Thursday, May 22, 2008

Background Issues

For a while now I've been pondering what to do with the background for Bard's portrait. Then it occurred to me to resort to the digital world and try different approaches in Photoshop. Above you see the results of three different possibilities. Since I have a new version of Photoshop and don't know it very well yet, I wasn't able to blend the different shades and tints very well which I would do in the real version. At the moment I'm leaning toward the green version. Since Bard lives in northern Michigan which is known for its lush greenery, that seems appropriate.

Or, maybe the blue.... Hmmm....

Photoshop is a wonderful tool for us artists and allows us so many ways to compose our artwork before we actually DO the artwork. By using the layers tool, one can move elements around the composition and see what fits best where. By using the colors palette, one can change colors just as easily. And that's just scratching the surface of what this powerful program can do.

I got my first version of Photoshop many years ago when it came bundled with my first scanner and have upgraded a few times over the years. I was perfectly happy with PS 5.5 until my hard drive died over a year ago when I upgraded from OS 9 to OS 10 Tiger and 5.5 wouldn't work any longer. So, that meant another upgrade. PS CS2 has so many more bells and whistles and changes in the way you do things that I haven't had nor taken the time to learn it all over again. If you learn one new thing at a time, it isn't complicated, and once you've played with what you can do in Photoshop, you'll never want to go without it again.

Things like trying different back ground colors for your current painting. Bard will be much brighter and "full of life" in the final painting, but these little digital sketches give me a good idea of what choices will work best without going to the trouble of laying on paint, deciding it won't work and then having to wipe it all off and try another.

I love Photoshop!

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