Here’s my newest piece of digital art, entitled “Abandoned.” Lots of texture layers were incorporated, LUTs and other effects, and I ran the finished version through Topaz Labs and ON1 Effects.
I find that I just really don’t have enough time to devote a lot of attention to my art due mainly to the fact that I’m working full-time at the college, but we have a few extra days off coming next week, so I’ll take advantage of that. Also, starting around April 10th, we’ve got about a month off for our break between terms, so I’m giddily looking forward to that. I’m still stuck in Laos, unable to travel outside of the country without having to go through a big hassle, but I’ve got Art to keep me company!
Here’s my latest digital art composition, from photos taken with a film camera in the Castle Mountains in Montana back in 1993 or ’94. The building photos were taken in old Castletown, a site which may no longer be standing. I went back there in ’97, but the area had been fenced off with signs saying to keep out because it was private property, so it’s possible the site has been razed. I’d like to get back there some day to have a look. I really enjoyed hiking in the Castles back in the day, and there’s a great little fishing stream not too far away.
The photos are mine except for the starry sky and the wolves, which both came from Pixabay. The moon is an old photo of mine that I enlarged for this piece. The buildings and mountains were shot in the daytime, so I converted them to night images in Photoshop. Lots of layers, many of them adjustment layers, a few texture layers and quite a few masks used also. Had fun making this, which, for me, is the whole point of doing digital art. Enjoy.
Merry Christmas, everyone. I hope you have a great, wonderful day with your families and loved ones. In Laos, of course, Christmas is not a big deal, but next week’s New Year’s Eve and Day are celebrated by more people.
For today, I might ride my motorbike to visit Nai’s family, only about 5 miles away, but much of the journey is over a very bad, dirty, pothole-filled road. If I go, I’ll take some photos and try to get some of them posted in the very near future.
The school’s on break between terms until January 10th, so I’ve got plenty of time to work on my digital art. Here’s a recent composition I’ve been working on for what seems like forever. It’s entitled “Moonlit Desert City.” I’ve been adding and subtracting objects from it, fiddling with blend modes, shading and tones, and generally playing around with it. I’m still not satisfied with the results, so I’ll probably keep working on it. Anyway, here’s the most recent iteration. (P.S. That’s me on the far left with my eyes peeking out from the mask.)
Moonlit Desert City
I got to thinking about how I could improve my compositions. I came to the understanding that many of them didn’t have a focal point, something that would grab the viewer’s attention when the piece was first viewed. I think this is particularly true of “In the Hall of Masks.” (See previous post.) It’s a nice enough piece, but there’s really nothing for a viewer to latch onto. So I redid it by moving the right foreground character closer to the viewer and adding some glowing eyes. I think this strengthens the image. I also lowered the red saturation, which I felt was overdoing it, and I changed the text a bit. Here’s a look at the new image. I think it’s an overall improvement. What do you think?
High Heat is a baseball term that describes a pitcher’s fastball. Here I extracted a couple of photos of players at the New York Yankees baseball academy near Boca Chica in the Dominican Republic. The player photos are mine, but everything else came from Pixabay. I tried to add a dispersion effect to the back of the baseball, without a lot of success. So, I ran it through a couple of PhotographyBB actions to get the final creation. I’m not entirely satisfied with this result, so I may do some work on the composition somewhere down the line.
Here’s a fairly simple new creation. The baseball players were at a short instructional camp in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic put on by the New York Yankees baseball academy, which is in Boca Chica. All photos are mine, the players at the camp and the Yankees academy in Boca Chica. I did a little processing of the photos and then extracted the players and added them to a photo of the academy. I merged the layers and ran them through a Photoshop action, PhotographyBB Powder Paint action.
Nothing too complicated here, just a few layers in Photoshop, but I like the effect of the action. More like a quickie finger exercise than anything, I suppose. Enjoy.
Here’s a black and white conversion of a somewhat bland color photo I took of a friend’s father. I think the b&w photo is much more interesting than the color. I added an overlay (the typography) to it, added a bit of a vignette, a color look up from Photoshop, made some adjustments to tone and shadow, added an orange warming filter to give it a vintage sepia look and ran the piece through Nik Silver Efex Pro2. What do you think?
Here’s the b&w conversion. See the original color photo below.
Here’s the original color photo.
Here’s my newest digital art piece, which I’m entitling simply “On the Farm.” All the photos are mine, from Morocco and Laos (the truck), except for the farm lady, which is from Pexels and the basket is from Pixabay. (I don’t know why these two links have lines running through them, which usually signify broken links, but both links are working correctly.)
I added a few textures, some blending options, a color lookup (all in Photoshop, of course), and I ran it through Studio 2 from Topaz Labs. I’ve always admired the paintings of Edward Hopper, and Studio 2 has an Edward Hopper look, which I applied to this piece. Enjoy.
On the Farm
My latest composition is titled “I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream,” which is the name of a horrifying short piece of speculative fiction by the late, great Harlan Ellison. It really is scary; it gave me nightmares for a few nights after I first read it back in the mid-70s or so. You can probably find it somewhere on the ‘Net or at your local library.
The model is me. It’s from a photo that I first used back in 2017. As a matter of fact, it was my first attempt at digital art.
The little robots or whatever they are, came from Pixabay, the model is me and the other background stuff is either from Pixabay or from the resources of my various digital art courses.
I added some various lighting effects and ran the finished product through a Topaz Lab plugin that I have.
My latest piece of digital art is entitled “The Storm King,” which I created as part of the Re-Awake effort that I wrote about in my previous post. I originally called it “Lost at Sea,” but I changed the title when I added the visage overlooking the sea. That visage is actually yours truly, from a self portrait. However, YT has very little hair on top and no beard, so I had to extract the hair from a photo I got from Pixabay, a royalty-free stock photo site.
This creation took me a while, though I’m pretty slow with these things anyway. “Storm King” has about 55 layers, which is quite a few for me and might have the most layers of all my somewhat meager collection of digital art. (Many artists have pieces with hundreds of layers!)
In this one, the clouds, my face, the small boat and part of the ocean are from my photo stash and the other bits are from Pixabay. Next, I’m going to try to get a composition incorporating some of the techniques from our Awake 3 session-painterly looks, repeated patterns, text wrapping around a circle or other shapes, and the use of brushes. I won’t try to use all the techniques, just a few. I’m not yet sure exactly what I’m going to cook up, but I hope it’s a worthy composition. More later.
The Storm King