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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

A Photoshop Artist

It's pretty much impossible for me to write when my kids are around.  Believe me, I've tried.  I've tried telling them "I'm going to work now.  Only interrupt me if it's important."  But the annoying voice of their Stampy videos drift up into my room, or their interruptions for whatever kids find are 'important' just make it impossible for me to delve into the world that I've created.  I must be 100% focused, or nothing will happen.
So this past summer, I started playing around with photoshop.  I found it complicated and never thought that i would really learn how to use it.  But then I found instructional videos on YouTube and have found a new passion.  The best thing is that I don't need the focus to work on photo manipulation like I need when I write.  My kids can be jumping around, looking over my shoulder, singing at the top of their lungs, interrupting me with stories and questions and it doesn't matter.  I can still do it.
It's very hard to tell the things that go into photomanipulated art, and if the artist is very good, then, why it looks like it's a breeze.  There was one artist in particular that I tried to emulate and just absolutely couldn't produce anything similar to them in any way.  After doing a very through search on the internet, I was able to find a single demonstration of the work that this artist put into their work, along with the comment that it took 60 hours to complete.  60 hours!  Well, no wonder mine looks nothing like theirs!  Plus I just don't have the skills -- which is something that I'm working on.

So I wanted to show some of the work that goes into this kind of art.  I'm going to give a very brief explanation of how I did my most recent artwork.  I'm not going to upload large pictures out of respect to the photographers, so that they can't be downloaded. (The website I use is called DeviantArt and strict rules are given for usage.)
First I had to find the images.  I have to look at something that will inspire me, and use my mind to create something out of the picture that I'm looking at.  The picture of the goose was my inspiration.  I loved the elegance of his wings and wanted to use them.  I looked through several pictures of female models, trying to find the right one.  I knew that I wanted one with a bare top, but that didn't show any boobage.  She also had to look 'angelic' and I wanted her to be thoughtful.  I finally found the right one, along with the first background that you see, next to the watch.
I cut her out, using a tool to get the fine strands of her hair, and then placed her on the background.  I worked on her skin tones and blending her into the background - I needed her to look like she belonged in this mythical place, but also that she was angelic.  I also cut out the wings and placed them on her back.  I had to manipulate one of the wings in order for it to look anatomically correct.  
Of course, it looks silly just cutting and pasting pics on top of each other, and so I had to work on blending and shading.  I wasn't 100% happy with the look, so I came upon this dinosaur bone, that I cut and pasted the joint.  And then there was more blending and shading.
Overall I was pretty happy but felt like I was missing something.  So I played around with some background until I was happy with one that I overlayed on the whole picture.  And then I had to play around again with the blending and shadows, etc etc because they looked different with the coloring over top of it.
I wanted her to be in more of a 'heavenly, cloudy' space, so I added the clouds to the background and took a metal ring off the watch to give her a halo.  And it took me forever to figure out how to move the halo so that it was on top of her head instead of circling it (I hope that makes sense).  There's additional lighting around the halo and the wings, to give off a heavenly glow as well as other things that might be too boring to read about.
And here's what I ended up with: 

I really hope you like it and if you want to see anything else I've done you can look at it here.  I know that I really have a long way to go but so far I'm pretty happy with the way things are turning out with me being so new at it.

TLDR: all the pictures in the first picture make up the second picture.

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