Friday, January 30, 2009

The Betrayal

"The Betrayal"
Across the moorland ye rode far from me,
for a journey of war upon the distant sea.
I kept watch from a castle way upon high,
with each lonely breath a longing sigh.
Parchment delivered to my quivering hand,
love and devotion ye declared your stand.
Whispered words of love caressed my ear
and sang it was only I who ye held dear.
News of the arrival swept though town,
I ran to greet thee in my finest gown.
Without a warning my eyes betrayed
and in that moment heart was slayed.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Biking in the 'Glades

I had so much fun today with my friend Lisa, riding bikes 15 miles through Shark Valley in the Everglades. It was mid-morning so there were tons of gators sunning themselves everywhere including on the road.
The wind was crazy hard and I had a tough time pedaling the last 8 miles on my beach cruiser, while carrying my backpack full of lenses and with a basket full of stuff on the front of the bike. But, I made it and am feeling the burn tonight as I type this.
The wildlife was plentiful...Egrets and Herons, including Great and Little Blue's, Woodstorks and Ibis including the Glossy variety which I wanted to get a shot of but they were too far away.
There were Black Vultures and Turkey Buzzards and one very large Peregrin Falcon that swooped along side of us with such beauty and grace.
Although it was fairly dry, the signs of the forthcoming season of Spring were popping up. Green leaves peering out from otherwise dead branches and blooming Thistles showing off their perfectly rounded flowers in proud glory.
It was a day focused more on riding and conversation than photography but I did manage to come home with a few prized shots. And, I found a new place to retreat to when I am in need of nature.

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Meeting

"The Meeting"
A quick composite I did for my little cousin Reagan who wanted to be turned into a faerie.
I used my "Lotus upon the Water" shot and combined it with stock photos of a cute froggy which I changed the perspective on so he was looking more upward and of a 3-D rendered Hummingbird. Added some wings, glitter and sparkles with a brush and viola...a lovely faerie scene! :)
Here is the before pic:

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The 7th Sign

"The 7th Sign"
This is the second art piece in my Zodiac series. The final image was a bit different from my original sketch. Sometimes, when I'm working on an image I find the creative flow floats me in a completely different direction! That's one of the things that I love most about creating digital art. Since Libra is ruled by Venus, I knew I wanted the planet to be in the image. Of course I don't have any photos of planets so I used a stock photo of one. It was originally against a black background so I found a starfield stock image. There were lots of "universe" and "starfield" stock photos but I wanted to make sure I got Blue and Green in there which are two of the colors of Libra. I used the starfield, along with the image of Venus to create a photographic universe. The final texture was music which is also associated with Libra. I combined those three things together to create my background: Once the background was done I worked on the main image which is a portrait of myself wearing a wonky old paint-splattered sheet that I use on the floor when I'm painting. It was the only white sheet I had which reminded me I really need to invest in some fabric for photo shoots! Luckily most of the paint spaltters where beige or white so they didn't show up too much.This shoot was done blindfolded (as you know, Justice is blind), I was so grateful I had Lita to make sure the sheet was draped properly, I was positioned correctly and my hair wasn't all wacked out. I needed to turn the sheet into a gown which I did by using using a Gradient Overlay and then blending the colors together by following the natural folds of the sheet. I did this with the smudge tool at 51% Opacity. This took the most hours and I felt like a nit-picker..getting each fold to reflect the correct shadow and light. The brooch was a brush which I laid onto the image in three separate colors and adding white diamonds, also a brush, to the top of it. The scales were shot in an antique store in Kinsley, Kansas:

The most frustrating part of this piece was the exposure of the scales. Because I shot them at a different location than the image of myself, the lighting did not match. Trying to get them to fit into the image seamlessly was exhausting to say the least. After much trial and error, I finally got the exposure corrected but now the color was another issue. Copper is the metal associated with Libra so I needed them to be copper in color. I did this by using my "Copper Kettles" image strictly for the color. I overlayed the image onto the scales and then used Gaussian Blur to turn it to just a blob of color. I masked out what I didn't need. I did the same thing to add color to my cheeks and lips using my "Summer Fruit" image of watermelon. I learned this technique from a Gale Franey Tutorial. I am constantly in AWE of her work and am so grateful she is one of those artists who loves to share her knowledge. Here is the link to the tutorial:

For the pedestal I used this image that I took in the Roman Forum during one of my trips to Italy: I cut out just the pedestal using the Pen tool (Thanks to Lita for showing me how easy it was to use!) and scaled it into the image. I matched color to the rest of the image, upped the contrast a bit and added some music texture over it. I then laid in the Lithros Pro text.

The final touches were to add the Zodiac wheel which was done with a photoshop brush, dodging some of the background, my hair and skin and to up the brightness and saturation to make it pop. Everytime I create a new piece I learn something new. On this piece I learned how to use images strictly for their color and how to use the Pen tool. I also learned when a piece is done, for me anyhow. If I stare at it for a long period of time without wanting to fix anything then it's good to go! :)

Hunter's Magic

"Hunter's Magic"
Just a quick posting of a digital art piece I did for my cousin Hunter. I used my new Wacom tablet and Corel X painter, both of which I received from my handsome hubby for Christmas.
This piece only took a few hours. I used a texture and created the crystal ball and his cloak from scratch. I wanted it to look gritty and painterly but still have the main focus be Hunter's eyes which are very intense in this portrait. I haven't sent him a copy yet but I imagine he'll be very please to see himself as a wizard!
Here is the before pic: