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Magic Kingdom Snow

Image of a pair of lanterns from the Ghost House at the Magic Kingdom
This image is of a pair of lanterns taken at the Magic Kingdom although they look like they are from Hogwarts and the Harry Potter movies. Most processing was done with Lucis Pro (which is no longer available), Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Glow 2 and Nik Viveza 2. Many painting snow layers as shown in my How to Paint in a Snow Storm blog. It is really fun to add snow into images to get a little different look……Digital Lady Syd

The Valentine Trees

Painted Valentine Trees
Happy Valentines Day! Just had some fun painting my Valentine Trees – started in Corel Painted and ended up in Photoshop. Lots of layers here a few filters – used Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Impression (true – used after painting the image), Topaz ReStyle, Topaz Lens Effects Reflector, and Nik Viveza 2. Lots of layers for the grass and valentines added. Overall lots of fun to do. Have a great day!…..Digital Lady Syd

An Interesting Pink Flower

Pink Petaled flower from Belarus
This image is of an interesting pink flower that was growing in the countryside of Belarus. Update: Someone on my Flickr account told me it is a Cleome Flower native to South America. The original image is beautiful, but this time I decided to add some new filter effects to get a totally different look. Lucis Pro (no longer available) was used to sharpen the actual petals, a Mixer brush by David Belliveau of Paintable was used to smooth the background and remove distracting items (this is the best brush for smoothing large areas and it can downloaded at the link), 2 Lil’ Owls’s Color Bokeh Grunge Set Texture 2 (see sidebar for website link) was applied and set to Luminosity blend mode, the free Nik Viveza 2 plug-in was used to adjust the focal point, a darken/lighten layer was applied to dodge and burn some of the edges, and finally Topaz (see sidebar for website link) was applied using the Charcoal I Slight Color preset (only adjusted the Color Magenta, Green and Orange Lightness sliders). On a New Layer did a final clean up with the same Mixer on the background. I really like the different result from the original…..Digital Lady Syd

The Spring in the Desert

Painted image of the Arizona Desert in the Spring
Image of what I imagine the Arizona desert looks like in the Spring after a bit of rain and before the sun gets too hot during the day for flowers to bloom on the plants. Painted the basic layout in Corel Painter and 4 layers for this. The clouds were blocked in and the plants and a few flowers using mainly Karen Bonaker’s brushes. In Photoshop created several different layers to add more plant details. Tried out the new inexpensive Flypaper Bird Brush set in this image – used the bush with the three birds on it, a single bird sitting on the cactus and the birds flying in the background. Grut 50 Photoshop Cloud brushes were used to embellish the sky more. Topaz (see sidebar) ReStyle’s silver and ivory cloak preset was added to adjust out the color a little. Nik Viveza 2 was used to add focal point emphasis. Topaz Lens Effects Graduated Neutral Density filter set to Bottom Quarter 2 stops was applied. On a New Layer above John Derry’s Impasto Smooth Light layer style was applied and with the Fill set to 0, used Grut’s OI Gypsum Slate brush painted over plants. French Kiss (see sidebar for website link) Atelier Canvas texture was added on top. A Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer was clipped to the texture and Saturation was set to -100. Then on the texture layer, the blend mode was changed to Multiply and the layer opacity was set to 73%. A Levels Adjustment Layer was added on top to bring back the contrast. That was it……Digital Lady Syd

Bamboo Trees

Image of bamboo trees
These beautiful trees are part of the Ormond Beach Memorial Art Museum and Gardens here in Florida. The blue sky was a perfect match for the colors in the tree trunks. I really wanted an oriental feel to the image. The first step was working on the RAW file in Lightroom. A free preset obtained from Allen Mowrery called Allen’s Vintage Retro achieved a bit of a sketch feel to the image and really softened the image. In Photoshop Lucis Pro (unfortunately no longer available) was applied using both the Enhance Detail and Smooth Detail sliders on all three channels to get a slight painterly effect in the image. Then Levels, Color Balance, and Selective Color Adjustment Layers were applied. On a stamped layer, Topaz Texture Effects 2 was opened and this is were the bluish texture became more obvious on the background. The texture used is one of the Topaz pinkish textures with darker edges. (Settings used:  In Texture Section, selected texture that is a pinkish color with darken edges (in my All, 6th row down and first column), Size 1.00 and Rotation 0 – Keep Aspect Ration; Brightness -0.43, Contrast -0.14, Detail 0.79, Saturation -0.49, Color Strength 0; Opacity 0.33 set to Normal blend mode; and Enabled Masking and set the Color tab to Hue 0.12 and Range 0.09, which blacked out most of the trees and leaves leaving the white sky for the area the texture would be applied. Next Vignette section Strength 0.40, Size 0.70, Transition 0.53, Roundness 0.61, Color Black and center in middle, Opacity 0.90 set to Normal. Basic Adjustments Brightness -0.08, Shadow 0.11, Highlight 0.12, Clarity 0.24, Saturation -0.12, Temp -0.10, Tint 0, Opacity 0.43 set to Soft Light. Overall Opacity set to 0.62 and Luminosity blend mode.) My regular workflow was done next with a Black and White Adjustment Layer set to Luminosity blend mode, Nik Viveza 2 to emphasize the focal point, and a Red Channel Luminosity Curves Adjustment Layer. (Search on my Fun Photoshop Blog for info on these techniques.) The last step involved adding a Layer Style for a little Impasto texture effect on the tree bark. Used John Derry’s Impasto Smooth Light layer style and Grut’s IO (Impasto Oil) Gypsum Slate brush to paint in some of the tree trunks on a New Layer with a Fill set to 0. In areas that still needed a little texture, used the same brush on a New Layer just sampling nearby colors. Grut’s Impasto Oil brushes are great for just adding a bit of texture and depth here and there without going to the trouble of using a layer style. This was a lot of fun to do and I like the oriental color palette which bamboo always reminds of using……Digital Lady Syd

Window Flowers

Flowers at the Ormond Beach Art Museum and Gardens
These pretty flowers were snuggling up against the window and enjoying a nice sunny January morning at the Ormond Beach Memorial Art Museum and Gardens. Just having some fun here with Topaz (see sidebar for website link)K Impression and Topaz Texture Effects. Lots of masking and painting in areas with Regular brushes and Mixers. Could have worked on this image for hours! Love the colors!…..Digital Lady Syd

High Tide at the Sand Dunes

Painting of Sand Dunes
Back into my painting mode with what I envision the Sand Dunes in Indiana would look with a high tide. This image was completely painted in Photoshop using a basic white Canvas Texture as the background above my Background layer and set to the creamy cloud color using a Color Fill Adjustment. Layer. Next the ground areas were painted in using the various flower brushes, including several I created. On a layer below the flowers, the water was painted in. A bird from Obsidian Dawn was added – actually 4 birds were in the group but 3 were masked out. It looked pretty good at this point. Then Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Restyle Lavender gray preset was applied on a stamped layer on top (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) to create a little bit different color palette. Duplicated the layer opened Topaz Texture Effects 2 – just added Diffusion section and used a mask to only apply the effect to the background plants; and Texture section using one of my own textures and removed effect from water with a mask. On layer above filled in a few more plants and added some color the the sky with a fog brush. To add a little warmth to the water, used a Sunbeam brush set to a low opacity. On another stamped layer, Topaz Lens Effects Fog 1 Filter was applied to soften the middle ground of image just a little. Last step was to add Kyle T. Webster’s Gentle Glaze layer style with Fill set to 0 and painted over the water areas to give a really nice painted effect in the water and sky areas. Painting in Photoshop is really fun!…..Digital Lady Syd

Colorful Leaves

Digitally painted image of colorful leaves
These colorful leaves were taken a year ago at the Jacksonville Zoo – near the entry way. I could not believe how colorful they were in January! Cropped in close to really emphasize the colors and not so much the details. In Photoshop Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Detail 3 was opened – used one of my presets (SJ Ldsp Underpaint2 preset:  Detail Overall Small Details -1.00, Medium Details -1.00, and Large Details -1.00: Tone – Exposure 0.10, Contrast 0.24, Highlights 0.76, Blacks 0.31, Cyan-Red -0.61, Magenta-Green 0.11, and Yellow-Blue -0.16; Color – Temperature 0.16, Tint 0.21, Sat -0.27, and Sat Boost 0.19.) Instead of adding detail, the edges are all softened and the colors dominate the image for painting. Topaz Impression 2 was opened and a preset called Abstract Settings-Blake Rudis was applied as is. Back in PS the layer was set to Overlay blend mode and 50% layer opacity. The original background layer was duplicated and placed on top.  A black layer mask was added (hold down ALT and click icon to add mask at bottom of Layer Panel to make black) and some of the leave’s details were painted back in. Both the Regular brushes and Mixer brushes were used to paint over all the leaves on lots of different layers – paint colors were sampled from the image. I like to use individual layers for each brush and color. Nik Viveza 2 was opened and control points were placed on  the two main leaves where the focal points are. Still a few more clean up layers and that was it. I loved the abstract feel and bright colors of these leaves!…..Digital Lady Syd

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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