Adobe Workshop


10 hours of training on these incredible programs

May 30, 31, June 1

In Cool Springs (Nashville/Franklin)

Adobe Illustrator
Adobe Photoshop
This is a vector program, which basically means cut out shapes. It’s great for graphic design: creating page elements (printing and web), flyers, business cards, etc. It can also be used to create and modify ink-style art work.

Our introduction to Adobe Illustrator covers the basics on how to use the tools and navigate the interface. However, we don’t just leave you there – with abstract instructions. Nope, that annoys us too. We’ll show you how to apply the tools and techniques to specific needs that most designers and graphic artists can use daily.

This is a raster program, which means pushing around bunches of pixels. The program’s tools can be used for both mainipulating photos, and creating artwork from scratch. We are going to focus on the former in this workshop. Filters and adjustments can take a bad photograph and make it look very impressive. Artwork scans can be manipulated as well.

We’re going to cover the basics and some intermediate techniques for enhancing images and settings for printing as well as web site graphics. The techniques we’ll cover are foundational for graphic artists.

This is not for a beginner on the computer, but for a beginner or nearly beginner on these specific programs. Please do not come to this class without a good working knowledge of how computer programs work. We will not be able to slow down if you don’t know how to quickly follow along using standard interface elements and tools, including a recent computer (less than 3 years) and latest installed software. Please call if you have questions.

See all of our Workshops, Camps, and our drop-in class, The Summer Art Buffet.


Together, these two programs allow artists to manage web sites and printing graphics with tons of creative freedom.

Having a great foundation for the way these Adobe programs work – and work even better in tandem – is essential for anyone who wants to communicate using visual imagery.

We won’t be showing you everything the programs do, because that would not only take much more time, but it would be overwhelming. These is very complicated software. Instead, we choose the most useful things you need to know. Things that allow you to solve most of the everyday kinds of needs that come up.

So, if you are a professional who wants to move into creating graphics, a business owner who needs to make ads, or a soccer mom who has volunteered to make a newsletter, this workshop will get you moving forward with creative confidence!

3 Days:

Thursday, May 30 from 4 – 6:30 pm
Friday, May 31 from 4 – 6:30 pm
Saturday, June 1 from 12 – 5 pm

$295 – course requires your own laptop computer (preferrably 3 years old or less) and installed up-to-date software.

Firstlight Art Academy offers 28 classes during the school year. See our complete program.

Here are a few images that show one of the things we’ll be learning in Photoshop. Anyone who needs to use images, needs to quickly process them in a way that makes them better looking, and to also work correctly with media – printing or web page design.

All the following photos were taken by the instructor, using an iPhone, and manipulated with Photoshop.

The original photo is not bad, but the strong back-lighting made the exposure go dark. The camera can’t record what our eyes saw at this scene.

This photo might look great as a black and white shot since it’s already mostly that way.

You can tap on any image to view a larger version.

Cropping to a square helps the composition and works well on social media.

However, simply changing the photo from color to grayscale in Photoshop doesn’t help at all. This is still way too dark.

Photoshop has good tools to enhance the lights, darks, and medium tones on the overall image, but this result still doesn’t convey the magical winter scene that we remember when taking the picture. We could see the running water in the creek, not a black hole.
Only by using the quick and easy masks and special selection tools, can we manipulate the different tones in a way that brings out the beauty of the scene. Now we see all the snow, the shadows are rich, the water is rippled and reflective, and the background is no longer dark and muddy.
Take a nice shot and turn it into a professional-looking photo shoot by isolating it.
Enhance colors a lot, or just enough to mimick the real world a little closer.
Pop your colors and then add effects for even more color.
Change the color to acheive a different mood. Then add graphics.
None of these techniques are advanced, and they don’t take much time either.

Anyone can learn to make their images and graphics (like below) look great with just a few quick steps!

Meet Your Instructor

Dennas Davis has been a graphic designer, an illustrator, a painter, and a business owner, in the Nashville area for nearly 40 years. He has a bunch of awards, accomplishments, and cool stuff that will impress you if we listed them all, but that would get kind of tedius. So here are a few just to prove our point:

  • 5 million illustrated children’s books in print world wide.
  • Clients include RCA, Neiman Marcus, Nabisco, Betty Crocker, Disney, blah blah blah…
  • Has worked on the Adobe Illustrator team helping test and improve the program
  • Featured artist in “Illustrator Masters”
  • Founder of Firstlight Art Academy and The Art Instructor dot com.
  • He wears bow ties.
1710 General George Patton Dr

Brentwood, Tennessee  37027