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?


KathrynAntyr said...

What a great use of technology. I love the idea of working out some ideas using technology before hitting the canvas. Thanks for sharing.

Marlynn said...

Oh, Regina, it is Greek to me but I am so impressed with your quest! I love the leaping wooden model. Very impressive!

darlene said...

I enjoyed reading about your watercolor experiments. I also do watercolor painting. I try out some ideas (e.g., printing lighter or darker versions of my paintings) in PSE 7. You gave me some new ideas to try - Thank you.

Michelle really came up with a creative campaign. After visiting the other participating bloggers, I amazed at all that we learned - and are still learning.

michelle ward said...

Regina - trying again to leave a comment....Bravo for your experiments digitally. Love trying things out with composition and color through photoshop. Of course nothing beats doing the real work but there can be alot of learning from trying things out in PS. Thanks for sharing with the team. *crosses fingers this one goes through*

Julie said...

Regina- I am so jealous! What a great idea to help plot the progress of your paintings...I love all of the possibility these steps bring to the project!


jgr said...

Hi Regina,
I love the wooden model - minus the stand! What a cool idea. Thank you for sharing your process too, we are all learning from each other-that's my favorite part of blogging.

Janvangogh said...

Photoshop is great for working out issues on a painting. Makes me wonder what we did before digital cameras.

Janvangogh said...

BTW, Unforgettable Art is April 10 next year, I do believe. If you arent on the mailing list already, let me know.

Kel said...

I am SO glad you commented on my blog, because it led me here. I have a long way to go on my painting journey, and I am so grateful that you have left some breadcrumbs along the way!

Shayla said...

Those photoshop exercises sound good.