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Posts Tagged ‘Photoshop’

Just realized I have two friends with birthdays today and tomorrow. So I hopped on Photoshop and made this card. (It’ll be personalized with their names when I send it.)

Happy Birthday card with beach scene

 

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I’ve had the idea for this one kicking around for a while. Actually it dates back to a piece I did way back when, just out of college, with a woman’s silhouetted profile and leaves blowing in the wind.

Now she’s back. The picture here is the initial “sketch” in Photoshop. I suspect I’ll be changing the landscape a bit and maybe adding a few wind turbines. I’ll post more as she progresses.

 

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Man pushing wheelbarrow full of gold
Gold Miner digital illustration

Another one for the website project.

 
This one was fun to do. I used two different reference photos so the figure is really a composite of two models. The pile of gold is a separate layer – I just kind of winged it but I like the way it turned out.
 
The gold actually puts me in mind of dragons. Maybe I’ll do one of those soon! Do you think dragons are best with wings?

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barbie doll in pink dress Seriously, I don’t remember the last time I played with Barbie. I probably made her muck out stalls for my Breyer riding dolls.  But I spent some time today in Barbie land. I found a job posting for someone looking for a doll illustrator and thought, what the heck? Why not? So I went for it.

The most fun part was adding the sparkly effect to the dress. It allowed me to use a brush setting that I usually find ultra annoying, called “dissolve.”

Definitely layers were the way to go. (It is, of course, all about clothes and hair.) That way I can do things like add different accessories – like the jewelly stuff below. I could even make her a brunette if I wanted to.

Which reminds me of a Barbie-style doll I picked up at a thrift store once. She came with a gold tooth and tattoos. I called her “Biker Chick Barbie.” The kids thought she was hideous.

 

barbie doll with accessories

Hmmm...how about adding a giant snake to the background layer?

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IPainter at easel illlustration‘ve been doing some illustration work for the Partnership With Earth Foundation (PWEF), a nonprofit focused on raising sustainability consciousness.

They’ve begun an ambitious website project which will introduce a unique  approach to understanding sustainable living. I’m very excited about it and I’m sure I’ll be sharing more about it as the project unfolds.

Anyway, the  website will be interactive and highly illustrated with a multitude of little figures who represent different aspects of a sustainable lifestyle.

According to PWEF founder Lance DuRand, taking a more “right-brained”  approach to life helps to foster a more long-term-sustainable worldview.  So the figures I’m doing represent (for the most part) activities which use primarily that part of the brain.

Of course the arts are about as right brained as you get, and I was very pleased to be asked to create a painter and a potter.  Here they are!

Potter at wheel illustration

 

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OK, it’s my 43rd birthday and since I didn’t bother making a New Year’s resolution I’m going to make one today – to start posting stuff on my blog as I do it.

Which means I have a lot of catching up to do. I’ll be posting recent work over the next few days or so.

Most of what I’ve been doing is digital illustration, although I’ve got a few watercolors in the works. Here’s a quick piece I did in Photoshop as a study for a watercolor:

Digital illustration girl and wasp

Yes, that’s a wasp she has on her finger. (It’s a little rough since as I mentioned this was a quick study.)

Did you know that if you stay calm, and if the wasp is not defending its nest, you can actually remove the critters from unwanted areas (like porches) barehanded? No need for smashing or slapping lids on containers. They’ll step right on to your finger with some encouragement. Then all you have to do is stay calm and radiate love – and move very slowly towards the door. The hardest part can actually be getting them to leave your finger.

Wear gloves if you want.

Have a great day!!

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This is my second attempt at this piece. Many more layers to go. The falcon at the top is still just sketched in.

I’ve had several dreams of falcons and sightings of real ones during the past year.  And for some reason angels have been coming into my work and consciousness.

My kids were kind enough to pose for a photo shoot a few weeks back. Mostly I was after their hands but I had my son do this pose and this piece just kind of flowed naturally out of it.

The falcon, amongst other things, is significant as a symbol for life’s purpose. My dream falcon was very large and white – I’ll try to make this one look like him once I start filling him in.

One thing I really like about Photoshop is that if you just don’t like where you’re heading, you can save the file under another name, delete whatever layers aren’t working out, and keep going with the original drawing or whatever you had that was working – like going back in time and taking a different route.  (Physicists now tell us the concept of progressive time is an illusion, and being able to work this way makes that seem plausible!) 🙂

My first attempt was started before my daughter opened my eyes to some of the possibilities of the medium. I was liking it until I realized how I could have approached it – then did the time warp trick and came up with something I am liking even better!  I’ll post again when it’s done.

Angel illustration, unfinished

My first (primitive) attempt at the angel.

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Wolf howling at the moon digital image

Wolf howl - digital illustration

Photoshop is getting a little easier. It helped to sit my 12-year-old daughter Clara down in front of it.

“What does this tool do?”

“Uh, I don’t know.”

“Why not? Oh, that’s cool.  How about this tool? What does that do?”

“Um, never tried that either.”

“How come? Oh, awesome, check this out…”

It was kind of embarrassing. I had really intended to show her some cool stuff but she ended up instructing me!  Just through sheer curiosity, Clara managed to introduce me to the burn tool, sponge tool and several other cool Photoshop toys.

I had already nearly finished this digital wolf illustration based on a watercolor painting from a couple years ago, so the new tools only got a mini workout here, but I’m definitely looking forward to trying them out more thoroughly next time!

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wolf digital image painting

Learning to manipulate the digital pen and work in layers in Photoshop...

I’ve painted this wolf in watercolor (based on a pencil sketch from a couple of years ago), so thought I’d give it a try in Photoshop.

It came out kind of looking like a piece done in oil pastels.  I do really enjoy the fact that overworking an area doesn’t mean I’m stuck with it! In this piece I learned how to use layers to build up an image…  very different than layering with physical paint because here one has the luxury of adding to or removing any layer at any time!  And of course adding another layer won’t muss up the ones beneath it.

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female potrait

Didn't know what the heck I was doing, but it was a blast...

Don’t you love having the excuse to buy something you’ve been lusting after?

I’ve been wanting a graphics tablet and digital pen ever since I realized there was such a thing. (About 2 years I think.  Yes, I’m from Mars.)

As I mentioned in my last couple posts I’ve been working on an illustration project for an animated video.  And scanning just isn’t going to cut it.  So, oh well (hee, hee, hee!) I’ve been forced to spend the bucks for my most coveted wish-list item.  (Talk about manifesting one’s own reality!)  🙂

I asked around and the consensus was pretty much that the only brand worth considering is a Wacom. I heard good things about their Bamboo model, but after reading a ton of reviews I decided that I probably wouldn’t be happy with anything less than a professional model.  A few more reviews  convinced me that a small Intuos3, while not the latest and greatest, would suit my needs to a T.

I actually ended up spending less than I thought I would have to.  I found a new one on Ebay for a reasonable price and after a few hours’ anxious hovering over the monitor, won the bid with no competition.  A few LONG days later my tablet arrived!

It didn’t take me long to realize that the software I had been using for graphic design, Adobe Illustrator, just didn’t seem to give me the results I wanted. Then my friend Lance suggested I try Photoshop.  Fortunately I already owned it since I have the Adobe Suite.  Of course there are plenty of challenges since I’d never really used Photoshop before.  But it wasn’t long before I realized that this tablet + Photoshop offered something beyond my wildest dreams…

…total fluidity of expression.  The possibilities are truly endless!  Right now I’m really enjoying the painterly qualities I can get with the smudge tool. But I expect this will be a visual love affair to last the rest of my life.  (Even my traditional paintings will, I’m sure, benefit from Photoshop as a compositional planning tool…)

The image here is one of my earliest attempts.  It’s no-one in particular, just a portrait that flowed out of my head through the pen onto the screen.  Perhaps she’s the muse of digital imagery?

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