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Archive for December, 2007

This heart art is my attempt at digital scrapbooking. Below are some of the details as to how I created it, as well as a background and a couple of heart elements free for the taking. Note: If it has heartaday written on it, don’t take it. In fact, if you take the freebies and use them (I’d love attribution), send it to me and I’ll feature it here in an entry in the future.

heArt #101 Classically Trained Cat II

When I was getting my art degree, one of the professors drilled into our heads “less is more”. I try to abide by that, but I tend to lean towards chaos, adding more and more in a desperate attempt to make it better. My inner critic doesn’t like this piece very much as a whole, but I decided to post it anyway. I read somewhere that sometimes we don’t do art for ourselves, but for someone in our audience in an intuitive sort of way. That gives me some comfort here.

Those of you that think the text is a rip off of the I Can Has Cheezburger blog, you’re right. I can’t get enough of that! It’s my own cat sitting on my parlor grand piano.

Below is the abbreviated version of how I did this all in Photoshop. Now, I don’t claim to be an expert at Photoshop by any means so if I’m doing something “wrong” to any PS geeks out there, let it go. This is my messy way of doing things.

Mini Tutorial

I started out with the flower picture below which is a macro photo I took of a common weed in the yard I call Creeping Charlie (also known as ground ivy). Noxious weed, beautiful glow-in-the-twilight lavender flowers. I’d retouched this photo at an earlier time. (more…)

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heArt #100 Heart Agate

I was experimenting around with Photoshop today, trying new things. My inspiration came from the January 2008 issue of American Quilter magazine. In it are two different articles about creating fabric digitally (awesome!).

Using the instructions in the article Digital Delights: “Applique and Piecing” by Computer (by Gudny Campbell and Sandra Hart * ) I started with this iris photo I had in my files. The color is a little off for a straight flower photo, so it’s perfect for altering.

Heart Agate Iris

Then I applied the Photoshop Motion Blur filter (horizontal) which made a gorgeous gradation right away. I was pretty surprised how well it turned out. To that I added the Ripple filter and ended up with the nice background below:

Iris Blur Ripple

To get the final heart image I got into the Liquify filter, which was really like finger painting with a more sophisticated palette. Using the Forward Warp Tool I just drew the heart outline with my stylus and then kept working with the colors until it was obviously a heart. It’s amazing how much you can fine tune where the “paint” goes, even though the colors are a bit slippery, like oil on water. I think the end result has organic striations of color like you find in an agate.

* For examples of Gudny Campbell and Sandy Hart’s work, see their Art Quilt website.

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Admittedly, the hearts are hard to find in this one, but they’re there masquerading as snowflakes. I made this in Photoshop with the freely downloadable brushes from BSilvia at Graphics-Illustrations. Her “snow scenes” tutorial was my inspiration. I used the Snowy Sky, Swirls (around the tree’s star), Christmas Trees Grunge, and Grunge Heart brushes.

heArt #99 Holiday Tree Snow Scene

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heArt #98 Snow Queen of Hearts

Painted in Photoshop using brushes from my friend BSilvia at Graphics-Illustrations, including her new “grunge heart” set inspired by heArt-a-Day! Thanks Silvia! I’m in a bit of a hurry today and didn’t show them off to their best advantage, but I’ll be using them in future pieces. 🙂

Update:  I entered the Snow Queen at the weekly Artella Creativity Challenge and got first place.  Woo hoo!

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heArt #97 Mystical Santa Claus

Digital collage using vintage images from the Jack and Cat Curio blog. This is a slight variation on my entry in the Creativity Challenge #4 for Jack and Cat. I used some Photoshop brushes from
Obsidian Dawn.

You may have noticed the mystical looking symbols. Those are norse runes representing strength and joy, basically. I love to think of Santa is an archetype for the ancient shamans who lived from the arctic circle area of Scandinavia to Russia and Siberia. The word “shaman” comes from the native tribal groups of Siberia who are still running herds of reindeer today, despite Russia’s methods of oil retrieval that has destroyed much of the tundra food supply for the reindeer. To me Santa Claus is a powerful archetype on many levels, representing the primal power of good Father Nature in his winter aspect.

A couple of books have been written about this idea. See the links below for more:

When Santa Was a Shaman

Santa Claus, Last of the Wild Men

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Steve Rack is an artist who is doing a project of drawing 365 characters and posting them to a blog dedicated to them. They are very friendly and whimsical, so I asked him if he would like to draw one for heArt-a-Day. That’s how the wonderfully cute “luvvahug”, below, was born. Thanks, Steve!

Luvvahug by Steve Rack

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Christmas Angel Collage

I created this collage in Photoshop with clipart from Jack and Cat Curio’s blog, as well as photoshop brushes from Obsidian Dawn (Snow & Snowflakes) and BSilvia at Graphics-Illustrations (Grunge Stars, Magic Circles, Grunge Snowflakes, and Beads).

 

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