Artistry and Creative Teams

I thought I would tell about what I have been doing, lately, since, several important changes have taken place in my life with my art. For starters, I have joined 4 of Sebastian’s groups: Photoshop Artistry, AWAKE, Kaizen and 21 Days to Creative Abundance. Whereas the first and the last are more for individual help, the middle two are more about creating amazing art. There are some fabulous artists in these groups! I will tell about them at another time, though.

A while back, Teddi Rutschman, aka: FoxeySquirrel, who I have been friends with, online, for years, asked if I would be on her Creative Team. Well, she didn’t have to ask twice! I have so enjoyed playing with Teddi’s wonderful ‘ladies’ and textures and I love the ways in which she adorns her characters! Teddi is definitely one of a kind! I love her things! But, more than that, the time I spend playing with Teddi’s goodies, is more practice I get in. As it so turns out, too, many of my fellow artists use a lot of Teddi’s kits, as well as, other digi-scrapbooking kits and supplies. So, I see lots of different artist’s takes with Teddi’s things. Quite inspiring!

 A few years ago, when I sort of resigned from scrapping, I was intent on creating artsy resources, which I did, but, more in a personal use way. I was leaving digi-scrapping behind! Then, I started to find digital scrapbooking folks who are getting in to an artsy-style of scrapbooking kits. I got to learn more techniques and practiced quite a bit this way! Like with Christine-Art’s  hand-painted kits, as well. Putting together a set of specific elements and backgrounds, like what comes in a kit, can be quite challenging, but, fun! Great for practicing digital art!

Some of my favorite digi-scrap designers have moved to, or have added on, creating artsy kits. Magical Reality Designs has some fantastic artsy kits with Artistic Licensing available! I also noticed Kaklei Designs’ Karen Kleiman has been doing more and more artsy-style kits! Which is awesome because I won a place as a temporary Creative Team member in a contest of Karen’s recently! LOL

Karen invited me to participate in the challenge, so, I made my two layouts. There were 14 entrants, including me. This is the final layout of mine up for which everyone voted on.

I didn’t win First Place. In fact, there was a tie for First! I did place second, although, as with First, I placed in a tie for Second Place. I was extremely surprised! It is a 3-month Guest Designer position! I don’t particularly think of my art as dig-scrapping, but, it is very similar. I use an Envato Elements‘ photo and I am good to go! And, look at the beautiful colors and goodies in the kit from Karen, “Kindness”, now available.

The hardest thing for me to do is to post my art. I don’t know. I guess I don’t want to know what people think, so, I don’t go there. Lately, say, in the past 6 months, though, I have been somewhat more brave about it. I mostly post my images in my Behance Gallery. However, Brooke Shaden, of Promoting Passion, had an online “15 Day Creative Content Challenge”, back in August. For 15 days, following an exercise with Brooke each day, we were to create a layout. Brooke is noted for taking her own shots, mostly of herself, and using them in unusual ways for some of the greatest digital art online! It was necessary to post our daily layouts each day. Although, I did not snap any shots of myself to use, I did post each day’s image in my Behance Gallery for the Challenge. So, I got a little more used to putting my art ‘out there’. Since then, I have also posted more of my art in my groups, like AWAKE, Kaizen and Photoshop Artistry. The next step? Having my work published!

So, I create art and have joined some CT’s and get to practice! I just love art! And, that is me, lately!

Smile…

Su

 

Advertisements

Recolor Images to Match in a Layout/Design

This evening, I played in Photoshop with Teddi’s kits (aka: FoxeySquirrel). She just released 5 (that’s five!) new sets of goodies to her Scrapbook Graphics shop. (See note at bottom of page.)

I wanted to use a rather soft colorful background with a bold, dark ‘lady’. The lady is from “Wrinkly“, and the background from “Abstract Backgrounds”, both from FoxeySquirrel. The lady was too dark for the ‘Abstract Background’ I used. I thought about re-coloring the lady, but, that wouldn’t have looked right. Then, I recalled a technique in Photoshop, where you can take the colors from one photo and apply them to another. MATCH COLORS! Aha!

Here are the two images in Photoshop:

So, I opened the background and the lady in PS, each in their own doc (image above). The images DO NOT have to both be visible; they can be in different ‘Tabs’. You only have to see the one you wish to recolor. They DO have to both be open in PS, however. I selected the lady image by clicking on it. Then, went to ‘Image’>’Adjustments’>’Match Color’. In the pop up box, look for the ‘Source’ image (2/3 way down the box) to ‘take’ the colors from. (See larger Color Match box image, below) In my case, I clicked on ‘Source’, then, from the list, selected the ‘other’ image, the background. It is in the little box now as, ‘FS_Abstract_Background_9’.

As soon as I clicked, and hit okay, the lady took on the coloring of my background! They look so much nicer together!

If you look at the ‘Color Match’ pop up box, there are adjustment sliders you can tweek the Intensity, Luminescence and Fade, so, fiddle with those to get the best color match you like!

Here is the layout I created using this technique:

Thank you!

 

NOTE: Other elements in my layout from “Tabitha”, by FoxeySquirrel.

NOTE: Sadly, ScrapbookGraphics will be closing shop this month. Maya is just broken-hearted. Go see her video if you wish. Teddi is moving to another shop, which she will announce soon!

On Learning More in Photoshop Than How to Load a Brush

su_lost-600

(A piece I did with Christine-Art’s beautiful hand-painted kits! Look for a related post soon!)

Greetings, fellow traveler, on this wonderful journey we call life! Well, it isn’t always wonderful, is it? But, we carry on, don’t we! We have to.

I have been learning Photoshop for the past 12-13 years. I am past the typical ‘basics’ tutorials, like installing pre-sets, how to use the Gradient Tool, installing a Brush four different ways, etc. Now, I want to learn how to use all those tools, filters, blending modes and pre-sets and all the other features of Photoshop. I want to learn techniques. If that is what you want, too, read on!

I have news for you. Be prepared to spend a few dollars, unless you are careful and diligent! I took the plunge and signed up for Photoshop Artistry, then, Awake, then Kaizen, all from the same dude, Sebastian Michaels. I must say, I think these courses were an excellent investment in myself! In addition to his course material, Sebastian has arranged, for us, a free membership to ShiftArt, a PS based artistic teaching site, as well. He worked with a site as a gallery for our works. The site, ArtBoja, is set up for art printing sales, too, where you post your own art and they do all the transactions and mailing, etc. Then, there is the magazine, “Living the Photo Artistic Life”, which features some of the best art images each month. We also receive, included in the fees, some of the nicest resources, from great photographers and designers, with artistic licenses on all but a tiny few.

Prior to Sebastian’s groups, to learn techniques in Photoshops, I searched YouTu.be. It is a treasure trove of great tutorials, but, you might want to go with some of the mainstream artists/PS Masters’ channels. Jesus Ramirez, of PTC, does a grand series of tutorial videos, as well as ColinSmith of PS-Cafe. Dave Cross is another top PS genius with his own learning site. There are so many others, but, checking the videos out is the best way to see who you like to follow. Check out ‘Marty’ from Blue Lightening TV! LOL He has the most pleasant voice and only speaks to give the steps and any explanation necessary.

Pinterest is a great place to find tutorials’ and the links to them. Many of the sites I list for resources have tutorials, as well! Sites like SpoonGraphics, Envato’s TutsPlus, PSD Vault, and PSD Box, just to name a very few, are great places to learn techniques that are a bit more involved than ‘how to install a brush’! Many tutorials will say whether they are ‘Beginner’, ‘Intermediate’ or ‘Advanced’ so you can pick your comfort/educational level. Some of these PS sites have a ‘Premium’ feature, in which, for either a monthly and/or yearly fee, you get access to premium-grade resources and/or tutorials, often with the resource files or the original .PSD file included. These range from around $7 to $20 per month, with a discount for the annual rate. It is well worth it to join the sites you get the most out of, if possible.

I must mention, too, the course sites, like Lynda.com, Skillshare, etc. are another way to learn special techniques, with a paid membership. CreativeLive doesn’t have a membership format, but, it offers some awesome courses – live, obviously! After the live course, you can purchase the course with the videos, resources used and even homework! (I have found many of my favorite ‘teachers’ on CL, then, found their websites and followed them from there.) These are priced based on the ‘value’ of the material covered. For instance, Ben Wilmore has been doing a 2 week course “Adobe® Photoshop® CC: The Complete Guide”.  There is a special price while it’s running live, but, then, after completion, the price usually goes up. The sale price on this course is around $130.00, but, trust me, Ben is a genius in Photoshop like you wouldn’t believe! These live courses are usually replayed immediately after for anyone who may have missed the day’s live version. This ‘special’ has ended now.

When I discover a new Photoshop design site/blog that I might like, I subscribe to their newsletter. Most of these sites have this feature. It keeps you abreast of new posts, which may be tutorials or resources, or both! I have done a lot of seeking! I have learned what I know from sites like these and YouTu.be. I like videos, but, reading tutorials with good screenshots can be uber helpful and you can go at your own pace.

With a background in Digital Scrapbooking,  I must mention individual blogs and/or websites. I have learned so much from them! I write a tutorial now and then. But, if your desire is to really learn Photoshop, it would take you ten lifetimes! LOL Some designers/Photoshop-users/artists know their stuff! Some have a sense of design where they have seemingly ‘invented’ techniques, which are their trademark style. These folks are priceless to have in your ‘Follow’ list! ‘Finnabair’ is one of my absolute favorites! And, Maggie Taylor!

I want to take a few lines, here, and say something on individual taught art classes. You know? Like a mini-course from some photographer or designer or another, on how to design ‘just like’ they do. You pay a fee and receive videos and .PDF’s and a dedicated forum, as a rule. I’ve seen classes involving Layer Effects, Blending, Masking, and every other feature Photoshop offers! Choose these courses wisely. One, do you really want to create ‘just like’ a certain artist/designer, or do you just want to learn their tips? Let me let you in on a secret, which brings us to number ‘Two’, most of the material in these courses can be found all over the internet, already! They may be in the designers’ main site or blog, or a dedicated tutorial part of a forum they frequent. Or, Google the term and find thousands of other sites that have tutorials on it. Think about it. How do you think they learned the techniques? I once saw a question in a forum of a shop that is no longer in business. The person was asking how the designer was able to get the brushes to paint ‘dynamically’. In other words, no matter where you paint on your document, the pattern is ‘intact’. The response from the designer was, “We designers can’t reveal all of our secrets.” I wanted so bad to direct the questioner to a tutorial! Um, check the ‘Pattern’ feature box in Brush Settings. That’s it! It is certainly not secret. You can find loads of tutorials on it!

I feel that part of the problem with finding good, helpful tutorials, for what you want to do, from my own experiences, is not knowing what techniques are called. (Do you want to know how long it took me to find out what those ‘dynamic brushes’ were called and how to create them?? LOL) Again, I learned most of the terms by reading.  Throw ‘luminosity masks’ or ‘dynamic brushes’ or ‘reverse layer mask’ into a tutorial and everyone is freaking out! “That’s too hard!” I know! But! All the latter is is a regular ol’ layer mask – inverted. Rather than white, revealing the layer’s image, it’s black, completely hiding the layers image. The beauty of this is that, often, it is easier to ‘paint in’, with a white brush, what you want to see, rather than remove what you don’t want, with a black brush on a white mask. If you lower the mask’s Opacity, you can see enough of the image to paint in what you want. Just be sure to raise the Opacity back up when done! LOL

I have to mention, too, there are some major classes put on each year by groups of designers who each offer their expertise on their given talent/feature, like real-life painting and ‘art journaling’, etc. Think ‘Photoshop Week’, but, mainly for journalers and artsy crafters. Actually, these are more ‘events’ than courses!  “LifeBook” is one that happens every year for the past several years. Scrapaneers does one, as well! Debbie Hodge has a learning website with special ‘Courses’,  loads of info and tutorials and resources. Hers is more from a designer’s point of view. Her site is GetItScrapped.

Word of mouth goes a long way, so, look at the side bars on blogs you visit. If you like the content of a blog, their links in the side bar should be a reflection of their tastes.

This is by no means a complete compilation of places to learn Photoshop. I tried to just touch on the different types of learning/teaching there is out there. I hope this helps someone!

Art Created with Christine-Art’s Kits

One of the coolest things about digital art is that you can create anything you want! It’s your creation! Aside from usage rights, there is no end to what one can do artistically and digitally! I happen to like the ‘artsy’ look on my pieces. I want it to look like I spent time drawing, sketching, cutting and/or painting my works. Of course I do spend time on each piece, but, I can choose how involved I want to be.  I decide if I want to paint with a Photoshop paint brush or find a suitable image or design kit that has the type of elements I want and like.  Christine-Art‘s ‘Art Kits’ are just that for me.

I had all these ideas of creating artsy supplies to use in my pieces. I did create a bunch of stuff that I like to use myself. It was around that time, though, that I discovered other design folks were in to the same type of thing as I am – artsy-looking layouts or art works that have the look of having been done by hand. One of these design folks was Christine who is Christine-Art. In fact, I’m not sure, but, I believe she is among just a few who actually do sketch and color and cut and scan her own art to use as a ‘Art Kit’.

I have shared about Christine’s Art Kits before, but, I want to do so again, here. I am hooked on using her kits to come up with pieces that I like and enjoy creating.

Here is one of her most recent kits, ‘Doubt‘:

DSS-ad-Doubt

To accompany some of her kit designs Christine has ‘workshops’ on her blog, based on some aspect of our humanity, our feelings, our lives. ‘Doubt‘ was one of them. She gave ideas, prompts and suggestions to ponder. I created two pieces with the kit:

I Doubt It

su_IDoubtIt-600web

and

Doubt & Fear

su_Doubt&Fear-600web

In addition to her own website/blog/shop, Christine-Art, Christine is Guest Designer right now at Digital Scrapbooking Studio (DSS). Check out her Art Kits and other goodies! There is even a ‘freebie’ section on her site, Christine-Art!

There is also a Facebook group for Christine-Art lovers, Fans de Les Idees de Christine.

Enjoy!

First Ever Post Featuring My Art

When I last posted, regularly, on this blog, I was doing the scrapbooking thing, but, making the transfer over to art journaling. I wanted to create and use things that looked artistic. I made some resources of my own to use, which I have been threatening to post for all, but, have not got to it, yet. I am currently working on gathering all my goodies from all the different host sites and putting them all in one place. I will have a page where these items can be downloaded for free. I will let you know when, so, sign up for e-mail updates in the right side bar.

One of the first ‘artsy’ designers to catch my eye was Christine, of Les Idees de Christine. Chris hand paints her pretties. Her little daughter, the apple of her eye, even gets in on it with her own line of scrapbooking good called, “The World of Justine”. Creating a cool layout is so fun with handmade elements! Well, now Christine has opened a new blog/shop, Christine-Art. She offers tutorials, freebies and previews of her work.

A few months ago, Christine came out with a lovely collection of her art, Christine-Art Dreams of Light-1. It was such a fun kit, I ended up making several layouts with it and posting them in Christine’s FB group. Yesterday, she told me she had posted a page on her blog of my layouts. (She had asked for permission prior)

Here is the kit – (Click to go to Christine’s shop):

DL1-preview1-900bis

And, here is the link to her post of my work:

digitals-art-works-created-by-su/

I hope you like and, there are a lot more! My Behance Gallery is coming along nicely. With being a part of Design Cuts and enrolled in Awake, my art is starting to look like something worth looking at! I’m having fun and I need it! LOL

I wanted to share this with you as it is so flattering to have the designer of a kit post your layouts and I’m not even a CT member. Her CT girls are absolutely phenomenal!

Thank you for looking.

Smile, ya’ll!

Su

Save

Save