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Posts tagged “Topaz Lens Effects

Castillo de San Marcos

Image taken inside the Castillo de San Marcos Fort in St. Augustine
Loved how this image of the Castillo de San Marcos has such a soft feel inside the fort. The sharpness in the outside area where the kids was created using Lucis Pro 6.0.9 (no longer available, but I keep watching for everyone). The original image has the inside area looking much brighter. This was darkened down a little using Nik Viveza 2. Then to bring out the softening effect, Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Glow 2 and a preset called Room Glow by Blake Rudis was applied and set to Overlay blend mode. This preset was created using Glow 1 but works fine in Glow 2 and can be created by downloading the Topaz Labs Glow Webinar PDF file from Blake, who is a Photoshop and Topaz genius. In fact all 4 of the presets in this PDF are very useful in Glow. A Layer Mask was added to paint out the outside area in the door. On a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) on top, Topaz Impression 2 was opened and the Fine Brush Scumble II preset was applied as is. To further add a little softness Topaz Lens Effects was opened and the Slight Diffusion preset was applied. Layer Masks were also added to these layers to keep the outside area tack sharp. Try out these filters for this soft effect…..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

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

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

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

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

Tiger in Snooze Mode

Image of a tiger trying to take a snooze at the Jacksonville Zoo
This Sumatran Tiger was trying to get a little snooze at the Jacksonville Zoo. What a cutie – guess he had to keep his eyes open a little just keep up with all the goings-on in his part of the zoo. Since he made an appearance in my 2016 Inexpensive Gifts for the Photoshop Lover on Your List Fun Photoshop Blog, I thought I would cover some of the things done to get this interesting effect. First the fencing in front of his face had to be removed and the very handy Spot Healing Brush worked wonders on this. A stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) was then placed on top. Lucis Pro 6.0.9 (no longer available) was applied.  On another stamped layer, Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Lens Effects Reflector filter was used to even out only the parts of the face in the shadows. The eyes were brightened using an Exposure Adjustment Layer (see my How To Do a Quick Eye Sharpening In Photoshop blog.) All these tiger layers were grouped. Next Jai Johnson’s Unpredictable Collection Texture 25 was placed underneath this group. It was duplicated and the second one was set to Multiply blend mode at 82% layer opacity. Now, on the group on top, a black layer mask was added (CTRL+I in the mask to make it black). I just painted in white with a rough edged chalk brush the parts of the tiger I wanted to show up. A little of the free Nik Viveza 2 was added, and a canvas texture set to Soft Light blend mode at 42% layer opacity was placed on top. Love the effect of these textures by Jai…..Digital Lady Syd

A Guilded Age Bathroom

Image of the bathroom at the Flagler Museum (Whitehall) in West Palm Beach
This image was taken at the Flagler Museum (Whitehall) in West Palm Beach, Florida. The image was actually post-processed without the border or vintage effect. Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Clarity, Lucis Pro (no longer available), Topaz ReStyle and Topaz Lens Effects were used to begin the process. I was actually really happy with the results, and then Adobe came out with Photoshop CC2017. If you open a New Document, now a New Document Dialog box opens – select the Photo tab at top and Templates is one of the choices. I scrolled down to Vintage Photo Effects which was downloaded and my image was placed on top. In the template I changed the background layer color and added a grunge overlay set to 47% layer opacity. I also clipped (ALT+click between the layers) a second texture under  the Vintage Photo Paper. The Vintage paper texture was set to 47% layer opacity. Last step was to open up the now free Nik Viveza 2 to sharpen up the bottles and detail throughout the pix. The lighting was a little difficult to handle in this image due to the mirrors and the light coming in through a bright window off to the left. Try out Adobe’s free templates if you want a little different look……Digital Lady Syd

The Beautiful Snowbush

Image of a Pink and Green Snowbush
This a beautiful Snowbush growing in my front yard. I just love the colors and patterns in the leaves of this bush. Very simple post-processing here. Duplicated the layer and used Lucis Pro (no longer available) to sharpen the image. A black layer mask was added and just the leaves in the focal point were painted back. One of my Photoshop textures was applied on top (see my Get Rid of That Color! blog that used the same texture and free brush links). A Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer was clipped (ALT+click between layers to clip) and set to a pinkish color. The texture layer was set to Soft Light blend mode at 68% layer opacity. Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Lens Effects’s Rusty Edges Vignette was applied. A Black & White Adjustment Layer was added on top using a Luminosity blend mode and the sliders were adjusted to get  a nice color effect; then it was set to 64% layer opacity. It still needed a little more sharpening – I wanted a more depth in the image so Topaz Detail 3 was opened on a stamped layer on top (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E), and the Interior Detail I preset was applied – it looked over the top but there was just the right amount of sharpening in some places. A black layer mask was applied and just those areas that needed were painted back in white. I believe it did add that extra depth that really makes the image…..Digital Lady Syd

The Rosebud

Image of a Yellow Rosebud
The image was taken at the Harry P. Leu Botanical Gardens in Orlando, Florida in the rose section. This is a beautiful place to photograph flowers – in this case the image was shot at F/22 with my Nikon 60 mm Macro Lens with a Bower 0.5 x High Resolution Digital Lens added to the lens. I know, odd settings but I was experimenting and loved the result. The key to getting this image effect was getting a very clear detailed shot. In Lightroom just basic changes were made and a little sharpening was applied to the bud with an Adjustment Brush set to Clarity 77 and Sharpen 83. Then in Photoshop Lucis Pro (no longer available) was set to Split Channel with Enhance sliders set to R157/G233/B59 and Green Smooth slider set to 25. On a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) was placed above and Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Impression 2’s Georgia Okeefe II preset was applied. In a white layer mask some of the edges were painted out to keep them sharper. Next on another stamped layer Topaz Lens Effects Selective Vignette set to Olive Green preset with effect centered on the bud. Back in PS the layer opacity was set to 74%. Hope to be able to reproduce this result again!…..Digital Lady Syd

Blowing in the Wind!

Image of a dandelion
Had some fun with this little dandelion – it was taken using my Lensbaby Composer at F/4 using a Macro +4 Lens. In Lightroom just the regular basic adjustments. In Photoshop Nik Viveza 2 was used to lighten up the white strands in the flower. Then Lucis Pro 6.0.9 was applied using the Split Channels. Next Nik Color Efex Pro 4 was opened and 4 filters were added: Detail Extractor, Glamour Glow, Reflector Efex, and Darken/Lighten Center. Can you tell I was having a lot of fun with this one? Next Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Lens Effects was opened and the Motion filter Type Zoom was centered on the flower to straighten out the strands. In a black layer mask, just the strands were painted back. A Levels Adjustment Layer was used to lighten up the overall image. Next Topaz Texture Effects was used to apply one of my painted textures set to Blend mode Subtract in the plug-in. Back in PS, Melissa Gallo’s Trees in May texture was added and set to Linear Dodge blend mode and 40% layer opacity. That was it! It is so much fun just to play around with an image and I am sure this little dandelion did not care!…..Digital Lady Syd

Firebush Plant Spinning Out of Control!

Image of a painted orange-red Firebush Plant
This bright orange-red Firebush Plant has taken over my front yard – I bought it a little over a year ago in the damaged good area for 75 cents. Wow! This image was taken with my older Lensbaby Composer at F/4 with a Macro +10 Lens attached. In Photoshop the image was duplicated and JixiPix Spectrel Art was applied using the Darken Detail preset – the layer was set to Screen blend mode at 48% layer opacity. On a New Layer Grut Brushes MI Swish Mini Mixer Brush was used to paint the plant and red floral areas. Jai Johnson‘s Soulful Sea Breeze texture was placed above and set to Color Dodge blend mode at 64% layer opacity. Then Melissa Gallo’s Mountain Range Texture (not sure her textures are available anymore) was applied above and set to Color Dodge at 34% layer opacity. A Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer was clipped to this layer (CTRL+ALT between the layers) and the Saturation was set to 0 so no color comes through, just the painterly texture. On a stamped layer above (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Lens Effects Motion Blur filter centered on the flower. On another stamped layer, the now free Nik Viveza 2 was used to further emphasize the focal point. Have a great day!…..Digital Lady Syd

Fantasy Flowers

Image of flowers painted in Paintstorm Studio and Photoshop
This image was painted in both Paintstorm Studio and Photoshop. The flowers and part of the background was created using brushes on separate layers in Paintstorm Studio (see my Paintstorm Studio Fun! Fun Photoshop blog for more info on this inexpensive program). Then the PSD file was brought into Photoshop and more tweaking was done. Reflections in the water was made by creating a group of the flowers, duplicating and merging it, and then Free Transforming by dragging straight down. Then the opacity was lowered quite a bit. Used 2 Lil Owls (see sidebar for website link) After the Rain 41 texture set to 23% layer opacity and with a blue to white to blue Gradient Adjustment Layer on top. Used a painting layer to added some plant effects on the water and Obsidian Dawn’s Bird Grouping 2 was placed on top. The birds were selected using the Color Range Command and setting to Shadows – then applied the layer mask to get just the birds in the image. Next a Pattern Gradient Adjustment Layer and a Solid Color Adjustment Layer were clipped (ALT+Click between the layers) to give the birds the color. On a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Lens Effects was opened and the Diffusion filter applied. Back in PS, a black layer mask was added (ALT+click on layer mask icon at bottom of Layer Panel) and just the reflections were painted back – this is where I wanted a softer look. On another stamped layer Nik Viveza 2 was applied to drive the eye more to the focal point, the purple flowers. On a couple of new layers a little cross hatching was painted in the corners and some clean up on some of the flowers that were too bright. A splatter layer was created around the flowers – I just like the effect! The last step was to add a Curves Adjustment Layer. Just lots of fun to create!…..Digital Lady Syd

My, What Big Eyes You Have!

Image of a building in West Palm Beach, Florida
This image was taken from my car – I just loved the color of the building. Who knew it actually looks like a bird face in the windows. I actually thought it would make a nice image to paint, so I did. This time it was painted in Photoshop using Lori Jill’s class called Turn Your Photos Into Paintings Using Photoshop, which uses Photoshop’s default action called Mixer Brush Cloning Paint Setup and her brushes. Lori is the only person I know teaching how to really use this action effectively.  For finishing steps, 2 Lil’ Owls (see sidebar for website link) After the Rain texture was applied and Topaz Lens Effects (see sidebar for website link) Gold Reflector filters was added. It was a lot of fun to paint again……Digital Lady Syd


A Peaceful Place

Image of a quite place at the Philip Huilitar Sculpture Garden in West Palm Beach, Florida
This image is a of a nice quite place at the Philip Hulitar Sculpture Garden in West Palm Beach, Florida. In Photoshop two layers were opened in Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Impression and different presets were used to get this effect. The first preset was one of mine that was based on a Colored Pencil preset. But I did not like the effect on the bottom foreground grassy area. Therefore one of Blake Rudis called Abstract Settings was used for this area by removing the effect from the top of the image in a layer mask. Then on two more different layers Topaz Lens Effects was opened using Toy Camera Soft and Dreamy preset with the Vignette and Camera Shake turned off, and a Selective Vignette using the Soft Olive Green preset. As a final step, Nik Viveza 2 was used to draw the focus to the statue a little more clearly. I really like the way the painterly effect turned out!…..Digital Lady Syd



Red-Winged Bug on a White Flower

Image of a Red-Winged Bug on a White Flower
This was just a fun image to do – loved the colors in the bug. Just used my basic workflow – used Lucis Pro 6.0.9, Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Detail 3, Black and White Adjustment Layer, Topaz Lens Effects Reflector and Vignette filters, and Red Channel Curves Adjustment Layer along with lots of clean up. Used a Hatch Brush on lost of this image. Lots of fun to do!…..Digital Lady Syd




Texture Everywhere!

Image of Symbiotic Plants in a Palm Tree
I love this image because of all the textures in it. These are symbiotic plants growing in the Palm, but I am not really sure what kind – the brown plant appears to be a type of Spanish Moss. The light was pretty nice on the green plant so it created a nice contrast in the image. In Lightroom just Seim’s (see sidebar for website link) Kodrachrome preset was applied to the image. In Photoshop Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Detail 3 was used to sharpen up the plant and the moss – a black mask was applied and just those areas were painted back. A Black and White Adjustment Layer was used to adjust the values in the image to emphasize the focal point, then switched its blend mode to Luminosity and kept the adjustment. (See my How To See if You Captured the Focal Point blog.) A Camera Raw filter was applied on a Composite Layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) using the Radial Tool and adding just a little Exposure (+o.35) and Yellow Temperature (+70) to the image. This tip I learned from Matt Kloskowski Lightroom Tip: Relighting a Scene with the Radial Filter. On a new Composite Layer, Topaz Lens Effects Vignette Selective filter using the Medium Vignette preset with slider adjustments and Opacity set to 61.39 was applied. That was it. The texture is what I really like with these adjustments…..Digital Lady Syd

Sweet Alyssum Royal Carpet Flowers

Image of some purple and white flowers from the Harry P. Leu Gardens in Orlando, Florida
The beautiful little flowers called Sweet Alyssum Royal Carpet were found growing at the Harry P. Leu Gardens in Orlando, Florida this Spring. This background was duplicated (CTRL+J) in Photoshop and Lucis Pro 6.0.9 in Split Mode was applied (Settings: Mix With Original Image 45/55; Assign Original Image Color 0/100; Enhance Detail Red Channel 113/Green 233 with Smooth set to 19/Blue 199) – see my Digital Lady Syd Reviews Lucis Pro 6.0.9 (Now Affordable!) blog. Duplicated this layer and applied Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Lens Effects Generous Diffusion preset – a layer mask was added and the focal points were painted black to remove the softness in those areas. Duplicated layer again and added in Lens Effects the Soft Olive Green Vignette set to a Vignette Strength of -0.46 and a low opacity of 28.71. Last step was to add a Black and White Adjustment Layer to emphasize the focal points and set it to Luminosity – see my How To use a Black & White Adjustment Layer To See Contrast in an Image blog. These flowers look almost like little wildflowers growing along a road…..Digital Lady Syd

Looking Innocent!

Image of the face of a Jaquar from the Jacksonville Zoo
Loved how this beautiful Jaguar turned out taken at the Jacksonville Zoo in Florida. In Lightroom tried to really bring out the colors so image could be painted in Photoshop. This image was actually of the cat walking, but his face was so beautiful, I decided to crop close. First the image was painted on several different layers using mostly mixer brushes. Brightened eyes using an Exposure Adjustment Layer (see How To Do a Quick Eye Sharpening in Photoshop blog). Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Reflector filter’s Gold Left was used to lighten the left side of the face. On a composite layer (CTLR+ALT+SHIFT+E) Topaz Texture Effects’s Crisp Morning Run preset (with these changes: Basic Adjustment Brightness -0.27, Shadow -0.29, Highlight 0.17, Clarity -0.60, Sat 0.11, Temp -0.40, Tint 0.05, and Opacity 0.80). On a new Composite Layer, Nik Viveza 2 (now free) was applied to just the nose to brighten it up just a little more in the image. And as a final step, a Black and White Adjustment Layer was opened to just make sure my focal point stood out correctly (see How To See If you Captured the Focal Point). Really liked the final effect!…..Digital Lady Syd

Totally Stuffed!

Sloan's Ice Cream Shop at Cityplace, West Palm Beach, Florida
This image is of an Sloan’s Ice Cream at CityPlace in West Palm Beach, Florida – wish I knew the name of the store. In Lightroom just the Basic Panel adjustments were made. In Photoshop, a clean up layer was done to remove distracting sales tags, etc. Created a composite layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) and Lucis Pro 6.0.9 was opened to apply the classic effect from this plug-in. (See my Digital Lady Syd Reviews Lucis Pro 6.0.9 (Now Affordable!) blog.) Settings for this plug-in were: Preview Scan Line 8 and Processing Scan Lines 50; Mix With Original Image 100%/0%; Assign Original Image Color 0%/100%; Red Enhance 53 and Smooth 23, Green 51, and Blue 39.  Back in Photoshop the layer was duplicated and Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Lens Effects was opened where the Burnt Sienna preset was used with a few adjustments. That was it!…..Digital Lady Syd

The Sculpture Called Reaching

Image of the Sculpture called Reaching
This bronze sculpture called Reaching was created by Edward Fenno Hoffmann, III, in 1963 and is very striking. The image was taken at the Society of the Four Arts’s Philip Hulitar Sculpture Garden in West Palm Beach, Florida. It used Technique 1 on the Lucis Pro 6.0.9 website where both their Single Channel mode (47% layer opacity) and Split Channel mode (73% layer opacity) are applied on separate layers. (Settings for the Single Channel mode layer were: Enhance Detail of 55, Smooth Detail of 10 , and Mix with Original Image of 10% processed and 90% original. Settings for the Split Channel mode layer were: same Enhance Detail and Smooth Detail settings as Single Channel mode but no Mix with Original Image.) This image shows how little an amount is needed to get that classic Lucis look we all love. The vignette is from Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Lens Effects – Add Vignette Selective filter set to Medium (Strength -0.46 and Opacity 39.60). Not much else was done to get this lovely effect on the beautiful sculpture. For more information on the Lucis Pro 6.0.9 plug-in, check out my Digital Lady Syd Reviews Lucis Pro 6.0.9 (Now Affordable!) blog……Digital Lady Syd

Quietly Standing Out

Landscape painting with a red fox
Sometimes it just feels good to paint! Totally enjoyed trying out and practicing with Melissa Gallo’s Painting Spring brushes and paper (still have a lot to learn but enjoying it immensely). Once the basic background was painted, it was brought into Photoshop to finish up. The impasto effect was created using Kyle Webster’s Impasto Kit – Super Light Gesso 2 layer style with the Natural Media Knit Pin brush from to paint in the snowy effect. Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Lens Effects’s Polarization filter using the Bottom Half 2 Stops preset was applied. The Fox was created on its own layer using a free brush from and adjusting it to match my image. Topaz Texture Effects’s 1 Color Burst II was added without the vignette effect. Last step was to add Nik Viveza 2 (now free) to really showcase the fox. That was it! Loved painting this image!…..Digital Lady Syd

Spring Is in the Air!

Painted Flowers using Paintstorm Studio
I really love painting flowers in Paintstorm Studio as the colors look so wonderful. Therefore the three pretty blossoms were painted using several Paintstorm brushes – a watercolor brush, a cross hatch brush, and two manga hair brushes for the leaves. Then in Photoshop a brush from Ruan Jia called Leaf 5 with some hatching texture added and color to create the flowers on the ground – scroll down to find download and check out all the other sources of some wonderful brushes. The birds are from a Lost & Taken set photo IMG 4721 set to Multiply blend mode at 33% layer opacity (not sure these are still available) and a Pattern Fill Adjustment Layer with a watercolor pattern was clipped to it to give a little texture to the birds. The background texture is one I created in Painter a while back. Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Lens Effects Graduated Neutral Density filter using 1 Stop Bottom preset. Finally Nik Color Efex Pro 4 (now free) was added using these filters:  Darken/Lighten Center, Film Efex Vintage, White Neutralized, and Vignette Filter. That was it. I really like the results!…..Digital Lady Syd

Hanging Out with the Family

Image of a Mandrill at the Jacksonville Zoo
I decided to see if I could paint this interesting Mandrill family image a taken at the Jacksonville Zoo a few months ago. I wish I had had time to watch them for a little longer – the center monkey is a male with a female and male on the sides.

I was not sure how the fur would turn out painted, but with a little experimenting it can be done. I first separated the monkeys from their really dark busy background using Topaz (see sidebar for website link) ReMask 5 – still the best in my mind for doing this type of selection. Next a texture was added that I had created a long time ago – rather plain but with lots of texture in it. A Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer was placed above the texture to make a pleasing color to match with the monkeys. The monkey ReMask layer mask was applied to the image so painting could begin – I always duplicate this layer and then turn off the original in case something was missed and the mask needs to be redone. Ten layers of painting were used to get the effect needed  – all brushes were Fay Sirkis (it’s a shame but I do not think her Child Portrait or Pet Brushes are available anymore even from KelbyOne). Her Palette Knife Soft Blender was used to get the nice fur fluff look – moved the Shape of the brush to match the direction I was painting. Her Portrait Child Blender was used to get the detail areas for the faces. And her Portrait Children Single Hair Blender to add some individual hairs. On a stamped layer Topaz Lens Effects’s Toy Camera Awesomeness I preset with the Camera Shake set to 0 was applied. Last step was to use Nik Viveza 2 (now a free to download) to emphasize his eyes and get a soft overall vignette effect around the edges. Hope you enjoyed…..Digital Lady Syd