea of being able to “feel” the texture captured in an image.. Here’s one for ya!

    wow, great composition, i think that would look great on wood.

One day I was a a Photoshop Summit meeting and a funny thing happened. Russell Brown gave me a Godzilla puppet because I had twin boys like he did. I got a cool Adobe tshirt too that changed colors with different levels of heat although he tried to convince me it had t do with how far away from Adobe I got.
Wow, Unbelievable! I didn’t know that could happen. Miss you Russell. Can’t wait to see the book.

I love this idea, I enjoy creating and trying to come up with new ideas and this style is really intriging, i wonder if you can further the idea? like what other materials it works on and how it affects them. Very creative. Here is a piece i composed in Photoshop using only one stock image, the rest is created. ( With my pieces i generally continue to add to them, so i never really feel like a piece is finished, but i think this one is, or at least very close. I worked quite hard on ‘Grunging’ this one up, which i think creates an interesting texture, i added 3 overlays on top to get the effect, I made it ‘grungy’ to contrast with the electric streaks, i think it works.

I’d love to see how the finished product would turn out!

Oops – thought I’d submit this too – . If I get selected though I will submit a seperate BW image for first burn so the depths come out correctly.

Thanks guys.

Terence Boylen.

It was a tough decision choosing what photo to offer to you guys! However, I chose this one because I think it works great for the technique you are using. The photo offers great visuals and includes many lines, shapes, and shadows that will make a final print look great. I’ve always wanted to do cool prints and things with my photos, but i’ve never had the chance. Hopefully, I will finally!

Thanks for the opportunity, guys! & great work on the technique, it’s really an amazing process and outcome!

I’ve seen prints on wood but never with that texture.Not sure about thr filter at the begining tho….I dont like using filters that create effects like that (they seem a bit cheap) but the final print on the wood with the different textures looks really interestin.Dunno if that can be achived without using the van gogh filter to the original image but perhaps it might work only for the mapping of the is an illustration I created for the Intrinsic Nature art collective. hope you like it enough and that it may work nicely with this process.

What an awesome combination of technologies. Now, I’m printing onto various media, preferably canvas, spray coating, and brushing over with some sort of dimensional media be it paint, thick glaze, etc. I really like the results that the additional hand work produces, but this really appeals to the technology nut in me. Thanks.

This is an amazing technique! Thanks as always for sharing your talent and vision. Since I saw you out in Los Angeles, I have really been playing with Photoshop again. Most recently experimenting with filters, adjustment layers and now Pixel Bender (and of course now using smart objects!)

I would love to see my work come to life in a new way. But mostly, as an instructor of Photoshop, would love the opportunity to share with my students a way to turn a digital imagery into a very tangible and tactile form. I have already challenged them to see what they can come up with.

oops link didn’t show

Before I saw the video I was somewhat skeptical, but after watching it I’ve completely changed my mind. This technique is extremely cool and innovative. I love how the resulting image turns out.
I’m posting a link to this image:
which I would like to give to my boyfriend on our 8th anniversary this year.
He knows I’m a big Photoshop fan, and if I win this and tell him how I got it, I know it will also mean a lot to him.

Great technique he’s invented … Wish I could get my hands on of them laser engravers. Here’s my image:

I found an easier way of creating a realistic oil painting texture after watching this video. Thanks for sparking the idea.

My little black Gisele Bündchen! =)

    This is my cousin, Lia. I really thinks she deserves this because she’s an amazing girl, and this photo is part of a photoshoot I made to her as gift. It was the FIRST time she received this kind of attention and, before of the photos, she thought she was ugly… I think she will really realize how beautiful she is if, more than a photo, I can give her a painting!

    Thanks for show us this amazing work. =)

My little black Gisele Bündchen!

Thanks for sharing. I’m looking for new ways to print images on old wood. I wonder if this will work.




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