Earlier in the year I took some photographs that I had intended to use as references for painting pin-up art in the style of Gil Elvgren and Alberto Vargas, the two best-known artists from the Golden Era of pin-up. After learning of Photoshop CS5's new Mixer Brushes and seeing demonstrations of how to use them with an existing photo, I decided to try them out. I began creating a palette of colors to the left of the model, but soon realized that if I adjusted the wetness of the original photo and the mix just right, I could easily paint most of it with just the "wet paint" of the photo, and then just add small amounts of additional paint as needed.
While the mixer brushes were impressive in themselves, the latest version of Refine Edge and the new Content-Aware Fill proved to be as extraordinary and easy to use as every video demonstration promised.
Other features I couldn't wait to use were Illustrator's Perspective Drawing Tools. I used them to extend an existing background with perspective, but I can't wait to use these again to create scenes from scratch.
Finally, I learned how Photoshop's Repoussé tool could be used to quickly and easily transform just about anything and reposition it three-dimensionally however I wished.
See examples, below...