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Flowers Enjoying a Planetary Twilight Sky

Digital Art image of flowers and planets
This is just a fun blog. I was doodling with some of Brush Guru Grut’s fabulous brushes (see sidebar for website link and get a free weekly brush to download) and ended up with the flowers looking skyward at an interesting twilight sky. Two layers were painted in a New Document – used one of my favorite drawing brush called Grut-I Qwillo brush. On individual layers, the ground was painted with Grut’s FX IL Bad Mower brush, the flowers and leaves used Grut OI Hip Twitch, and some flower spatters. The Star Field02 is from Frostbo and set to 34% layer opacity. The cloud effect is a cloud brush I created and set to 17% layer opacity. I added Saturn and the moonlet using some brushes I had created a long time ago. Jupiter was created using actual images from NASA’s Mission Juno Project and following a short video by Howard Pinsky called Processing Jupiter in Adobe Photoshop – this was so much fun! It was moved into the sky and that is about all that was done. Last step involved using Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Texture Effects preset called Crisp Morning Run. Lots of fun here!…..Digital Lady Syd

A Beautiful Bedroom

Image of a Master Bedroom at the Flagler Museum in Palm Beach, Florida
Decided to experiment and turn this Master Bedroom in the Flagler Museum or Whitehall in Palm Beach, Florida, into a monotone color – it just looked pretty after David DuChemin’s Lightroom Develop Preset was applied called B+W Duo-Cool to Warm. It actually was a little too bleached out but this is point that I started in Photoshop. I wanted to have a vintage feel to the image. The actual image was done in bright golds and yellows. The image was sharpened using Lucis Pro (no longer available) and then adding a black layer mask and painting back just some of the detail. An outside border was created using Shadowhouse Creations Heavenly Vintage Texture Set-Lavender Texture which was desaturated (CTRL+SHIFT+U). Nik Viveza 2 was added to sharpen up the left mirror reflection. To add a little color tone to the image, a Color Fill Adjustment Layer was added using a beige-pink color – set to Color blend mode at 54% layer opacity. I really like the overall effect…..Digital Lady Syd

Watching the Sky

B&W image of a Siamang Ape
This Siamang Ape lives at the Palm Beach Zoo – he has just finished his breakfast and is getting ready to run to the top of the trees and announce the opening of the Zoo for the other animals. The technique used in this image was presented in a video by Glyn Dewis called Use Photoshop to Take a Picture from Good to Great in 5 Steps – it is based on an effected created by wildlife photographer Nick Brandt. One of my Corel Painter backgrounds was used as a background placed under the ape image. Then used a layer mask to remove the original background. Then basically sharpened the image and then blurred the image in selected areas of the image. Last step involved adding grain into the image. The video goes through most of this. This was a lot of fun to try! Thank you Glyn Dewis for showing us how to do this!….Digital Lady Syd

Beautiful Scottish Sky

Image of Scottish Clouds
This image was taken somewhere in Scotland from a train. It was not particularly a pretty area with all the brown rocks and rather low lying water – it may have been low tide. Thought I would do just a quick post showing a trick I learned from Steve Arnold in his video called How To Infuse a Dull, Gray Landscape Photo with a Splash of Color (from his e-mail newsletter) to add some beautiful highlights to the sky and bit in the water. Basically a pink and blue overlay set to Overlay blend mode and a low opacity was used to add the colors. Then a layer mask is added to paint out where the color should not be. This can be created using the same process as for making Light Leaks (see my How to Create Light Leaks to Use Over Again blog.) Check out Steve and this wonderful technique.

I probably will not be blogging for a while with Hurricane Irma coming our way. Will try to get back up as soon as I can…..Digital Lady Syd

Beautiful Clouds at Stirling Castle

View from Stirling Castle in Scotland
This image was taken at Stirling Castle in Scotland. The sky was so dramatic that there were many different ways to process the clouds, but I settled on a less dramatic and more sunny feel to the image. It was actually quite an overcast day when this image shot. There was not a lot done to this image. Biggest problem was some noise – both Luminance and Color so Adobe Camera Raw was used to clean it up. I can’t remember the last time I had color noise so this was unusual. On a stamped layer, Lucis Pro was applied and the clouds were painted out in a layer mask to keep them from being too crisp. Nik Viveza 2 and a Red Channel Luminance Adjustment Layer was added. Then I realized I had a slightly crooked image so PS Adaptive Wide Angle Filter was used to straighten it up just a little – worked perfectly! (See my How to Use the Adaptive Wide Angle Filter blog.) Then a border was created using single line rectangle, selecting the outside, adding a layer mask to a stamped layer, and clipping a Black & White Adjustment Layer on top. That was it. What a wonderful place to visit!…..Digital Lady Syd

Feeling Happy

Image of Alice in Wonderland
This is a composite image that I created using stock images and a texture I had created in Corel Painter. The beautiful Alice is from Faestock on DeviantArt. The first step was to create a New Document set to 8 inches X 8 inches at 300 dpi. Next the stock image of Alice was added and the girl was selected and removed from the white background. On this cut out image, an effect used by Corey Barker at Creative Live during the 2017 Photoshop Week was applied. I cannot seem to find another source for this effect but Corey has used similar effects in Photoshop User Magazine and a Kelby One blog. Anyway, the basic effect gave Alice a rather gungy look using different brushes in layer masks. The Alice layers were put in a group. Then the texture was added underneath the group. Selective Color Adjustment Layers and a Curves Adjustment Layer were used to blend this all together. Nik Viveza 2 was added to draw focus to her face. The font is the Old Printing Press Free Version. It is fun to make just a care-free image that makes you smile!…..Digital Lady Syd

The Whisker Cactus

Macro image of a Whisker Cactus
A local hotel in Phoenix, Arizona, labelled this a Whisker Cactus – the red spikes are at the top of the stalk. They had this wonderful cactus garden with several different types. Unfortunately I did not have my macro lens with me, but this image has a pretty nice macro feel to it. A lot of the post-processing was done in Lightroom using the Bad Weather 8 preset by Serge Ramelli with adjustments to the Gradient Filters and Radial Filters. In PS, Lucis Pro (no longer available) was used to just add some texture and sharpening into the cactus only. Nik Viveza 2 was used to emphasize the plant colors. Matt Kloskowski’s technique was used to create a vignette. (See my How to Create a Subtle Vignette blog.) On another layer the Sharpen Tool and Blur Tool was used selectively and a 50% gray Dodge and Burn layer was used on the focal point areas. That was it. These cactus are pretty but incredibly sharp!…..Digital Lady Syd

Enjoying a Flower

Image of an Orange-Banded Butterfly
Love this Julia Longwing Butterfly – have never seen one like this around my home. The image was taken at the Palm Beach Zoo which is much further south in Florida. This male butterfly actually lives several months and loves the Passion Vine. The image was cropped way down to emphasize the butterfly. Then Lucis Pro (no longer available) was opened to sharpen up just the butterfly. On separate layers the wings were painted mainly using Gruts (see sidebar for website link) NM Pans Attic brush. 2 Lil’ Owls (see sidebar for website link) Dream freebie texture was set to Hard Light at 70% layer opacity. In a layer mask the butterfly was painted back. Kim Klassen’s 2170 with Script texture (not sure it is available anymore) was used around the butterfly. Nik Viveza 2 was applied to adjust the coloring in the image. Next Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Lens Effects’s Diffusion filter set to Moderate was applied. A black layer mask was added and just the diffusion effect was applied to the wings and flowers. A Color Lookup Adjustment Layer was added and the Crisp Winter preset was selected. It was set to Hard Light and 27% layer opacity. I decided the color palette was not quite right, so on a stamped layer Topaz Restyle was opened up. A preset was made of the image and then the colors in the palette were just slightly adjusted to get the final look. (See my How to Use a Topaz ReStyle Trick for Improving Your Image blog.) Wish these little beauties were in our local…..Digital Lady Syd

Checking Out the Buds

Digitally painted image of some pink flowers and a hummingbird
Still practicing drawing and painting. This image I just followed the same workflow from my Some Flower Power blog which created an original sketch layer and several painting layers for the flowers. Next the Hummingbird was painted on a layer using a bird brush created by just turning an old bird image into a black and white and defining as a brush preset – actually used two different colors and softened the edges a little. Kim Kassen’s Stay texture (not sure it is still available) was placed on top and really gives the vintage feel to the image. A Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer was clipped to it (ALT+click between layers) to desaturate the texture color a little. The border is from On1 Hundred Borders set. The three final steps were performed that I almost always use at the end of my workflow:  a Red Channel Luminosity Adjustment Layer, Nik Viveza 2, and a Black and White Adjustment Layer. I am starting to enjoy creating the flower paintings……Digital Lady Syd

The Neighborhood Puppy

Image of the Neighborhood Puppy
This is one of the cutest puppies I think I have ever seen. Her name is Kaila and I get to play with her every now and then when she is on one of her neighborhood walks. This time she let me take a few images of her, so I thought I would take advantage of this photo and try out a recent Topaz blog called Cartoon Your Critter – Make Your Pet a Work of Art by Taylor Seaton. I did not follow the steps exactly since my image is not really a cartoon effect, but I liked the final results. So how did I get to this point? Well I used Topaz (see sidebar for website link) ReMask, but I also tried Photoshop’s Mask and Select, which gave a great result too, just to see which is is better. (I think the results depend totally on the image IMHO, so if you do not like the results of one, try the other.) I did not like the results Topaz Simplify gave to this image, so Lucis Pro 6.0.9 (unfortunately no longer available) was applied on a duplicate layer of just the selected dog. Again the layer was duplicated and following the Topaz blog, the image was taken into Topaz Impression 2 where the Cartoon Your Critter preset was downloaded from the Community. No changes were made to it. Next Artiste Old Master texture from French Kiss (see sidebar for website link) was placed underneath the dog layer. Topaz has several nice textures in their blog that can be downloaded if a nice one is needed. Then created a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) on top so it can be taken back into Topaz Impression 2. On separate layers above lots of painting with PS was done to add my own painting flair. On another stamped layer Nik Viveza 2 was applied and just a little bit of vignetting was added along with a little work on the nose and mouth. I really like the results. And as always, it was a lot of fun to do!…..Digital Lady Syd