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

Tag: Art (Page 1 of 7)

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.

Finger Exercise-Autumn on River

Here’s another finger exercise. For an explanation of what that is, click on this link to go to an earlier post about the subject.

This one is a photo of the Blackfoot River in western Montana (or a tributary of the Blackfoot-I seem to have forgotten) that I shot back in 2007. Here’s the original photo:

And here’s the quick exercise I did, along with the layer stack in Photoshop:

Layer Stack, from bottom to top:

1. Original image, which I duplicated and made into a Smart Object. Then I ran it through the Filter Gallery—Palette Knife.
2. Added an orange colored Overlay and lowered the opacity to 51% with a soft light blend mode
3. Added an orange colored Texture and lowered the opacity to 50% with a lighten blend mode.
4. Then I merged all the layers (CTRL-ALT-SHIFT-E) and ran the composition through Boris FX and used a neutral density filter at the bottom of the comp.
5. Back in PS, I merged the layers again and ran the comp through ON1 Effects, but I didn’t care for the results, so I came back into PS and added a Color Lookup adjustment, using the Filmstock look.

And that was it. The whole thing took about 30 minutes and though the result certainly isn’t great, finger exercises don’t have to have a professionally perfect (whatever that is) look. They just have to get the creative juices flowing and they should be fun to do. I’ll put up some more of these exercises later.

Digital Art–Dominican Republic Cathedral

Here’s a piece that I’ve worked on that reflects some ideas I learned in one of my Photoshop Artistry courses. The key takeaway on this one is that the artist, Doris Seybold of Austria, goes through her enhancement of a piece by not adding any additional elements and having to go back to keep adjusting them, and adding more and readjusting, etc. It is a straightforward approach, going from one step to the next, not worrying about going back to adjust all the different elements. This is supposed to help foster a speedier workflow. You can read an interview with Doris by Sebastian of Photoshop Artistry, and you can check out her work on Behance. She’s really a wonderful artist, so give her a look.

I tried it with this piece, which probably could have used a bit more work, and mostly embraced the concept, but I “cheated” a little by going back to make some adjustments. So, below is the original photo, unenhanced, that I took of the Cathedral of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, finished around 1540 and the first cathedral in the Americas. The second image is my final version of the cathedral.

P.S. I did add an additional element, sort of, by replacing the sky of the original with something a bit more dramatic.



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