Sunday, September 27, 2009
Back to School - GPP Crusade No. 33
Michelle Ward has encouraged the Green Pepper Press Street Team to share what we are learning for our latest crusade. Being a curious person, I'm always learning. There are usually art books or magazines beside my favorite chair and beside my bed.
When I start a painting, I've been trying to remember to keep a record of the paints I use in a watercolor tablet. I learn what colors to mix for desirable combinations. This visual record can become the jumping off point for a new project. I'm learning that the tablet is an important tool for projects that are laid aside. When I return to the painting, the record helps me go back to the correct paint colors. Another lesson learned... if I DO NOT record my paints is bad. There is a painting that I will need to run color trials before I can work on it again since I don't remember exactly which paints I used and it's not a typical color palette for me.
Inspired by the book "Creative Computer Tools for Artists", I have been using my camera and Photoshop Elements to help me develop some of my paintings in progress. This image is an edited version of a wooden drawing model I photographed. I eliminated the model's stand and the background. I wanted to see if a figure in this pose would work on a painting in progress. After opening an image of the painting in PS Elements, I copied the model's image and pasted it on to a new layer of the painting's image. I could easily resize the model and move it around for placement.
This exercise was very helpful and much less stressful than adding an element to a very developed painting when I wasn't sure it would work.
I made progress on other paintings this past week because of my digital try outs. By using a translucent layer over an image of the painting, I could test the results of adding a glaze to adjust values. Next, I used the 'eraser' to remove the virtual glaze in areas I want to keep in the foreground. I was able to approach my painting with more confidence and did not worry that I would regret glazing over some of my lighter values.
Later, I photographed the adjusted painting. Because the painting has many hues, I made grey scale versions of the earlier photograph and the new one. In grey scale, I could more easily see that I had successfully adjusted the values.
There is another painting that is in its early stages, and I really liked how it looked. The problem was that I wasn't quite sure what to do next. After uploading a photo of the painting, I digitally painted more layers. I printed the results which I am using as a guide.
I hope to become more proficient with PS Elements through these exercises. There is a lot for me to learn about using digital brushes and I am excited about the prospects.
Have you used digital editing to help you with your painting progress?