MontanaRon

An English teacher's blog about his travels and his digital art.

Category: Awake/Photoshop Artistry (page 1 of 3)

Unsuccessful Digital Art

Not every digital art composition is successful. When I post a piece, I’m usually satisfied with the results and ready to throw it out there for others to see. Though it may not be as artistic as it might be, I’m usually OK with “less than perfect,” whatever perfect means. (I don’t think there really is any such thing as perfect.)

But, there are compositions I’m not satisfied with and that I have resigned to the basement corner, so to speak, for whatever reason. Maybe the work has no focal point or it doesn’t tell a story or it just doesn’t suit me for a myriad of other possible reasons. So, I don’t post them. Below are a few that I began working on and then stopped, giving up on them. For now. I will probably revisit them at a future date.

Here’s one I kind of like, a nighttime desert scene. In fact, it’s posted on my blog and I may have put it up on Facebook, but I’m not satisfied with it. It’s pretty nice, I think, but there’s no focal point, no story in the making, nothing to really capture a viewer’s attention. I tried adding some figures to it, like a camel caravan or some marauders preparing to raid the city, but they just didn’t work out so I abandoned the piece. This is one, though, that I’m sure I’ll come back to eventually.

I once read an internet site that had photos of some amazing nighttime gardens from around the world. I thought I had bookmarked the site, but I can’t find it now. Anyway, I got inspired by the photos and decided to create my own night garden. Here it is below. It features a Van Gogh-style impressionistic sky and a weird looking, but actual, building in Bangkok. I got frustrated with it and stopped, but I’m sure I’ll get back to this one, too.

The next one has potential, but again, there’s no real focal point. It’s from a photo of some artwork for sale on a sidewalk in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic. I tried to add a tourist taking a photo, but that didn’t work out. I might come back to this one, too.

Finally, here’s one I probably won’t come back to, not without some extensive rework. It’s some buildings from Vientiane with an elephant walking in front of them. What’s the point, the story? Hmmm, probably won’t come back to this one.

The upshot is that not every composition is satisfactory to me and I have to learn why that might be so. Can I make them better, but not “perfect?” I’m sure I can. I’ll let most of them sit a while back in that dark corner of the basement and bring them out into the light later, dust them off and give ’em a go.

Digital Art–Requiem for a Lost Civilization

My latest creation is called “Requiem for a Lost Civilization.” The ruins and the landscape are from photos of mine taken at the ancient Roman ruins in Volubilis, Morocco. The other elements are “stuff” I have from the various digital art courses I’ve taken from Photoshop Artistry, which I’ve recommended before and I’ll continue to give it a huge thumbs up.

I added some textures, some adjustment layers and some photos from the Ultimate Universe Creator by Skybox Creative, then ran the whole thing through Nik HDR Efex Pro 2. Finally, I added a Color Lookup adjustment layer in Photoshop.

requiem digital art

Digital Art–Taekwando Nightmare Dream

Vientiane lockdown has been extended for another few weeks, up to June 4th. At the rate people are still showing up with the covid virus, this lockdown will never end, it seems. The school is scheduled to open on June 10th, and I certainly hope that happens. The administration was kind enough to pay everyone for the month of May, though we didn’t do any work, but if the same lack of work extends far into June and beyond, I’m fearful that there won’t be any income for a while. Got my fingers crossed.

So, what to do with all this time off? Create some more digital art, of course. Here’s one I’m calling “Taekwando Nightmare Dream.” I was originally just going to practice creating displacement effects in Photoshop, but my Muse had other ideas. All the photos are mine, except for the fellow delivering the flying kick on the right side, which I got from Pixabay; they were taken when I worked in Andong, South Korea way back in 2005, and they’re photos from a phys. ed. student demonstration, except for the photo at the upper left. That’s one I took of my former taekwando master showing off. I added some textures and a few other bits and pieces. Enjoy.

digital art

Vientiane Still in Lockdown

Yes, we’re still on lockdown until at least May 20th, but the way things are going it’s going to last longer than that. Though Vientiane had only one case yesterday, we jumped to 14 today; way too many for the city to end the lockdown any time soon. So, if it goes on, there will be no school re-opening any time soon, so no pay, either. Gotta watch my expenditures!

Haven’t been doing a lot with artwork lately, though I have been keeping up with tutorials. I’d also like to learn how to draw, so I found a couple of free websites that look very interesting–Draw a Box and Ctrl+Paint. I’ll have to give one or both of them a try.

I messed around a bit with painting ideas in Photoshop and Topaz Labs this morning and came up with this, made from a photo taken in my favorite place on earth, Glacier National Park in Montana. Enjoy. More later.

glacier national park

Saint Mary Lake, Glacier National Park

Finger Exercise-Taekwando Master

Here’s a shot taken way back in 2004 in Andong, South Korea, of my taekwando master, Mr. Kim, chopping his way through 9 or 10 slabs of marble. He did this in front of a large group of younger students and their parents, and he was quite nervous. He had never attempted to do this many slabs before. As you can see, he was successful! I created this with the Sandstorm action from the set of Artistry4 actions I recently bought from PhotographyBB. Again, I did some tweaking to the overall effect.

Taekwando Master

Finger Exercise-Boy Power

Here’s a new finger exercise I’m calling “Boy Power” that I created with the help of Grungeart Glow from Artistry4 Actions, a new set of actions I bought from PhotographyBB. The tweaks you can make with this action are endless. Fascinating to work with. (The boy is my partner’s grand-nephew, Leo.) In this one, I changed the background color to black and tweaked some of the scratches and splatters.

Boy Power

Finger Exercise–Life is Beautiful

A quick finger exercise this morning, called Life is Beautiful. It combines a couple of murals from downtown Las Vegas with a color lookup and a texture from the Photoshop Artistry course.

Life is Beautiful

Life is Beautiful

Finger Exercise-Nai on Train

Here’s a quick finger exercise I did this morning, though I’m still not quick at these things. I explained finger exercises in an earlier post. They’re not supposed to be anything special nor perfect. Their purpose is to get the creative juices flowing before working on a more elaborate composition.

This is a photo of my partner, Nai, as we head back to Laos on the overnight train from Bangkok. This was taken almost 14 years ago, in the summer of ’06. Time flies.

Nai on train

Finger Exercise-Nai on Train

Photo Art — Breaking Out

Here’s one of my newer pieces of Photo Art, which I’m calling “Breaking Out.” The “demons” are from a photo I took of a wall mural in a Buddhist temple in Thailand some years ago. Sorry, but I don’t remember from which temple it was taken. In Photoshop, I extracted these guys from the rest of the photo, stuck them in a frame, while erasing part of the boundary to give the appearance of them breaking out, added a background texture and some shadows, and incorporated a few other minor techniques to increase the contrast a bit and enhance the colors. This is what I ended up with. Hope you like it.

Buddhist temple wall mural

Breaking Out

Photo Art-Clean Sweep

Here’s another piece I’ve been working on. I don’t feel that it’s complete yet and it needs some refining, so I’ll keep working on it or come back to it at a later date. I like letting these pieces sit for a while and then, later, I can view them with “fresh” eyes.

This is supposed to be a minimal work, a challenge from the Photoshop Artistry group to use only one of my images of a household item (the broom, obviously) and another image to establish context. The challenge also specifies that we are to use certain textures, frames and vignettes, which I haven’t added yet. I’ll get to it eventually. But, this is it for now. Entitled “Clean Sweep.”

Clean Sweep

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