Anything Photoshop or Photography

Photo Art

Who Got into the Paint Pots?

Red Macaw at the Palm Beach Zoo
Just had a lot of fun playing with this image by following an older video by Aaron Nace called How to Turn a Portrait into Painting in Photoshop. It is sort of a crazy and long workflow, but I enjoyed making a few new brushes to just splash around with color. Lots of problems with the original macaw image taken at the Palm Beach Zoo. There were fence line shadows over the whole bird, then the bird had to be selected with Mask & Select in PS before adding the several PS filters shown in the video. Finally the fun began with lots of layers and brushes and some Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Glow and Nik Viveza 2 to sharpen him up a little. This took a while to do, but it really was a lot of “fun!”…..Digital Lady Syd

Meet Elvis

Image of a Cockatoo
How often is it that you are walking in your neighborhood and a neighbor walks by with a beautiful white cookatoo on her shoulder? This was one of the nicest, most engaging birds I have ever seen. Quite willing to pose, talk a little, raise his feathers for a “photo-op,” and look at pictures on a phone. Wow! What a personality! My camera phone does not do him justice!

In Lightroom Trey Radcliff’s Sunday Time Alone preset was applied, and the Radial Filter was used to add a slight vignette feel. In Photoshop a couple clean up layers were done and one of my Liquid Ink textures from Corel Painter was added behind him. This bird is a super-model!…..Digital Lady Syd

A Wintry Scene

Painted image of a wintry scene using Corel Painter and Photoshop
Just practicing my painting some more. Love painting these wintry scenes even though it is so hot outside. Not too much to this image other than it was first painted in Painter, then taken back into Photoshop, taken back to Painter, and ended up in Photoshop. Phew! Used several brushes in each program. Two textures, each with a Hue/Saturation Adjustments Level  clipped to it, with the Saturation slider set to -100 so no color was added, only texture. Just fun to paint!…..Digital Lady Syd

I See You! Checking Out a Snowy Egret

Image of a Snowy Egret
Another shot of a beautiful Snowy Egret from the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Rookery. This time it was painted twice – once using Mixer Brushes and once applying Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Impression Cezanne II preset. Photoshop’s Flat Angle Mixer was used to do a lot of the paint clean up……Digital Lady Syd

Taking Off From the Rookery Runway

Image of a flying Great Egret
I have photographed similar images to this one of a Great Egret, but I never get tired of it. These birds are just beautiful, and in flight, even grander. This time I used a new technique from one of my favorite texture people and nature photographer. Jai Johnson recently created a video called Peach Blush Texture Demonstration on her techniques for getting her exquisite images. The one caveat is that she uses Topaz (see sidebar for website link) photoFXeffects, which I love, but does not work with CC2014 – therefore you must use CC or CS6 to use the PS interface. She also does not use Photoshop, but does all her work in the stand-alone of this interface. In Jai’s case, it does not matter as she has figured out some incredible ways to get a painterly effect by using basically the photoFX’s mask feature. I had a lot of fun doing this, but it took a while to get this correct effect. The background was one I created in Painter, and the overall grainy effect was created by setting the FX plug-in layer to Dissolve at 64% – it really give the painterly look. I used Nik Viveza 2 and a Curves Adjustment Layer to do final adjustments. Totally love the results I got using her technique. Thank you Jai!…..Digital Lady Syd

Digital Lady Syd Related Blogs:
Digital Lady Syd’s Review of Topaz photoFXlab v1.1


A Wintry Scene

Wintry Scene Image I painted
This is just a another image I created using mainly Aaron Blaise’s Foliage and Water brushes in Photoshop. In Painter some of the snow effects were created using Gel’s 2009 Holiday brushes and Fay Sirkis’ blender brushes. The Impasto sky was created using on one of Melissa Gallo’s brushes. In Photoshop three snow layers were added and Shadowhouse Creations Assorted Brush set tree brush 4 for background effect. As you can see, this is made up of a lot of different brushes and a little of my own painting. Not sure why I went wintry today, but it was a lot of fun to do…..Digital Lady Syd.


Painted image of saiboat on ocean
Totally love these new inexpensive Photoshop brushes I purchased from Aaron Blaise’s (a former Disney artist) website. This image used both his Water Brush Set and his Cloud Brush Set. (Check out his videos as he gives lots of just great digital painting tips throughout his demos.) This image was composed of one Cloud layer using his SB 46-12 brush (a major cool cloud brush) and three Water layers using three brushes: his SB 44-13, a really nice larger waves brush, SB 45-13, smaller sized waves for more distant effects, and SB 50-40, a very flat thin wave effect that could be used for horizons or fill in color waves. The sailboat is from Vector Art Box – set to a 40% layer opacity to give a slightly dimmed look. The layer was set to Multiply at 100% layer opacity, then duplicated and set to 21% layer opacity just to make the boat show just right. Last step was a Curves Adjustment Layer to add a little contrast to the image. Done! This was so easy to create and it is so much fun to use these brushes……Digital Lady Syd

Digital Lady Syd Related Blogs:
Just Some Photoshop Fun This Week!
How to Create a Watercolor/Ink Image in Photoshop

An Artsy Sketch

Colored Pencil Sketch image of Baker's Pier in the Bahamas
Just playing around with an effect I learned from a tutorial by Lesa Snider called How to Convert a Photo to a Colored Sketch with Photoshop. It actually did a pretty nice job on this image. After converting the image to a sketch, I went to the Select -> Color Range and chose Highlights in the drop-down menu. Check Invert box and say OK-a layer mask is applied to the image selecting the background. Next I applied two textures I have created underneath the sketch with the top layer set to Hard Light and the Blend If This Layer black layer set to 101. Created a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) and added a Curves Adjustment Layer for some contrast. Next several layers were created and just different areas were painted to emphasize them. Created another stamped layer and applied Topaz (see sidebar for website link) ReStyle (Peach Prairie preset with changes to Sat Primary 0.02, Third -0.05, and Fifth 0.25; and Primary -0.58, Third -0.20, and Fourth -0.36; Basic set to Color Blend Mode , Tone White Level -0.37; and Details Structure -1.00 and Sharpness -1.00 to get a more painterly look on the colors). Added a copy of the image before ReStyle was added and set it to Luminosity at 42% layer opacity to tone down the colors a little. Sort of a crazy looking image, but was still a lot of fun to play with all the colors……Digital Lady Syd

Houses in Marsh Harbour

Image of brightly colored houses in Marsh Harbour
Just a quick post on this painting. The original photo was taken while actually leaving the channel at the small town of Marsh Harbour in The Bahamas. Still working on learning to use Corel Painter – Melissa Gallo’s Painter for Photographers Workshop is really helping me understand how to use this program. Lots to learn yet – this is really so much fun! I did do the final crop in Photoshop and used Viveza 2 to emphasize the focal point. Also a Curves Adjustment Layer and signature layers was added. Still not comfortable staying in Painter for this……Digital Lady Syd

Some Painter Magic!

Image of a painted landscape by me
I will be honest and say this is a totally “Bob RossJoy of Painting type of image I created in Corel Painter 2015. This was done by following the painting instruction of Corel Master Melissa Gallo’s videos in her Painter for Photographers Workshop. Am really enjoying her artistic teachings and brushes. Also in Photoshop used Nik Viveza 2 to enhance parts of this image to get the color saturation I liked. That was it! Fun! Fun! Fun!……Digital Lady Syd

Fall Is In the Sky!

Image created from various Photoshop Brushes
This is an oldie-but-goodie created in 2011 but I like the fall colors. Since I am into so much painting, this one was done with 11 layers using different brushes, one free texture, Shadowhouse Creations Oil Painting 5, one of my favorite textures, set to Overlay at 59% layer opacity just below a Nik Color Efex Pro Graduated Neutral Filter layer (don’t have settings – before I was saving that info). First a new document was created at 8 inches x 10 inches at 240 pp. Here are all the free brushes (thanks to the wonderful Deviant Art artists) used in this image, each on a different layer. On New Layer it looks like a large soft round brush was used to created the strong orange and reddish effect for the background just painting over the image at a lower opacity and building up a little. Glitter & Lines by Madeliniz gr set to 31% layer opacity; Glitter & Lines by Mandeliniz-g1 warped – brown lines; Texturemate swirls 35 png – green circles; grunge brushes by lydia -bright yellow on lower left; Another layer of grunge brushes by lydia – pink splotch lower right and set to 62% layer opacity; yet another layer of grunge brushes by lydia – blue object; Dollfie-Chan snowflake; Arsgrafik Snowflake Brushes 364 snowflake lower right yellow; another of the same brush that used pink and the Color Replacement Tool to add the color; Space by JaneDoeStock Space#2 – upper white galaxy spiral; and Space #4 – lower orange comet. Looks like a little white grunge was spread around to look outer spacey but not sure what brush. These type of images are so much fun to create. Give it a try if you get bored and want a change!…..Digital Lady Syd

The Most Delicious Caramel Apples!

Image of Rocky Road Caramel Applies from Universal Studios Orlando
The above is what happens if I am in Photoshop when I am hungry! These delicious Rocky Road Candy Apples were located at Snookers Candy Store in Seuss Land at Universal Studios Orlando. May be the most tasty looking candy apples I have ever seen! Wanted to use this image as an example of just a subtle painterly effect added to an image for just a little enhancement. This image was processed in Lightroom where cropping and Seim’s Workflow 4 (see sidebar for website link) Hill and Lucas preset was applied. Photoshop’s Shake Reduction Filter was applied and it actually sharpened up the image just a little. Did lots of clean up since this was shot through a plastic case. Finally I went into Photoshop CC (CS6 also has it and Pixel Bender still has it for CS5) Oil Paint Filter – I am really sad this filter has been eliminated in the new CC 2014 version – I thought the marshmallows and chocolate would look nice with this effect. (Settings used: Brush Stylization 10, Cleanliness 10, Scale 1.14, Bristle Detail 10, Lighting Angular Direction 300, and Shine 1.35.) A layer mask was added and with my Chalk 60 brush, some of the effect was painted out in areas that looked overdone. To really make the image pop, Nik Viveza was applied – both globally and with control points to add just the right amount of vignette and sharpness. This filter is still just incredible! A Curves Adjustment Layer was added to lighten up the whites just a little more and a layer was used to add some burning to define the marshmallows in the front apple from the one further back. (See my The Best Dodging and Burning Technique! blog.) This was really a fun image to work with and just adding a little painterly effect really made it stand out!…..Digital Lady Syd

Just Painting!

Image of painted fall trees in Jackson, Mississippi
Decided to practice some painting on these beautiful trees in Jackson, Mississippi. Basically just painted using the directions from my Fun Photoshop blog called How to Easily Create a Photoshop Brush for Painting but using a pastel brush instead of a watercolor brush. The principles are the same. Used Melissa Gallo of Painted Textures Yellow Dawn Texture setting it to Hue blend mode at 91% layer opacity – this gave it the fall looking colors – and then the second time it was set to Vivid Light at 26% layer opacity and in a black mask only the highlights were painted back. The top stamped layer was set to Multiply blend mode at 84% layer opacity to better bring out the colors and a Levels Adjustment Layer was used to add more contrast. That was it. It took a long time to paint, but the results are usually worth the time……Digital Lady Syd.

A Little More Painting with a Texture Brush from Your Image

Image of the rooftops at Harry Potter Land
Wanted to show you how I completed the image that I began in my You Tube Texture Video for my Fun Photoshop Blog How to Paint with a Texture Brush from Your Image. By creating a different brush and changing up my technique just a little, a totally different feel was given to the same image. So what did I do to get this totally different result from the same image?

The brush I created in the video I did save down as a “New with my settings” brush – I forgot to remind everyone of this rather vital step. You need to resave and rename your brush to keep the additional slider changes made from the initial brush created. A New Layer was added above and this time it was converted to a Mixer Brush – in the Options Bar turn off the “Load the brush after each stroke” icon and in the drop down, choose Very Wet, Heavy Mix. Now just make sure Sample All Layers is checked and you are ready to paint using this same brush as a Mixer “Blender” brush (see my Photoshop Blog How to Easily Create a Photoshop Brush for Painting for more info on this.) On a couple of layers, I just smoothed out edges and dabbed and then would go back to the regular brush with the same settings. Just went back and forth smoothing and adding a little texture and color. By doing that on this brush, the texture effect is not so over-the-top as it looked in the video and the rough edges were softened with the Mixer Brush. A Curves Adjustment Layer was added to increase the brightness since the painting darkened it down some. If you look closely, the pattern is over the objects just like the background – by adding the Pattern Fill Adjustment Layer on top and choosing this same texture set to 60% Scale, it blended beautifully with the texture – the layer opacity was set to just 26% for the blend. Then a Levels Adjustment Layer was added and the in the Output Levels, set the first number to 24 to take out the total black pixels which often darkens an image too much in paintings. I thought I was done but I tried a layer style called BMU_SSStyles_UltArtist_Watercolor-Dark from Scrap Girls packet which added a Pattern Overlay that resulted in the rather foggy spooky feel on the whole image – it felt so Harry Potterish! (See my Fun Photoshop Blog How to Get Painting Effects from Actions-Part 2 for info on this.) I was thinking I could have just used a fog brush at a low opacity and painted on a New Layer to get the same effect. I really liked how this version turned out – love the triangular shapes and still like my owl! Anyway wanted to show you how using this different texture, crop, and brush gives a totally different result! Hope you give this a try!…..Digital Lady Syd

What Happened to My Yellow Rose?

Image of a painted rose
This is an alternate image of the yellow rose posted last week – see Mid-Year – Painting Project Progressing! I just wanted to let you see what using the wonderful Topaz (see sidebar for website link) ReStyle can do to an image – not sure which image I like best since I love the pink tones. Basically the yellow rose was opened into ReStyle and the Cream and Plum preset was selected. I use this preset a lot since it does have the color palette I love. The changed settings were: Hue Secondary -0.44 and Third -0.28; Sat Fifth -0.25; and Lum Primary 0.15, Third 0.03, Fourth 0.41, and Fifth -0.53; Basic Tone Black Level 0.03, Midtones -0.12, and White Level 0.41; and Detail Structure 0.45 and Sharpness 0.56. In Basic Mask painted in this effect in a black mask at the top of flower with Brush Strength 0.42, Brush Size 0.10 and Hardness 0.30. A New Layer was added above and the Mixer Brush was used to clean up the petals, but I did not like the way it looked, so I turned it off. The grungy look seems appropriate with this image and the blue specs look nice. The last step was adding a Curves Adjustment Layer to add more contrast. Not sure but I think I like it better than the yellow one. Decisions! Decisions!…..Digital Lady Syd

Mid-Year – Painting Project Progressing!

Image of a beautiful painted yellow rose
I am over halfway on my journey to achieving my New Years Resolution of learning to paint and here is an example of where I am at. This image was taken at the grocery store on my cell phone. Therefore I had a little sharpness issue, but with painting, you can do a little improvising. The texture was from Melissa Gallo at Painted Textures called Sunrise Canvas. This beautiful texture is one of several provided in her Painting with Photoshop workshop – this workshop is the first time it has really “sunk in” on how to do this. Melissa is an artist and Corel Master, but she teaches the Photoshop painting techniques very thoroughly. This image used her brushes. Anyway, I really am getting into this painting thing and it is totally fun! Oh yes, and how did I improvise that little bit of detail I wanted in the top of the flower? Well I used a technique covered in my blog called The Best Dodging and Burning Technique! and created a burn layer set to Overlay to sketch in a few lines with a small round brush at 12% brush opacity. Very subtle!…..Digital Lady Syd

A Dreamy Rose!

Abstract painted image of a yellow rose
Really enjoyed making this image. This yellow rose, a free image from stock.xchng by MEJones, was used to begin my painting. Painted Textures Parisian Pool texture was used. The edges of various splotches of color on individual layers were blended in using a Mixer Brush – not sure which one, but the Adobe Chalk Brush with a Shape Dynamics set to 19% would work fine. This brush can be used both as a regular brush and a Mixer Brush. The Camera Raw Filter was used to adjust the color using the HSL sliders. A Curves Adjustment Layer was used to add a little contrast. That was it but lots of fun to do!…..Digital Lady Syd

Dainty Little Violet

Image of painted violet with a sayingJust playing in Photoshop. This was a photo I took of my blooming violets a while back. Mainly just a little mixer brushing and the Texturizer Filter in Photoshop. The font is Batik Regular. This is just too much fun!…..Digital Lady Syd

Digital Lady Syd Related Blogs:
Learning to Paint in Photoshop

Painting the Old and the New

Image of a pink gerbera daisy and a spent daisy and painted in Photoshop
I call this image The Old and The New – these pink gerbera daisies were growing on my back porch. Pretty basic steps here. A pastel mixer brush was used to paint the image on a New Layer above the background layer. French Kiss Collection’s Atelier Valley texture set to Hard Light at 60% opacity was added on top. Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Detail 3 was used to localize the sharpening on the flower with a black mask and painting the effect back in. What really made this image was applying Topaz ReStyle and getting a more interesting color combination. Some contrast was supplied with a Curves Adjustment Layer. Just a lot of fun!…..Digital Lady Syd

The Valentine Tree

Image of a Valentline that Digital Lady Syd created
This is my Valentine Tree that I created using some of Melissa Gallo of Painted Textures painting tips in her wonderful videos on Painting with Photoshop. This was so much fun to do. French Kiss Tableaux Symphony texture was set to Darker Color blend mode at 40% layer opacity. Then an image I created giving the cloudlike feel was placed above it and set to Multiply blend mode. All the heart effects were created using just one brush – the Valentine Brush by Digital Touch – just set to different sizes and layer styles. The silhouette is Romantic Couples 2496 from Obsidian Dawn’s Glitter Sets Hearts-Glitter was applied as a snow effect on top. The Valentine Tree text is by MC Sweetie Hearts font. The other text is from Cosmi and is called 31 – not sure it is available anymore. A little localized sharpening on the tree and some contrast to the whole image finished up the effect. I hope everyone has a wonderful Valentines Day and has a little Photoshop Fun also!…..Digital Lady Syd

Conquering Painting in Photoshop!

Image of some wintry trees painted in a workshop by Melissa Gallo
I have finally found someone who can relate to me exactly how to get a beautiful painterly look in Photoshop. This image was made following one of  the many videos that Melissa Gallo at Painted Textures created for her Painting with Photoshop Workshop. After painting the trees, one of the provided textures for the workshop, Sea Storm Canvas, was set to Pin Light at 73% opacity and my SJ Snow1 Overlay was added. Now, I attempted to apply a little Digital Lady Syd on the image by taking a stamped layers (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) into Topaz (see sidebar for website link) ReStyle and applied the Peppermint Gray preset to adjust the colors a little. (ReStyle settings: Set ReStyle section blend mode to Color; Texture Strength to 1.00; Basic section blend mode to Multiply; Color Temp -1.00, Tint 0.38, and White -0.56; Tone Black Level -1.00, Midtones 0.42, and White Level -0.56; and Detail Structure 0.97 and Sharpness -0.30.) Then added my watercolor border with color sampled from the image in a clipped Color Fill Adjustment Layer. Last step was to take the whole image into the Camera Raw Filter and add the radial filter for some saturation and clarity to draw the eye to the center of the image. If you are interested in learning painting techniques like this, look into getting her workshop. These are some of the best Photoshop videos I have followed. This is nothing but fun! — and that is what it is all about!…..Digital Lady Syd

Bamboo Forest Abstract

Image of a bamboo forest in Hawaii in abstract art
Got inspired by a short tutorial called Dustin Abbott’s Autumn Abstract with Snap Art 4 on Alien Skin’s website where he created this really interesting abstract painting. The image above is of a bamboo forest on the Big Island in Hawaii. I wanted a little less abstraction so some of the bamboo could be seen but the beautiful Hawaiian forest colors were the main interest. Therefore, I only used a Motion Blur Distance of 594 pixels. Next in Snap Art 4 Dustin Abbott’s Autumn Abstract preset (he graciously lets you download the preset in the tutorial link above) was applied. Back in Photoshop a layer mask was added where a few of the trees were painted back softly just to exaggerate the foreground tree shapes. Next Topaz ReStyle (see sidebar for website link) plug-in was added. (Started with Olivine Pastures preset to keep the Hawaiian green and pink colors intact. Color Style Hue Third -0.14, Sat Primary -0.28, Third 0.20, and Fifth -0.17, and Lum Third 0.63 and Fifth 0.59; Texture Strength 1.00; Basic Opacity 62%, Blend Mode Screen, Color Tint 0.16 and Sat 0.20; and Detail Structure 0.31.) The last step involved adding another of my favorite plug-ins, Nik Analog Efex Pro. (Used these filter settings:  Basic Adjustments with Sat at 24%; Dirt & Scratches 82% using the last Organic thumbnail; Photo Plate Corroded –  2nd down 2nd over – at 20% Strength; and Levels & Curves with RGB and Luminosity Curves pulled just a little down and over at 81% Strength.) I think the image depicts exactly what I wanted to express – mainly emphasizing the gorgeous colors and the soft vertical feel of the forest. Give this technique a try and see what you can do……Digital Lady Syd

Digital Lady Syd Related Blogs:
Digital Lady Syd Reviews Alien Skin Snap Art 4

Feeling Like a Walk on the Island

Image of path on Great Guana Cay in the Bahamas
Really loved how this image turned out – this is what the Bahamas (Great Guana Cay in this case) looked like to me when just walking around on some of the more deserted areas of the islands. This image was not that great to begin with, even with adjustments in Lightroom, but by adding Alien Skin’s Snap Art 3 Photoshop plug-in, it turned into a nice painterly effect. The Factory default preset was applied – I find I like it on many of my images. Using two layers in the plug-in, the focal point at the end of the path was painted with a more photorealistic slider detail and a few items in the foreground were slightly blurred. To finish up I used my free SJ Painter Oil Frame and painted around the edges with Fay Sirkis’s Mixer Brushes (used her Palette Knife Tap n Blend brush and Signature Palette Blender brush – brushes can be downloaded from her Four Seasons painting on-line training classes on NAPP – I think her brushes are the best out there!) to smooth the framing into the image a little more realistically. That was all that I did, but I think I might print this one for my wall……Digital Lady Syd

Jack Davis Painting Action Really Works!

Image of painted white flowers
Just started playing around with Jack Davis’s Davis-Mixer Painting SetUp – BETA action and ended up with this. I thought they actually turned out pretty nice. (To download this and several other actions and brushes, go to Jack Davis Wow Facebook page – just Like his page and go to the Freebies button and select Jack’s Painting Presets.) Not totally following his workflow in the action, but with a little fiddling around with some of the colors, it turned out pretty nice. I actually left a bit of outline layer  in the image (67% opacity) as I thought it enhanced the lines of the flowers a little, but I had to erase out the image border on this layer. Also a Color Fill Layer was added just above the Pattern Fill Layer at the bottom of the stack and set to a peach color and set to 30% opacity. Other than that, it was just painting using Jack’s Mixer Brushes for his download. (For info on how to do this action, check out my Can You Get a Painting Look With a Photoshop Action? Jack Davis Can! blog and scroll down to the steps for Image 2.) This seems to be much easier for me to do than using Russell Brown’s Painting Assistant. Suggest you try them both out since they are both free……Digital Lady Syd

Digital Lady Syd’s Related Blogs:
Dr. Brown’s Painting Assistant Panel for CS6 and CS5!