Step 6: Make Final Color Adjustments And Add Your Signature

Now is the time to make a few creative color adjustments.

■ To lighten the image, use an adjustment layer so that you can go back and make changes if desired. Choose Layer ^ New Adjustment Layer >-Levels to get the New Layer dialog box. Click OK to display the Levels dialog box. Set Input Levels to 5,1.50, and 170, as shown in Figure 33.9. Click OK to apply the settings.

The final step is to adjust the colors, as you'd like them. As you have both Photoshop 7 and an artistic license to create as you'd like to create, try making the image turquoise, purple, and green with yellow flowers, as shown in Figure 33.2!

■ Once again, to allow us the opportunity to go back and change our settings, use another adjustment layer to make changes to the colors. Choose Layer ^ New Adjustment Layer ^ Hue/ Saturation to get the Hue/Saturation dialog box. Set Hue, Saturation, and Lightness to 120, 20, and 0, as shown in Figure 33.10.

As we used adjustment layers, you can now go back and double-click the Levels 1 or Hue/Saturation layers and make changes to the settings until you get the results that you want. You may also try using some of the other color commands, such as Color Balance or even Replace Colors if you want to replace the yellow flowers with another color.

Also, don't forget to add your signature — it adds a nice touch to your painting. If you want, you could also hand paint more of the flowers yellow. Some of them seem to be lacking a bit of color on the left side of the image. A good tool for painting the flowers is one of the watercolor brushes. You also may want to put a soft edge on the image by using a soft eraser on both the ink layer and the painted layer. Save your file and it is ready to be printed.

While this image looks reasonably good on a computer screen, it really does look exceptional when printed on a fine-art watercolor paper with a photo-quality inkjet printer. I used an Epson 2000P printer and the Epson Watercolor Paper - Radiant White — the print is excellent and archival. Printing on quality fine-art paper is essential to getting a print that you'll be proud to frame.

TECHNIQUE

CREATING A DIGITAL PAINTING

© 2002 Gregory Georges

ABOUT THE IMAGE

34.2

© 2002 Bobbi Doyle-Maher

34.1

© 2002 Gregory Georges

34.2

© 2002 Bobbi Doyle-Maher

ABOUT THE IMAGE

Egret Landing at Sunset Egret photo: Canon EOS D30 digital camera, ISO 100, Fine image setting, 300mm f/2.8 with 2X tele-extender, f/9 @ 1/320, 1440 x 2160 pixels, .7MB .jpg. Marsh photo: Pentax Spotmatic F, 55mm, Kodachrome, scanned with Nikon Coolscan IV, 2222 x 1667 pixels,11.1MB .tif

Admittedly, the phrase digital painting in the title of this technique evokes different meanings to different people. There are those who think a digital painting is a lesser art form than a natural media painting. Others consider a digital painting to be some kind of high-tech painting that lacks the soul that can be found in fine art painted by fine artists — instead of computer artists. For me, a good digital painting can be just one more kind of painting and it can truly be considered to be fine art. A digital painting can be as different as a watercolor painting is from an oil painting, and in no way need it be considered as a lesser fine art than other media. A well-done digital painting can have the soul found in so many other types of fine art paintings, as you find in this work done by painter Bobbi Doyle-Maher.

In this technique, you look at how you can transform two digital photos into a fine art digital painting that has soul! While many digital paintings are created by carefully placing digital brush strokes on an image by using an image-editing program, this one is done by using mostly large digital brushes with soft edges and blend modes. It is a technique that you can successfully use on all kinds of digital photos to make outstanding prints on fine art papers.

While this technique is an inspiring technique for everyone, you need a moderate amount of traditional painting skills to match the painting done by Bobbi. You also need from two to four hours to complete the painting — it took Bobbi about three hours. Even if you don't have painting skills, you may want to quickly complete this technique as it can be used in much simpler ways for good results, too. If you are a painter, you'll love this technique and my bet is that after you complete this painting, you'll be ready to begin exploring all the wonderful new brushes in Photoshop 7 and do some brush-stroke painting.

While it is possible to complete this technique and to use this approach with other digital photos, without having a pen tablet, using one makes your painting more painterly, accurate, and fun. Several companies make pen tablets. Wacom (www.wacom. com) makes some of the best ones.

Before you begin this technique, if you have a photo-quality printer, print the final image file to use as a reference image while doing the technique. The file, egret-after.tif, can be found in the \34 folder. If you do not have a color printer, you may want to open the image file anyway and choose Image ^ Image Size to reduce it to a small reference image that you can keep open in Photoshop 7, or you can use Figure 34.3 for reference.

STEP 1: OPEN FILE

■ Choose File ^ Open (Ctrl+O) to display the Open dialog box. Double-click the \34 folder to open it and then while pressing Ctrl, click the marsh-before.tif and egret-before.tif files to select them. Click Open to open both files at once.

STEP 2: COMBINE IMAGES

■ Click inside the egret-before.tif image and drag it onto the marsh-before.tif image to place it as a new layer in the marsh-before.tif file.

■ Double-click the Layer 1 label in the Layers palette and then type egret to name the layer.

■ Click the egret-before image to make it the active image and then close it by clicking the Close icon in the upper-right corner of the document window, as we no longer need it.

■ Double-click the marsh-before.tif document window title bar to maximize it.

STEP 3: RESIZE EGRET LAYER

■ The Layers palette should now look like the one shown in Figure 34.4. Double-click inside the Opacity box inside the Layers palette and type 40 to lower the opacity so that you can see the marsh layer below.

ARTIST PROFILE

ARTIST PROFILE

Bobbi Doyle-Maher is a self-taught artist who lives in East Tennessee with her husband, three cats, and four dogs. Before stepping into the digital world, she was skilled with oil, acrylic, pastel, oil pastel, monotype, encaustic, and black & white photography. A few years ago, she began using digital image editors,such as Adobe Photoshop, MetaCreations Painter (now known as Procreate Painter 7), and Right-Hemisphere Deep Paint. Over time, she found herself spending more time painting digitally than with traditional paints. After purchasing a digital camera and a film scanner, she began to create digital paintings by using digital photos. Her digital paint studio includes a PC, a Nikon Coolscan IV film scanner, a Wacom pen tablet, and an Epson 2000P printer to make archival prints. More of her artwork may be viewed on her Web site at www.rabbittwilight.com.

■ Choose Edit ^ Transform ^ Scale to get a bounding box around the egret image.

■ To change the height and width proportionally, press Shift while clicking and dragging the upper-left corner handle of the bounding box to resize the image, or click the Link icon in the Options bar between the W and H fields.

■ Click inside the bounding box, to position the image; then, press Shift and click and drag one of the corner handles to size the image once again until the egret is sized and is located approximately, as shown in Figure 34.5. If the Link icon is on, you would not need to press Shift. Note that a small portion of the egret's wing has been clipped in the original photo, so the egret layer ought to be positioned all the way to the right edge of the marsh-before.tif image.

34.3

34.5

34.3

34.5

Alternatively, you can type 85 in the W and H boxes in the Move tool Options bar (as shown in Figure 34.6) to set both width and height to 85%. You can then either click the image using the Move tool to drag it to the correct position or type 1488.5 px in the X box and 478.8 px in the Y box to precisely position the egret.

■ Press Enter to set the image location and size.

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