Photoshop II course at Sessions College

Photoshop II

3 credits

DES 222: Photoshop II

Take your Photoshop to new levels

How well do you know Adobe Photoshop, the industry-standard imaging app? In this advanced online Photoshop course you'll transcend your current skill set with vector illustration techniques, photo-realistic painting, high-impact typography, and professional editing methods that preserve the editability of your original images. Working with a Photoshop pro, you'll build proficiency with the Pen tool, Adobe Color, Smart Objects and Filters, and more.

Course At A Glance

Course Features

  • 100% online
  • Project-based
  • Instructor-led
  • Credit-bearing: 3 Credits
  • Classes start January, April, and August


The course is taught by the following instructor(s):

Course developed by: Lisa Snider

Take this course as a standalone or as part of the following program(s):

Course Projects

    1. Drawing with Vector Tools

      Vectors allow you to create intricate and beautiful work that is also infinitely scalable. We begin the course exploring how to manipulate paths and shapes to create complex and editable art. Also discussed is using vector paths to create precise selections from low-contrast images, as well as using vector masks to blend images.

    2. Working with Smart Objects

      This course focuses on creating and editing images in Photoshop non-destructively, and one way to accomplish this is by using Smart Objects. This session introduces Smart Objects and discusses linking Smart Objects for ultimate flexibility. Smart Filters also open up a world of non-destructive image editing that you'll explore.

    3. Creating Professional Text

      Creating professional, polished typography requires an attentive eye. This week's class addresses advanced type layout techniques including leading, kerning, tracking, baseline shift, and ligatures. Popping photographs through text and hiding portions of text with masks are also covered as creative ways to handle type in Photoshop.

    4. Combining Images

      Blending images to create unique composites is a hallmark of Photoshop. This week, we will discuss layer mask gradients and blending sliders as techniques to meld images. Blend modes are also introduced and defined by how each one affects the image. You will wrap up this lecture with a discussion of the Select and Mask tool to create extremely precise selections.

    5. Advanced Photo Editing Techniques

      Have portraits that need retouching? This week's class lays out methods of retouching and healing to make a photo picture-perfect (non-destructively!). You'll use faux burning and dodging to soften wrinkles and remove blemishes and use Content-Aware Fill to remove an entire area from an image. Finally, use shadow, highlight, blending, grayscale, and duotone controls are examined to create elegant imagery

    6. Color and Painting in Photoshop

      The flexibility and forgiveness of Photoshop is perfect for painting! To wrap up the course, we'll examine color theory as it applies to Photoshop tools such as Kuler, Swatches, and Color Libraries. The Mixer Brush is introduced as a method of painting a photograph or painting from scratch, and you'll learn how to customize special brushes to create unique effects and freehand art.

Sample Student Work

Logan Barlow - Music poster by Logan Barlow

Course Outcomes

What Are The Course Projects?

Creative Photoshop projects include music themed concert materials, ad designs, book design, poster design, promotional poster, and album art.

What Software or Supplies Do I Need?

  • Computer with Internet connection.
  • Adobe Photoshop CC.
  • Basic experience in the above software.

What Will I Learn?

Students in this course can expect to learn to:

  • Draw and manipulate custom vector shapes using the Pen tool and shape tools.
  • Create precise selections in low-contrast images using vector masks and paths.
  • Use Smart Objects in Photoshop to non-destructively edit, link, update images.
  • Sharpen, blur, and vignette images using customizable and editable Smart Filters.
  • Apply professional-quality typography in Photoshop, considering leading, kerning, tracking, baseline shift, and ligatures.
  • Handle type creatively by applying textures to text, pushing photographs through text and other shapes, and hiding portions of text.
  • Combine multiple photographs using gradient masks, blending sliders, and displacement maps.
  • Utilize blend modes, gradients, and the Select and Mask tool to combine images seamlessly.
  • Retouch and alter photographs non-destructively, using faux dodging and burning, Content-Aware tools, and adjustment layers.
  • Create attractive grayscale, partial grayscale, and duotone images.
  • Use Adobe Color, the Swatches panel, and Color Libraries to effectively select and manage color schemes.
  • Create custom brushes, use the Mixer Brush for freehand painting in Photoshop, and turn images into paintings.

Getting Started

Course Registration

  • Classes start January, April, and August
  • 3 Credit Course
  • Project-Based: Exercises, Discussions, and Critiques

Course Tuition and Fees
Registration Fee* $200
Total Course Price $1730

Registration fees are nonrefundable after 5 days from enrollment. All tuition includes a digital materials fee for course content.

Course Registration Form

To register for this course, use the form below to enter your information and desired start date. An Admissions Advisor will contact you to arrange payment and provide you with an Enrollment Agreement.

PD: Course Registration

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


What Are The Courses Like?

Our courses are project-based. In each course you’ll enjoy a series of lectures, projects, discussions, and critiques designed to stretch your creative skills, earning college credit for your completed course.

How Much Time Do I Need?

Classes start January, April, and August, and this course can be completed in a 15-week term. College credit from this course can be applied to a range of degree and certificate level programs at Sessions College.

Who Are The Instructors?

Our courses are developed and taught by our faculty of professional artists, designers, and photographers. This means that you’ll learn in-demand skills, get feedback on your work, and build a portfolio of creative work.

Is Sessions College accredited?

Yes. Since 2001, Sessions College has been accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). The Distance Education Accrediting Commission is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a recognized accrediting agency and is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).