Painting Photos

Painting Photos is an online self-paced class exploring various “recipes” for applying painterly effects to your photographs. Painting Photos responds to the “hands-off” process of digital photography with “hands-on” recipes. While our digital hand selects, masks, and guides the pen or mouse, the painting photos process enhances tactile qualities and leaves your handprint. In painting photos, you’ll shape, sculpt, and transform images into artistic works.

painterly photos, the art of handpainting photographsPainting Photos encourages artistic exploration and creativity.  Cheryl Machat Dorskind launched her photography career with her “photopaintings” and the best selling book, “The Art of Handpainting Photographs.”

Join three-time author, fine-art photographer, international mentor and educator, Cheryl Machat Dorskind, and learn how to say something else, something MORE… express yourself with a painterly photos technique.


Topics include


painting photos

Who should attend

Join me if you are:

  • Looking for a signature technique
  • Fine-tuning your personal style
  • Desiring to express yourself
  • Seeking to WOW your audience
  • Entering a photo contest
  • Preparing for an exhibition
  • Creating a calendar or book

YouTube videos

Here are a few videos that illustrate some of the “recipes” you will learn and work on in the painting photos online class:


Since this is a self-paced online photography class, Painting Photos enable you to create a timeline incorporating your work and travel schedules. Typically, for the Painting Photos class, each assignment and lesson runs over a one or two-week time span. It is up to you. My video critique is created and posted within five days of the assignment upload (Dropbox or Google Drive). Unlimited and timely email communication during the class timeline is included in the class. 


This class can be approached in several manners. One can work strictly digital (using Photoshop and or Adobe Photoshop Elements) using the digital brush or a participant can experiment with artist materials as well. There is a wealth of information on artist’s papers, inkjet papers, and opportunities to apply color (oils, pastels, and watercolors) onto fine art prints. If you work strictly digital, you will explore the artist’s materials as filters, blending modes, and fill layers.


An understanding of layers in either Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Photoshop Elements and a willingness to experiment. There are many step-by-step lessons that will steer you through the assignments. Please feel free to contact me if you want to try the class but are concerned about your level of digital imaging proficiency (


Students accomplish new photo editing skills and learn a new way of seeing and interpreting their vision. Many students win awards with images created in my class, as well as find new ways to present their photography and create works of art.

Students’ work

Office (virtual) hours 

During the online class, students will have access to communicate, ask questions, converse — a great way to connect.

How the Online Photography Class Painting Photos Works

Painterly Photos includes four lessons in pdf format rich with information and insights, along with video tutorials. Each lesson is followed by a relevant and challenging assignment corresponding to the lesson. Students are encouraged to submit three digital files (jpegs or PSDs (with layers) per assignment and a summary sheet (word docx) detailing the strategy involved. Cheryl Machat Dorskind will provide video critiques addressing the work and provide video instruction illustrating how to enrich the methods and/or provide alternative methods to create a painterly photo that matches the student’s vision and strategy.


The critiques will be rendered as private Vimeo videos (a total of four videos which each average 15 minutes per assignment – that is over 60 minutes of personalized photo critiques!) in the platform of choice (Lightroom, Photoshop or Photoshop Elements).


“Luckily I have found my way into your realm of photo painting!! I didn’t even know that this existed and I’m just so excited. I’ve learned so much in the last couple of months that right now my brain feels like it might explode –

Thank you so very much for your video critiques!! You were right on and I’ve already made some of the changes you suggested. I’m very pleased!! I appreciate so much your manner of teaching and it has been a pleasure to work with you.

My little artist inside is very young and unsure of herself and you have been so encouraging. I’m so lucky to have found you!! I’m very intrigued by color and look forward to entering that whole new world as well…”

~Cheryl Romalho

“Cheryl, Your critiques are poetic…I enjoyed this class tremendously. I really felt pushed and challenged in a great way. I’ll be back for your next class; Until then I plan on going through all the lesson plans again and glean all I can from them. I’d like to especially thank you for your thoughtful critiques of the class photos. I appreciate how you used critiques to re-enforce and illustrate the lessons, and I learned a lot from them–you also have a way with words that makes them a joy to read! Take care and thanks.”

~Larry Guayante

“Thank you so much Cheryl – I feel you have given me a gift. You opened a door I did not know existed:)”

~Debra Nash

I took a class from Cheryl about digital painting on a photo. The class was first rate, and I recommend it with enthusiasm.

         In this class, she taught me how to improve both the processing and the presentation of my photographs. Her instruction was both aesthetic and technical: how to see possibilities with more fertility, and how to execute a plan more smoothly. I currently use what she taught me every time I sit down to the computer.

         We did cover some ground with which I was already familiar, but even so, she taught me how to do what I had been doing both better and more smoothly. And there was much that she taught me about of which I was previously ignorant, so that I can now do things that I had not been doing at all. Consequently, I believe that the content of my images now have a richer feel than they had previously, and her techniques for finishing an image generate a more polished look to my images.

         In all of this, my learning was eased my her manner of teaching. Cheryl is patient and soft-spoken, so she sets her students at ease. Furthermore, she is careful both in what she says and in how she says it, so her words are clear and precise. Cheryl is the very model of what a teacher should be.

         My only regret was that the class did not last longer.”

~Lash LaRue

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