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

Tag: Art (Page 1 of 7)

Digital Art – Fish Tale

It’s been quite awhile since my last digital art post, so here’s a new one. I’m calling it “Fish Tale,” though it could also be titled “The One That Got Away.” It’s a whimsical piece that didn’t take all that long to put together over the last three days when I could make time for it. As always, compositions are a lot of fun to work on; otherwise, why do them?

For each new piece I create and post on here, I’m going to give a rundown of what I did to create it. First of all there are six images in the composition. The main image and the sailboat are from a couple of photos I took in the Dominican Republic way back in 2006-2008, and the five fish and whale images were generated in Midjourney. There are about 20 layers in the work, so there wasn’t a lot involved; it’s almost like a finger exercise. Other than the image layers, there were adjustment layers for saturation, blurring, exposure and for the speech bubble. There are also a couple of texture layers from the various art courses I’m a member of. I put the whole thing together, merged the layers and ran the final piece through Topaz Labs 2 to create the Artistic Impression look.

I’m going to call this one finished for now, but I might tweak it a bit and perhaps run it through Photoshop again with a cartoon template or action that I have laying around somewhere. It is best viewed at a large scale; just click on it a few times. So, it was fun making this and I hope to create some more elaborate pieces in the very near future. I’ll put them here, of course.

New Painting Software–Rebelle 7

The only digital painting I’ve done has been in Photoshop and, for various reasons, I found it rather clunky, but usable. However, as a Black Friday deal, the folks at Escape Motions put their award-winning digital painting software, Rebelle, on sale as a pre-purchase for $29.99 for the Pro version. (Standard version is $19.99) This is a great deal because the normal price is $149.99, so I went ahead and got the Pro version, which will be released on December 14th.

I’m stoked because I downloaded the trial version of Rebelle 6 and I’ve been playing around with it. I’ve barely scratched the surface, but it’s awesome. The budding painter in me can paint with ink, pencil, pastels, water colors, gouache, and many more on various types of canvas, including cotton, gesso, wood veneer, and Washi, among others. I can foresee that my free time is going to be taken up by learning to use this amazing product.

From the Escape Motions website:

Rebelle is the award-winning, hyper-realistic painting software with phenomenal oils, acrylics, watercolors, and other wet and dry media. Paint pigments color mixing, oil thickness, watercolor diffusion, and NanoPixel technology, convincingly mimic the way natural media interact with the canvas and itself.

If you hurry, you can get the pre-purchase deal now, but it ends on November 30th.

Digital Art–Morning Lists

One of the suggestions that Sebastian Michaels makes on one of his Photo Artistry courses is that students take some time first thing in the morning, before reading any email or browsing websites,  to let your subconscious mind help you to write out a list of 10 nouns or phrases that pop into your head and write them down, one after another. What does that first noun lead to, the first word that pops into your head, then the second and so on. Don’t stop to think about what the next word might be, just free-wheel it, don’t analyze. Let your subconscious mind take over. After finishing your list, choose one of the items on the list that strikes you as being a good idea for a composition. Write down what the composition might entail and what elements you might need to include in the composition: photos, textures, etc.

When I first started the course, I did this almost every morning, but I haven’t been doing it lately. I recently thought that I should get back into this habit, so I did a list this morning. Here it is:

The items are in the order that they popped into my head: weather, symbols, tomb, sarcophagus, desert, statue, protection, lost and found, relic and shoe. Don’t ask me the whys or wherefores of these items–my brain just spewed them out.

The phrase that I picked that might make a good composition is “lost and found.”

How about a piece showing a lost and found office or booth with interesting, unusual, amazing items scattered around? That might be fun to create.

So, that’s a morning list and how it’s supposed to spark some creative ideas.

Here’s another one:

ticket, cashier, vault, money, coins, jail, time, clocks, pocket, hand

My composition idea word is clocks. How about a composition with lots of clocks signifying the passage of time and our inevitable passing on? Someone trying to push back the hands or to stop them. Symbols of time passing: planets in orbit around the sun, old age, tombstone or graveyard.

I might create another page where I add my morning lists. Stay tuned.

Digital Art–Boats Finger Exercise

Just did a quick finger exercise, a warm up, called Boats. I extracted a couple of boats from some of my old Dominican Republic photos, threw on a few textures, added some Color Lookups and played around with the blend modes and opacities. I might decide to try turning this into a full-fledged composition a bit later. For an explanation of what a finger exercise is, read this post.

I hadn’t been creating any digital art lately because Photoshop and Lightroom had become almost impossibly sluggish. I wasn’t sure what was wrong and after trying various solutions, I decided to reinstall Windows 11. It took me most of a day to get everything back to the way I wanted, but, voila, the fresh install (it was a reset, actually) was the solution. Both PS and LR now run very smoothly.

Photoshop Virtual Summit 5

If you’re reading this now, you’ve probably missed out on the newest Photoshop Virtual Summit (PSVS), #5. The Summit takes place once or twice every year over the course of five days, and it’s comprised of various Photoshop tutorials and videos, including all the new features in Photoshop. In the past there have also been Lightroom Summits and a Creative Summit. Some of the experts who are presenters include Colin Smith, Khara Plicanic, Lisa Carney, Matt Kloskowski, and many more, including my favorite, my mentor in the various Photo Artistry courses I take, Sebastian Michaels.

Some of the topics that are being covered this year are “Artistic Photoshop Compositing with AI-Generated Content” with Sebastian, “Design Like a Pro: Unleash the Full Potential of Photoshop’s Tools” with Theresa Jackson, “Bridge Doesn’t Suck!” with Matt Kloskowski, “Using Generative Fill for Compositing” with Colin Smith and about 40 more. You can view the entire class schedule here.

There is no charge for the Summit if you join in on time because it’s free to watch live and up to two days after the individual presentations began. However, if, like me, you don’t have the time, you can purchase a VIP pass, which gives you lifetime access to all the presentations, plus class notes and some extra bonus videos and other goodies. It’s $99 ($89 if you’re a former VIP pass holder) and it’s very much worth it. Give the Summit a try, but if you’re too late for this one, I’m sure the next one will probably be in March or April next year. Enjoy!

Digital Art–New One Coming Soon

Oh, yes, I’m still involved in digital art, though somewhat infrequently, for whatever reasons. Here’s a preview of one I’ve been working on, though I still want to do more with it, so it’s not final yet. The tentative title I have for it is “Ladies Night in at La Boutique Paris.” Hope to have it finished soon. Enjoy the preview.

Unfinished digital art

Digital Art-Dragon Sorceress

Here’s my latest piece, entitle “Dragon Sorceress.” It’s by no means finished; I have some other ideas I want to add to the composition. When it’s completed to my satisfaction, I’ll post it on a separate blog entry. None of the images that make up this piece are mine. They all come from various bonus content that I receive from one of my digital art courses (the Kaizen course). I think there are around 30 layers, so far, in this creation, but I could have done it with fewer, so I have to work on being more efficient. Still, it’s fun to play around with various effects.

Patong Beach Street Art

What’s the difference between street art and graffiti? To me, graffiti is just random scribbles that take little time to do with no real purpose in mind, except to let everyone know that so-and-so was here. Street Art, however, has a purpose–the artist pretty much has an idea of what he wants to draw–and takes some time to complete.

There is an area just off the beach where a good amount of street art is present, along with some graffiti. Here are a few examples:

Patong Beach street art

Patong Beach street art

Patong Beach street art

This one shows street art and graffiti, at least as far as my interpretation goes.

Patong Beach street art

Patong Beach street art

Did the artist who drew this one visit one of the “pharmacies” I referred to in the previous post?

Patong Beach street art

So, those are a few examples of street art near Patong Beach. Vientiane has a bit of street art, but I’m pretty sure you have to get permission from the authorities before decorating a blank wall. Graffiti abounds, though, in many areas. More later.

Thailand Trip–Patong Beach, Pt. 2

Patong Weed Shops

Thailand has recently legalized the use of cannabis (marijuana, ganja, etc.) for medical purposes, though it’s unclear if anyone will be prosecuted for recreational use. See this Lonely Planet article which attempts to clear up the rules.

If it’s for medical use only, well, there must be quite a few people with medical problems because there are “weed shops” everywhere on the Patong Beach main road and side roads, sometimes with three or four shops in the same block. So, here are a few photos of some of the creative advertising of the shops. If you’re traveling to Patong for the lovely beach, great! But if you’re going for “medical” reasons, you shouldn’t have any problem finding “relief” for your symptoms.

There is outdoor seating at Weedland. Their motto is “Weed Be Good Together.” Also, while you’re there, have a cocktail or a beer.

Patong Weed Shop

It’s my way or the “High Way.” No seating at this nook on Bangla Road.

Patong Weed Shop

You might be in “Heaven” at this one, and you can enjoy a Smirnoff with Coke. Yum!

Patong Weed Shop

You’ll be happy here, not only for the cannabis, but you can satisfy your munchies right next door at Burger King!

Patong Weed Shop

“Juicy,” and get fitted for a suit after you feel better. You never know what kind of unusual clothing you might end up with.

Patong Weed Shop

Great exterior at “Weedly Wonka,” and I really wonder what it’s like inside. Chocolate pot, anyone? Also, after you’re high enough, why not get that exotic, strange tattoo you’ve always wanted–right next door!

Willy Wonka Weed Shop in Patong

Only the best here, and you can partake of Smirnoff again.

Patong Weed Shop

So, those are just some of the many weed shops at Patong. If you’re tired and run down and ill after soaking up the sun at the beach, give one of these “medical” entrepreneurs a try. You’ll feel better in no time.

The next post, coming soon, will look at a few examples of the street art, not to be confused with graffiti, near the beach. Some of it looks like it was done after the artists had patronized a few of the weed shops.

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