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The Waters Edge in Florida

Digitally image of The Waters Edge in Florida
This image was painted completely in Photoshop. Lots of different brushes here. My SJ Playing with Grut’s Inky Leaks FX brushes texture gave a lot of the pretty background colors. (Click here to see original texture.) I drew in the basic image before painting in the foreground trees. Then painted in the background trees, water and flowers with several brushes. Nik Viveza 2 was used to adjust the emphasis in the image. John Derry’s Impasto Smooth Heavy layer style was used to add some painterly effects. Topaz (see sidebar for website link) ReStyle’s Zambezi Zest was used to give the image a better color scheme. On layer above, some light yellow sunbeams were painted in and the foreground was masked out with the overall layer set to 29% layer opacity. A Red Channel Luminosity Curves Adjustment Layer (see my How to Use a Red Channel to Create a Nice Blended Image Effect blog) was added as a last step. Just a lot of painting and fun!…..Digital Lady Syd

A Fish Playground

Image of fish in a snow globe
Recently Photobacks Photo and Design Resources sent out this free beautiful snow globe template for the Holidays. The actual template had Christmas text but since it is a little past the season, I used the globe to place some pretty crazy looking plants created in Paintstorm Studio in the place of the photo. I love to doodle around in Paintstorm! The top layer of the template explains how to position your objects in the image. The image was clipped to the Photo Mask layer and adjusted using the Free Transform Tool (CTRL+T). Then I added my orange fish brush from Summer Sails Brush Pack by pixelsandicecream. Had to paint the fish details as it is just a black silhouette as a brush. Also on another layer added Fish Brush 2 by loswl for the little fish in top of globe. A Pattern Fill Adjustment Layer was clipped (ALT+click between layers) to the fish using a yellow-gold watercolor pattern. Next my text layer was added using a font called Henny Penny. The last step added a layer style using the Inner Shadow set to Screen Blend Mode and White color and to a Distance of 7, Choke 12, and Size 68; and an Inner Shadow set to Saturation Blend Mode, white color, Opacity 100, and Size 250. All the layers in this template can be adjusted to add or removed items or change the color. That’s it! It does look like a party going on!…..Digital Lady Syd

Contemplating Life

Vintage image of a beautiful woman from Shorpy's from cc1912
This was a black and white image from one of my favorite websites, Shorpy’s Historic Picture Archive (click on link to see original image). This image just sort of struck me as one I would really like to colorize. The first step was to sharpen up the image using the now free Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 to add some natural contrast to the overall image. Next I used two different methods in this image, although I probably should have stayed with just one, but here are links to my blogs on these techniques: How To Hand Tint a Vintage Image and Create a Brush To Do This blog and How To Colorize an Old Photo blog. A Red Channel Luminosity Curves Adjustment Layer was used to add in more contrast. (See my How To Use a Red Channel To Create a Nice Blended Image Effect blog.) On a stamped layer above (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E), opened Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Texture Effects 2. My Crisp Morning Run preset was run (this used the original Topaz Crisp Morning Run preset and switched out the Texture to a bright turquoise one half-way down the list and the Opacity was set to 0.29; also changed Vignette Strength set to 0.60 and Size 0.53.) Then in Light Leaks section, the Enable Masking was turned on. Brush tab was selected, and the woman was painted out with a brush around the head area (brush settings: Radius 0.50, Strength 0.59, and Hardness 0.30). In the Split Tone section, used the Enable Masking feature with the Spot tab to just hide the face area – set sliders to Transition 0.84 and Color Aware 0.86. Nik Viveza 2 (also free) was used to sharpen up the texture on her dress using a Control Point and the Structure slider. Added a Black and White Adjustment Layer set to Luminosity blend mode to balance the contrast. (See my How To Use a Black & White Adjustment Layer To See Contrast in an Image blog.) I just did not like the way her arm and hand on the chair looked too large so the Liquify Filter was used to adjust. Frooze the dress sleeve and chair behind and under the arm, then reduced the size and straightened the arm with Forward Warp Tool set to Size 300, Density 50, Pressure 100, and Rate 0 – just moved a little. Next PS’s Liquify Pucker Tool was set to Size 200, Density 50, Pressure 1 and Rate 80 – dabbed on hand a couple times. To enlarge the eyes just slightly, used the Bloat Tool set to Size 70, Density 50, Pressure 1, and lowered Rate to 32. Clicked once on each eye to just gently enlarge. Now all I could see was the red moire in the shadows of her arm skin and around eyes. Used Topaz DeNoise 6 set to overall Strength of 0.14, adjust Shadow 0.37, and adjust Color Red 0.69 to remove – set this layers opacity to 87%. I could paint these old vintage images all day long – really relaxing to do!…..Digital Lady Syd

On a Mission

Image of a Flying Hornbill
Felt like doing a bird painting – have not done one in a while. I felt a connection with this guy at the Jackonsville Zoo a while back. This Hornbill was showing off by flying back and forth in his cage for me. I think he would rather be flying free as I visualized in my painting, but he and his buddies seemed to be very happy and healthy at the Zoo. It always amazes me that a chained fence and shadows can be removed from a photo when it is painted. The bird was selected using the Select and Mask filter in Photoshop – it did a really good job. It did not hurt to have a beautiful texture to put behind him – this was a free texture from Jai Johnson called Captured Light at Sea 4 and just suited the lighting on the bird and his coloring. Some textures just did not blend well so several had to be tried. Then basically lots of blending and painting with the Mixers and the Regular Photoshop brushes. Just do a search on my blogs to find my favorite brushes. Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Lens Effects Reflector filter was added to give a more pronounced lighting effect on the right side of the image and Nik Viveza 2 was added to smooth out the whole effect. This basically was just a lot of fun to paint and very relaxing!…..Digital Lady Syd

Sunny Winter Trees

Painted winter trees
Just having some fun painting trees, my favorite thing to paint. This image was painted for starters in Corel Painter with a solid color light gray color for the background and using several different brushes. Then Photoshop was used and mainly Aaron Blaise’s Photoshop Canvas Texture brushes were used to add more leaves and color into the image. Then I decided I did not like the image but did not know why so I walked away for a couple of weeks. Today I decided to try again and decided the overall color was not what correct. A Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer was used to change the background to a bluish color which I prefer. A Red Channel Adjustment Layer (see my How to Use a Red Channel to Create a Nice Blended Image Effect Fun Photoshop blog) was used to pop the original tree luminosity and it turned out much better. I am really enjoying getting back into Painter again, but I still have to have my PS brushes to help out!…..Digital Lady Syd

Hello from a Queen

Image of a Queen Emma Lily
I was updating all my Topaz (see sidebar for website link) plug-ins this morning (many were updated in December 2016) and ended up experimenting with a few. I was using this beautiful Queen Emma Lily bloom, which was a difficult image to remove the distracting green background from the bloom. So I just started applying filters as I was checking update info. Topaz Black and White Effects was used to create an image with some color in it. Then on a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) Topaz Clean’s Cartoon Desaturated preset was used to get a more detailed effect. On a duplicate layer Topaz ReStyle’s Zombie Ziggurat preset was applied. On another duplicate layer Topaz Glow was used. Lots of clean up layers were created to make sure it looks right. I finally found a fabulous Photoshop Pencil – Grut’s P Tin Softy – a new one he recently included in a great collection of 43 pencils. This brush was used to fill in black lines which were missing and adding a little color in little areas. Last step was adding Nik Viveza 2 to even out the background. That was all that was done!…..Digital Lady Syd

Happy New Year

Painted tree landscape height=
Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year and hope all your days are sunny as above in the coming year! I just created this image in Corel Painter – have not digitally painted in quite a while so it was fun to poen up Corel Painter and see what happened! Original painting used various brushes from Karen Bonaker, Melissa Gallo, John Lowther, and a few of my own. Then it was saved as a PSD file and brought into Photoshop where a few clean up layers were created using the Clone Stamp Tool and some regular brushes to even out the tones. The image was then taken into Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Texture Effects 2 to just give a nice overall effect to pull it all together. Last step, used Nik Viveza 2 to adjust the lighting to my liking. This was so much fun to create. Feels good to paint again!…..Digital Lady Syd

2017 January Calendar

January 2017 Calendar using 1902 colorized image
I just love this image of these two women eating by a window and it makes a perfect calendar image I think. This vintage image is from Shorpy.com, my favorite site for the old historical images, taken in 1902 at the National Cash Register Company‘s restaurant in Dayton, Ohio. In my How to Hand Tint a Vintage and Create a Brush To Do This blog, I show how I colorized this image. It was then put into the Calendar using the 8 1:2 X 11 1-month Lightroom template provided by Ed Weaver at Red Photographic – also used his January Calendar image. The calendar headers were set to matching colors in the Develop module so everything blends together nicely. Now that Lightroom 6 has a Reference Photo option in the Develop  module, it is easier to compare the calendar color with the image being added. The Split Tone section works nicely for changing the header colors as well as the Adjustment Brush using a Color sampled from the image and then adjusting all the other sliders. Check out my How To Create 2017 Calendars in Both Lightroom and Photoshop blog for more info on using these templates. Just remember that if the templates do not look right, check out your Page Setup Printer properties – see if you have it set to Landscape instead of Portrait or vice versa. Also if the background color does not fit quite right, check out the Print Job section, set to Print to JPEG File and check Custom File Dimensions to fill out. These are mistakes I have made. Lightroom templates can be a bit tricky, so keep at it as eventually they will line up. Enjoy making your calendars!…..Digital Lady Syd

A Wintry Florida Holiday

Image of the Harry P. Leu Gardens in Orlando, Florida, with a wintry feel
Having some Holiday fun here – spent a long time getting this beautiful entrance to the Henry P. Leu Gardens image to look like it was under the snowy spell of the Northern US.  I would go over all the steps in detail, but it would end up pretty long. Just say that lots of layers were used which included: the Liquify Tool, the Clone Stamp Tool, Content-Aware Move, a couple Dodge Curve Adjustment Layers, Corel’s ParticalShop filter, Magic Dust Pretty Actions Brush layer, 100 Silver Lights Photo Overlays 16 and 17, Stroke and Spatter Dual Brush by John Derry layers, Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Impression 2 Chalk Smudge I preset, Alex Ducal’s Sketch Splatter brush layer, Pretty Actions Merry Christmas overlay, Grut’s FX Cloud Gumbo 01a brush layer, Topaz Lens Effect Reflector filter, and Nik Viveza 2 filter. Lots of fun! Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!…..Digital Lady Syd

Red Hibiscus Holiday Cheer!

Image of a Chinese Hibiscus
Thought I would post a little Holiday Cheer with this beautiful Chinese Hibiscus flower. Just had fun doing a little painting and playing to get this image. There was one really handy items that was used with this image – a Watercolor Mockup Template from Edimahendra – a set of wonderful watercolor splashes set up to use in Photoshop file as Smart Objects. I put these layers in a group and then added my own layers on top using different brushes – Magic Dust Pretty Actions Brush, Kyles Real Watercolor Spatter Dense brush, Melissa Gallo’s Scatter Brush, and Grut’s Inky FX Romato Brush. I put one of my Corel Painter textures on top and clipped a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer on top with Saturation set to -37. Then in a layer mask, used a soft round brush and painted out some of the texture over parts of the flower. Text layers were added to finish up. Merry Christmas Everyone!…..Digital Lady Syd

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