Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Painting Poinsettias

Digital painting is one of my favourites, in real life I am hopeless with brush and paint except for creating backgrounds. This challenge is to paint a poinsettia.  The image I will be using can be downloaded at there is also a pattern for this painting which you can down load as well.  Trudy Beard has kindly given permission to use her painting and pattern, so if you are going to use it please acknowledge her in your credits.

I have also found a clip art image that is free to use.  you may like to use.

If you may have a favourite image that is okay. I have written this tutorial in Photoshop Elements 9 and refrained from using my painting programs and exotic filters.

The technique I favour in digital painting is to create a line drawing of the image and paint the individual elements.  So lets get started.  I have selected the main flower in Trudy's painting, and to even out the composition I added a leaf .  The following file is in PNG format if you wish to use the pattern, but I will be creating layers with the individual line drawings.

Also download the painting, in the following image I have cut and pasted the main flower into a different background.  It will be your choice as to whether you paint all three flowers.

I will leave a colour swatch at Digital Whisper for your use.

Step 1. Download your image of the poinsettia and cut and paste the image into a new document, create a new layer above the flower and fill with 50% grey and lower the opacity to around 70%
Step 2. Create a new layer and beginning with the lower left hand leaf with a hard round brush at about 3-5 pixels and colour fl7 from the colour swatch (47402d)  trace around the leaf.

Before proceeding to the painting of the leaf, I want to discuss painting techniques and brushes.  I always begin with the darkest colour and a low opacity and then gradually increase the opacity with paint strokes.  I will then add other colours again at a low opacity.  This way you can control the build up of colour.  I also will smudge every now and then to "move" colour and blend.  I also will add a a small colour palette on the layer I am working on and it is here that you can blend colours to use.

Brushes.  There are a lot of speciality brushes that can be downloaded, but I use those in the default brush set and may vary the brushes properties. #23,  #63 and 66 are ones that I use most of the time with a splatter brush.  When I use the smudge tool I will use one of these brushes.  The size of the brush can be varied to suit the painting.

Step 3 Begin painting your leaf, gradually changing colours.  To check your progress hide the flower layer. You do not want the transparent layer showing, although sometimes I do leave the original painting underneath.

As the coverage is not 100% I will continue to add colour and blend.

Step 4. When you have added your final details it is time to see how accurately you have painted.   I lower the opacity of the painted leaf layer, and add a mask layer, and clean up the edges using the original painting as a guide. Note: you can hide the grey layer until needed for the next step.

Step5 Repeat steps 3 and 4 for the remainder of the painting.  I look to see which elements are in the background and paint these in order.  Also look at your painting for light and shadow.

Here, in the image below I have completed the leaves from around the left-hand-side to the lower right and have three leaves to paint, plus the flower petals.

Remember this is your painting and your style maybe different from mine.  Have fun with your painting and I will post my completed painting at a later date.  Remember that there are a variety of standard filters in Photoshop to use. Play with opacity and blending settings. You can also choose your own background in which to place your flower.

There are numerous ways to digitally paint and I am sure your will find one that suits your style.

Any questions please ask.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

How to create a Genie

In this tutorial we will take an image of a dancing girl and convert her into a Genie.  I have added some sources for you but you may have a favourite that you wish to use.  The tutorial is just to create the genie as you will want to place in her in your own special background.  The background I have supplied is useful to see how your genie is developing.

Sources for Genie

You may need to be a member of Devianart to view and download the images. If you use a Devianart image or any image other than your own, please abide by the artist's rules and acknowledge their creativity.

Smoke Brushes

Background and bottle

PNG image of Bottle

Step 1 Open the background and duplicate
Step 2 Isolate your genie from her background and place her on your background

Step 3 Add a layer mask and using a soft brush at about 65px brush away her bottom section into a V shape

Step 4 Add a new layer (white) and with a soft brush using white brush over figure, change blending to Overlay and opacity of 60 %. Add another layer (pink) and using colour F3a1b8 brush over figure and change blending to Overlay and opacity 60%.

Step 5 Now we are going to add four new layers of smoke, select any style of smoke brush and layer over the figure, change blending mode to overlay, as you add the next three layers change the type of brush and keep the blending as overlay. You may find that you only want a couple of smoke layers that is okay, also only use one brush stroke per layer that way you can control the build up.  Merge all the smoke layers, keep blending as Overlay.  Now add a layer mask and clean up any edges that you do not like, do not clean over figure.

Step 6 Now we are going to bend the smoke at the bottom as it will be coming out of a lamp or bottle.  To do this I used Filter/Distort/Liquefy/Warp, but you can also do this with the warp tool, I just do not have this tool in Elements.
Step 7 Move the figure up above the merged smoke layers

Step 8 Add a new layer and label "Final smoke". Using the smoke brush add smoke  mainly in the lower areas. Again bend and clean up the smoke.

Step 9.  At this point you can add new layers of stars, glitter or whatever you feel will add to your image.

Step 10 Add a lamp or bottle.  I will leave this to you to select, but have given you an image of a bottle that I made.

At this point do not save your work as a PJEG but do save as a PSD file so you can eliminate my background and insert your own.  In the next image I have changed my background and added an image of a girl.

You will see that I have added some pink highlights and clusters of stars.  The image is slightly different than the tutorial as I was playing around with different effects. The image below is without the background and I can now use this image in another setting.

Here I have put the Genie in my bottle and also given her a halo using an image of broken glass.

Enjoy, if you have any questions just let me know, also clicking on the images will increase the size.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

How to Create a Snow Scene from Photograph

Creating a Winter Scene.

Step 1. Open your image and duplicate.

Step 2. Using the Dodge tool with a brush size of 41; Range Shadows and Opacity off around 90% start to brush on the roof tops  around the ground in front of the houses and into the trees, only do a little as you can go back and do more later this is just to get started, also brush over the lake.

Step 3. To hide the reflections in the lake, create a new layer (Layer 1). Using a default brush #100 (change size to 41px) and color b6b19d and opacity of 50% brush over lake, then increase the opacity to 90%  and go over lake again until the reflections are hidden.

Step 4. Using the dodge brush go over the lake but do not make it one solid colour.

Step 5.  Merge the background copy and the Layer 1. At this point I increased the size of the image to 8 inches x 6 inches  for the next step.

Step 6.  Open up Effects and use photo effects icon  (3rd from left)and click on the Blizzard icon and Apply. This will give an effect of snow. When you do this another layer is automatically added (Layer 1 Copy). Merge this new layer with the layer beneath.

 At this point go back and use the Dodge tool to add some more "snow", as you have increased the size of the image you will also have to increase the size of the brush.
Now we are going to add a snow layer, I used this tutorial:

With this tutorial, I used black to fill the new layer, as with all tutorials it does not always be exact.  I also use the Adjustment for the Brightness and Contrast. 

At this point I change the blending of the snow layer to Difference at about 40-38% opacity.  Change the blending on Layer 1 copy to Hard Light.  You can always use the dodge tool, but use caution rather than brush just click here and there until you are happy, remember you can always undo. Try a very large brush that covers the whole image (2000px) and one click.  

Also the background copy is not doing anything so turn this layer off.

You can play with the blending on your layers until you are happy. When you are happy, merge all layers.

I used the watercolour filter as one final touch.  One thing I do when playing is not merge all the layers but use Select/All, Edit/Copy Merge and Edit/Copy paste and move the created layer up to the top, this way you can undo before you make your final decision.