Archive for the ‘Photoshop’ Category
When we did Vermont Open Studios last May with artist Mary Hill, one of the great things about sharing the space was all the time we had to talk about our various art and marketing attempts. Mary had some GREAT ideas for us concerning packaging. We continue to process everything we thought about, with some definite changes in what we are doing. Thanks to Rachel of The Textile and Fiber Art List, we have also been improving photography – both how we shoot items and how we present the finished product.
First, the photography. Our pictures have a “muddy” cast to them, and we are basically rephotographing everything we have. The place we are living now doesn’t allow for much flexibility for setting up good lighting. Hubby experimented with a lot of options – including moving to a rolled fabric presentation rather than each piece in a haphazard manner. Give an overall idea as opposed to every thing about each piece. In this manner we can still send the packages flat and save customers money (on international orders – domestic shipping is free). Some “before and after” ideas –
Getting the overall set-up of the product looking good –
Lighting and color still issues….but against the white background looking better. Also, we discovered that we needed to save pictures at a larger size in order to get more detail in the pictures. Next is better with a good cropping and some adjustments in Photoshop to correct the lighting.
Definitely getting there –
Close-up shot for the Twitter picture, which I am slowly getting back to using…..
This is just for our Charm Pack 2 – ten pieces of hand-marbled pima cotton, assorted patterns and colors, 10 x 10 inches each. Slowly working on others. The pieces need to be appealing, hence all the work on presentation in the pictures. The mailing is easier than a rolled item, which costs more to ship and doesn’t give customers a good look at the fabrics.
This looks better in person when displaying for a show – but not for online sales.
Wow. I have written 800 blog posts since I started some years ago…..January of 2007. I figured I’d keep the blog just for posting with the Photoshop class I was taking, but I’ve come to really enjoy writing and reflecting. Like a diary, which I could never seem to do when I was younger. But now I can look back, see how my art has grown, reflect on different pieces. It is amusing to see some of the very beginning Photoshop pieces:I was pretty thrilled with that first attempt….little did I know what I still needed to learn about layers!
This next taught me a lot about luminescence, even though I didn’t know it at the time!
I really liked the examples I first posted some 6 years ago. I look at tyhem now and see that part of why I liked them was that they really showed some of the principles of design. I just didn’t know it at the time.
I’ve also been able to document a lot of our marbling through the web page, and I do need to do more of that, since we are building our audience significantly. That said, here’s a look at just one of the pieces we turned out on Tuesday this week.
Putting the layers of paint on the carrageenan size:
Starting the pattern with our personally-made “high tech” tools:
The nonpareil pattern – a very traditional pattern created after about four previous steps:
Looking at the pattern from the back side, after the fabric (on orange Kona cotton) had been laid on the size:
Here it is from the front:
It’s been a good week!
…that could also read “something OF value,” but I want to focus in on the issue of value and color in design….something I know I am really weak on. I’m choosing a couple of pics that I really like for design composition and playing around with Photoshop filters to see what they tell me about the composition. This is different from how I usually approach working with Photoshop….play around until I get something that says Wow. This time I’m looking at the elements of the picture and trying to see how they change and why I like – or don’t like – the design.
Here’s my first photo, taken in Jericho, Vermont two summers ago, at the Old Mill, which houses much of the history of hubby’s family.
I love everything about this picture: the greens, the mill red, the flowing water, the fact that I’ve got it composed in thirds. And you can’t see that right behind me is very busy Route 15. So what did I learn from this exercise?
Primarily I am much more aware of the basic lines in the composition. The lines don’t change, but the focal point does, depending on the filter or effect I used. There is one example that I would consider making up in cloth, as I find it intriguing, and I’ve never tried anything like that. The others are just interesting to analyze. Here goes:
I love black and white. After three weeks in Seattle this spring, I developed a whole new appreciation for shades of gray (no, not the book……). I want to take this photo and play around with a few sections of rock to see what I might be able to sketch.
This is the “sponge” filter, and it’s one I really like. Shadows and subtle colors really come out in this filter. Once again I am amazed at all the shades of green there are. There’s more shading in the mill, as opposed to the original, but the movement of the water is lost.
This is the “find edges” filter. Interesting to see where basic pieces of fabric would be. I think I can also see the dark, medium, and light of the photo.
Accented edges filter. More of a pattern to follow if I wanted to recreate this. I did a small cropping that I could see in a 12 x 12 piece. I’m liking the shadows.
This is the “patchwork” filter, and I could see making this up as a larger wall quilt. The filter allows you to make the squares larger or smaller, but I am really curious to see how this would work up in piecing. I need to print this out larger and use my little red rectangle and look at the values closer.
Well, I have managed to lose my original with all the filters listed on it, so c***. What I like about this above photo is the additional shading that is present in the rocks, and in the red portion of the mill. Lots more texture, and I could see using some colored pencils to enhance the fabric pieces.
I believe this is a watercolor filter, and I like it. I can see looking for specific fabrics for this piece, rather than trying to do lots of little pieces togather. I could see just cutting pattern pieces and fusing them into place. I like the softness.
Palette knife, I think. I like the general clumps of color, and as I reflect on this, I could see making this into a small abstract. The image is still recognizable, and I like how you can see an actual pattern to follow in putting this together.
This is mosaic tiles, and I like the effect better than the patchwork photo above. I’d have to spend some time thinking about how to get the “grout” effect…..maybe a mottled gray color with texture in it as the background piece, and then the tiles cult at somewhat irregular edges so the grout shows through. I cropped a piece to see….
This is an inversion adjustment, and I like these because I always see something different when the colors are completely different. The yellow accents the shape of the edge of the mill in a way you don’t notice in the original photo. The rushing water doesn’t show up at all.
Forgot the adjustment, but the amount of purple really accents the amount of green in the original photo. And I like the way the shapes of the rocks are accented.
This is a red/yellow gradient, and I like playing around with gradients. Very other-worldly, but I don’t see taking this piece any further.
I saw some quilts a while back that were based on Joen Wolfrom’s color tool. People chose a color and then worked solely in the range of that color. Results were pretty dramatic. This is a color filter in a deep blue. I think I would print this out and take it fabric shopping and see just how well I could pick out various blues and other shades that have a blue cast to them.
That’s my first study, and I definitely need to do more of these. I feel like I have a better understanding of the composition of the original picture. Next up, my wrought iron photo….
This is one of those Mondays where you find yourself doing everything on the business but creating. I am slowly making progress in that area, including a new system for scheduling the actual creativity (to a point…) and getting hubby to pick up more of the business loose ends. Making progress…..
From Kate Harper’s blog comes 38 Amazing Apps for Designers: worth taking a look, as there might be something you can definitely use. Web Elements by Visual Lightbox looks intriguing – and might save me some time.
Also from Kate: Free Photoshop Brushes for Designers. Both links take you to the original pages, but it’s great to see all the goodies Kate posts. I’m thinking the Free Floral Brushes from Graphic Design Junction (now I have to figure out how to download…..advice??)
Bamboo Textures in Photoshop – these also look cool….
And….How to be Funny – excellent article on finding humor anywhere, especially if you are looking to write greeting cards.
Pinterest seems to be the rage, and I have been slowly checking out articles, as I am concerned about copyright. So from SewCAlGal comes Thoughts on Pinterest…..
And…a new spot on line to check out: Tophatter, which is daily online auctions. I “sat in” on one, and it looks like something I want to try…but it’s kind of at the bottom of my list ot to-do’s right now, as there are a couple of commissions that need finishing. Handemadeology put up this buyers’ guide.
The latest I have found was off a link from a graduate student friend who found Pomodoro, which is a new organizing system (new to me, at least). I’m trying it this afternoon, and I’m pleased to report I am getting a lot down for these few hours. I downloaded a timer as an app for my iPad, and I’m liking how the whole system is helping. I downloaded their free e-book this morning (and multi-tasked by reading it and eating some fruit). You could get really in to it, but I like the overall approach, which is not very gimmick-y. If you do use it, let me know what you think.
I’m looking at this coleus, which is from a picture I took several years ago at the Tucson Botanical Gardens, and I wish I could remember how I did it…..I need to find the original psd file and see if I can backtrack on it. I am enjoying getting back into playing with Photoshop at least once a week. And I have loads more pics, as we spent yesterday morning strolling the gardens. I have a show in mind called Digital Desert, where I use all local pictures of the desert that have been manipulated in Photoshop. I think that will become a “work in Progress” for the new year. I even have the name of the person to contact about a possible show. As I think about it now, I could put a small pic of the original shot on the intro card, and then display the newly manipulated image. Hmmmm……
There’s been lots happening here. The major work in progress is a business piece – we have been invited to participate in Stash Fest, a fund raiser for the La Conner Quilt Museum in La Conner, Washington, on March 31 and April 1. We will be bring a LOT of marbled cotton and silk with us, so we have started already to make fabric…and run into a couple of road blocks. One, the BOLT of fabric we bought at a wholesale price, after trying a sample to see if it would work – doesn’t. Between getting the sample, trying it, ordering and waiting for the bolt, and then trying two marbling sessions, we’ve ended up with a lot of remnants and nothing for the northwest. So we kind of lost December for production. We have ordered our usual pima cotton and are awaiting its arrival. We will probably get one marbling session in this month to finish off a custom order and hopefully begin to create what we are going to need for La Conner. In the meantime, lists are made, labels done and ready to go, folding organized, bins for storage and traveling set up. So we are slowly getting ready.
I promised a reveal of the small log cabin winter quilt. Really enjoyed making this one, and I’m looking for what I can do for the spring quilt – need to get the fabric made, and I need to get at least one of the two big art projects completed and ready for photography. So here’s the little wall hanging:
The other big stuff I’ve been working on are two entries to a major art show. I am progressing, and I’m pleased with what’s happening. I just started a new shading on the bigger rocks yesterday, after trying some ideas. No question that the shading has really added to the depth of the piece, as well as add needed dark values. I noticed that I was being too controlled in doing the shadowing, and nature isn’t perfectly symmetrical. I need to “rough up” those shadows, as well as bring in some additional other “shadow” colors. I also realized I want to get a foot with a larger plastic opening, so it’s easier for me to see where I’m going. I went to the local Bernina dealer (there are several in town), and once again this particular store just manages to make me feel so stupid when I go in. I was told “that’s not how you thread paint.” Well, that’s how I’m doing it, and I like the effect, so spplttttt……(how do you show a raspberry emoticon?)
There is still a long way to go, and I have another piece ready to go, so I have to get busy!
Wow, I’ve written 60o blog posts! This from someone who could never keep a diary. I guess I just didn’t have the technology waaaayyyy back when. I have new work for this Photoshop Friday, but I thought it would be fun to view some of the first posts.
My first entry:
I finally did it! I set up a blog so I can write about our marbling and related art thoughts. I’ll be posting photos of the new Photoshop class I am starting. Be kind – I am learning how to take criticism!! This has been something I have been meaning to do as a way of recording process and product, and at the same time motivate me to do more fiber work. And…I can tell my students I am finally “almost” as technologically savvy as they are! (January 26, 2007…..)
I probably wasn’t convinced this would go beyond the Photoshop classes I was starting at the time. You can see my very first Photoshop drawing here. I have since changed blogging platforms, and I don’t have my backup close at hand, so the link will have to do.
Today my work is based either on photographic images I have taken or some of the marbled fabrics we have created. The piece I’m working on today is from fabric. Hubby was downloading pictures for ebay this week, and I saw this picture of fabric from a distance, and I said, hmmmm……
So here’s the original fabric.
Then I started working with some shapes from each section of the fabric.
Then I felt I needed to change the background for more ocntrast.
I’m not sure this background color is going to stay…I have also been playing around with gradients, and I think one of those might work.
Comments? What do you think? What else does it need?
Really? Photoshop Friday? How many Fridays has it been? Too many to count, but I have been back doing some work beyond getting pictures sized for blog entries. I thought I would share how I created my holiday cards this year, of which I am extremely proud…..and obviously not at all humble….oh, well….
Here’s the original marbled paper I used to start.
Here it is transformed into holiday colors.
Now for the ornaments, which were added a layer at a time, and the opacity was taken down so they wouldn’t overwhelm the marbled paper background.
THen I just kept adding ornaments until I was happy with the final product.
So one of my goals over these ninety days is to look at the pictures I have developed over the last couple of years, analyze the licensing materials, and determine ten collections that I can develop. According to the research I have been doing, I am going to need twelve to fifteen different collections. I have some ideas, but I need to get them organized, set up folders, look at what needs to be enlarged, adapted, and so on. I also want to see what can cross over to Cafe Press and potentially Zazzle, so I get as much mileage from some of the pieces.
Whew. There’s a lot there. One of the things I learned in the lynda.com classes was about Bridge – a program in Adobe Creative Suite that let’s me easily look at all my images and organize them easily – something I really need to do.
Now to get started….and DON’T EVEN THINK OF COPYING THESE IMAGES – ask if you have something in mind.
Botanicals: I have a LOT of photos that could go for calendars, prints, cards. Interesting – as I’m writing this, I realize I really haven’t given much thought to WHAT these could adorn. I have been through numerous stores, looking at design, but I’m not sure I have really thought about extending these pictures into more than two items. Hmmm. Food for thought.
Black and White: prints, cards, kitchen items, gifts, fabric designs.
Indigenous images: I love taking regional designs and seeing how I can interpret them through marbled fabrics that have been digitized. This would make good regional products. Cards, calendars, prints, fabric (if the repeat works), gifts.
Art Deco Revisited: taking images in the public domain and embellishing them with marbled fabrics that have been digitized. Cards, calendars, prints, fabrics, gifts. The designs are from a public source, in this case the Dover book on Art Deco Designs.
Abstracts: digital manipulation of marbled fabrics to create a new design, in this case “Moons.” Prints, cards, calendars, potentially fabric, gifts.
Seasons: digital marbling, as well as nature images that could be used in fabric, cards, calendars, prints. Pictures here could overlap other sections.
Nature: Places around the country and the world, cards, calendars, gifts, prints.
Southwest Designs: since I’m in the southwest, and I know how popular many of these images are. This one is already set in repeats. Lots of fabric possibilities here, as well as simple gifts.
Holidays: (valentines, etc) Got nothin’ here, and I know companies will want to see holidays, so I have a great place to start.
Interesting. That’s potentially ten collections. In my mind there were more, until I actually started listing them. Next steps: take this list of collections and go back into the stores to see how else these prints could be used. Stay tuned for the progress here.
And if you’re looking for resources, I regularly read Tara Reed, who writes an art licensing blog. Also, I have purchased materials from her about licensing (disclosure: if you purchase anything through this site, I do receive a small commission as part of her affiliate program). Also, her “Just Ask” calls are filled with great information from a wide variety of experts in the field. It’s another resource for you. July 2011 Ask Call Replay
This is now on my desktop! I found it here at on the Kate Harper blog. After all these years of teaching, life is definitely too short to mot make art!
Now I spent the last two weeks going through all the blogs I haven’t read in two months – and mined a WEALTH of great stuff!
Zen Habits had a great and timely article on Decluttering, as I was working through all the little bits of odds and ends that I was sorting. Two key points – we don’t want to let go of the past, and we’re afraid of the future. Definitely worth a read.
From ArtsyShark – Is there a future for trade shows and sales reps – adapting to changing commerce. Lots of great points, especially if you are thinking of doing the art licensing route.
Elizabeth Barton has a fabulous blog with lots of food for thought. As I contemplate becoming more active with my work, this post of entering shows was extremely valuable. Don’t you just love the colors in this quilt?
Alyson Stanfield had a guest post on Photoshop (How to Make the Best of Your Art Photos with Photoshop) by Chris Mills. If you’re not reading the ArtBizCoach blog, you should be. – http://artlicensingblog.com/2011/05/16/how-to-make-the-best-of-your-art-photos-with-photoshop-by-chris-mills/
A friend of mine turned me on to online pattern sales. I haven’t sewn for myself in years, and I never thought about the pattern lines being on line. Marcy Tilton has some really nice wearable patterns – I could get hooked! Patterns on line
The Textile Blog has an interesting article on the future of hand production, starting with a video about hand-made lace production. Here’s a quote: The video deals with the seemingly age-old problem of machine versus hand production. The video itself deals with the situation in Cyprus where traditional lace embroidery is inevitably being led towards extinction by the importation of cheap machine produced lace, mainly from China. Cyprus is by no means the only area of conflict between machine and hand production and China is not the only culprit in flooding the market with cheap products.
Sites on greeting cards – I had no idea there was so much available on line. This article is also from Kate Harper and gives 6 articles on card design tips.
Also from Kate Harper’s blog (a HUGE wealth of information), much more about art licensing…..walking the floor at the Surtex licensing show.
This week’s eye candy from The Best Article Every Day – great ads for AT&T – forget the company, just look at the art work! This is a long graphic – go to the article and take a closer look – and then spend some time with all the rest – these articles are just the best!
To say that it has been a while is an understatement. My last posts dealt with the Tucson shootings, and the aftermath for the community has been ongoing. Many in the community have been dealing with personal issues surrounding the events, from getting updates on Gabby Giffords and coping with the weird Arizona legislature to trying to understand our roles as humans working together.
For me, it has meant two months of a pretty severe depression, trying to cope with understanding so many of the historical aspects of this country coming in to play, trying to manage what the economy is doing to individuals, and getting ready to retire from a career of 40 years in education. I had to remove myself from almost everything extra in my life beyond the day-to-day coping within the classroom. I did a lot of sleeping and a lot of being sad. I didn’t even do a Fish Follies entry this year.
At Christmas we decided to move the retirement date to June of 2012. Hubby had some major health issues in January that will eventually lead to major surgery, and all I could think about was not having time together. His next CT scan will be in August, right when school starts again. That was probably the tipping point to look at retirement this May. I made the final decision the end of February to retire after working all the numbers with the retirement folks, and then a month ago applied for SSI.
Gotta tell ya, when I made the decision, it was like a weight had lifted. I started packing my classroom the next day – and it took the three months to get it all finished. Most of my math manipulatives, books, and supplies went to an organization called Treasures4Teachers – will be a nice tax deduction, and they were very grateful for all the goodies and posters.
In April, during spring break, we spent time with our friends up north who now have a place in Cornville, AZ, just south of Sedona right along Oak Creek. It is a gorgeous, restful spot. I was admiring all of my friend’s storage, and the conversation turned to the fact that maybe one of the problems getting back into the studio was the need to reorganize. Which got me thinking, and over the next month I started cleaning and organizing, and looking for new storage that would work. We’re about half-way through at this point, and the place looks great – and even better – feels great. Two more sets of shelves and we should be just about done. But I don’t think I’ll be waiting to get in there to sew.
So I’m recovering slowly from the depression, starting the rest of my life on my terms, planning on a nice run of happiness. And I’ll be back to blogging and creating and marbling and reading and writing and Photoshop and traveling and being with people and working for peace….
I haven’t had a chance to do too much with playing around with the latest group of pictures from the Botanical Gardens, and there’s so much I need to plan out for these pictures. So today, after sorting through slides and doing some general organization, I decided to play.
We have one lone ginko tree at the Gardens, and it was nice and yellow when we were there over Thanksgiving weekend. I didn’t realize until I was looking at the photo that I had gotten some shafts of sunlight. Here’s the original, which I really like.
Now back to the whole shot….with a bunch of filters……I’m really partial to the sponge….
Some other Photoshop Fridays you might like:
October – some of my favorites
You might remember this zentangle from last week, and I said I was dying to try some Photoshop effects with it. Well, here’s one night’s work this week, in between grading linear graphs – this was MUCH more fun!
I love them both – they are each so different. This week I have been roaming the net looking for zentangle patterns. I hadn’t realized that part of this art is set patterns that enable you to really “zen out,” as I put it, into the drawing mode. I’ll have some new zentangles up on Sunday for my week of Art Every Day Month, plus on Tuesday’s Top Ten I’ll list a bunch of the sites I’ve found.
This week also saw me playing with some of the new photos from the Tucson Botanical Gardens. Here’s the original of the one I started play with:
One of the things I have been doing in my attempt to create some collages is using my magic wand and capturing several sections of the photo, ragged edges and all – gives it more of a water color effect, which I do like. Here’s what I captured from this photo:
I love this just the way it is, but I kept going….Here’s the marbled fabric I chose to go in the background.
This is the final, which I think I really like. I’m torn between the first one and this one. I’ll probably do prints of both! Weigh in – let me know which one you like the best!
I haven’t done a lot lately with Photoshop Friday, and as I was thinking about it, I wanted to see the body of work I have completed that I call my Desert Botanicals series. I have been preparing cards for a November show and realized the images really looked good, so that prompted me to look at some of what I consider the “finished” ones.
Last spring was a gorgeous one in the desert, and the ocotillo were in full bloom. This was some “playing around” with a couple of gradients.
This is developing as a nice body of work. I am researching developing and printing these as a collection, even licensing them – one of the many things on my “to do” list. I interested in your comments – what do you like, what would you like to see more of, and any other suggestions.
ALL IMAGES COPYRIGHTED. LOOK AND ENJOY, BUT DON’T EVEN THINK OF TAKING……
Still lots of photos from Thursday’s trip to the Tucson Botanical Gardens. Plus some cool art the kids at school have done, and lots of great images from a bookbinder’s convention here in Tucson. All in good time…….To recap, I was looking for texture, color, interesting combinations, trying some new things for framing beyond centering items, and playing with my exposure settings. No color touch-ups.
Let me know what you think – ideas, suggestions, improvements……….
It is so good to be back doing some photography, some Photoshop, and just generally playing around. Hubby and I went for a two-hour stroll through the Tucson Botanical Gardens, since it now is mid-80’s, and you can be out and about and not feel like you’re burning up.
Took the camera and just looked at texture and framing. Color has not been adjusted at all. I did play around a bit with exposure…discovered that on the camera, so had to try it out.
It always amazes me that no matter how many times I go to the Botanical Gardens in Tucson, I always find something new. Yes, it’s still comparatively green here in the desert, even in mid-October. Take a look, and let me know your favorites. What would you change, which ones do you like, what suggestions do you have for framing?
So what do you think?