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
Sebastian, the guru, mentor, guide, tutor (and so many other hats he wears) of the various digital art courses to which I belong, has come up with the idea that we can go back through the 25 sessions of our Awake course. It was originally a year-long venture, two sessions a month, but we’re going to re-visit the sessions at the rate of one composition per week, so we would finish in December. The purpose is to give our creativity a serious spark, and at the rate of one a week, that would be serious for my usual slow pace. I’m up for the challenge, though.
It was actually something I’ve been thinking of doing, mainly so that I could put some of the techniques I’ve learned to use. I did the first session some time ago and posted it here on the blog and on Facebook, but I’ll post it again here. One of the techniques in that first session is to use an open-ended frame so that some of the elements of the composition appear to be spilling out of the frame. I titled my creation “Breaking Out.” I’ve got an idea for the second week, so I’d better get busy on that. One a week . . . whew!
There’s not too much going on over here. Our lockdown ended, more or less, back on June 2nd and school started up again on June 9th, with the term finishing on Aug. 14th. We’re in that rainy season time of year again, and though we have received some nice rain lately, the Mekong is still quite low for this time of year. More significantly, the long term weather reports have predicted another dryer-than-normal season, more drought later on.
I’ve been working on a few digital art projects that keep me busy, along with the various courses I’m taking. The one below hasn’t been finished yet, but I’ll give you a sneak peek at “Lost at Sea.” That’s it for now, more later.
I posted this back on May 1, but I made a few changes and edits, and tinkered around with it a bit. Enjoy.
Here’s the original:
Having fun in Glacier National Park.