Sunday, August 27, 2006

Brushes and Layers

I'm finally getting around to learning about brushes and layers in Photoshop. Sure, I experimented all last winter making fatbook pages with photographic images and design elements that I mostly cribbed off the web but I have been studying the sites of various illustrators and trying to figure out how they do some of the things they do. I am so danged curious; I think I have to unravel every puzzle. So anyway, I met Kathy, a local artist who scans in her own drawings and then plays with them, she made me curious, and I found a few web tutorials (free of course) and this is my first project. I already had the quickly drawn image scanned into my computer (something I did months ago in preparation for a painting) and then I used brushes to make textures and chose colors and added text and a duplicate image a little offset and so on. Dang, FUN!

If any of you are more experienced at this than I am I would appreciate being pointed in the right direction to improve my skills. Do I just keep playing? Keep looking at the work of artists who are more experienced than myself? (I have a feeling that is the answer.) In October I plan to take Photoshop at Mac Camp but other than that I am all self-taught.

Only a few more days to prepare for Art in the Pearl. I completed 2 new paintings this week but I am still tweaking on them so it is too early to share. Instead I will give you pictures from the garden. The first is of a yellow watermelon that is finally ripe. These guys are smallish and very sweet and juicy.

Next come a couple of roses. The coral one is "Touch of Class" and has the most beautiful buds and shape of blossom. Unfortunately she lacks a powerful scent but we forgive her for that. She is long stemmed and high steppin'.

Next is the buttery, apple spice scented David Austin rose named "Graham Thomas". This rose grows to phenomenal size and is covered with blooms from May to late fall. Really an awesome rose.

We got our act together for a change and put some corn up for the winter. We scalded it first out on the deck on our Y2K outdoor burners, blanched it in ice water, then cut it off the cobs for the freezer. I didn't count the bags but there were a couple dozen at least and we still have another wave of corn getting ripe.

The last photo is of a honey bee's butt that squirmed its way into a blue salvia blossom. It struggled for quite awhile to get back out; that's how I was able to shoot a good picture. What a life; wallowing in sweet nectar all day and flitting from flower to flower. The busy, happy bee.

Time for me to get to work too. September is the month that always makes me think of getting down to brass tacks again; waking up earlier and reining in the lazy summer routine. It is my version of "back to school" (I always loved school) as I set new goals for myself and work to broaden my experience.


katie said...

beautiful roses
i have the yellow graham thomas rose too and love it

i look forward to meeting you at art and soul too...

kelly rae said...

oh, i'm gonna miss art in the pearl this year!!! have a great time. i have much to learn about photoshop, but this looks wonderful.