Category Archives: Digital

photo & sketch combo

This is an extreme example of word association to help remember name.  It’s one of my wife’s idiosincracies.  Associate a name with a famous person, past or present,  and, hey presto, it can’t be forgotten!  The names to be remembered here are friends of my son, David….that is, Phil, Andrea and Nicholas.

offering a lift
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offering a lift

I created this in Photoshop, using layers of course. The car is on the top layer, the group on the bottom, forming the background, and the car occupants on the middle layer. I can’t remember exactly how I showed they were in side the car but when I do I’ll add it to the post. The text and speech bubble were a simple addition to the final picture.  I feel obliged to add that the name should be Papadopolis, not Papapadopolis, and the Nicholai name is spelled phonetically.

group drawing
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group drawing

drawing of driver & wife
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drawing of driver & wife

photo of car
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photo of car

From Flower to Design

flower card
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flower card

flower design
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flower design

When I drew and painted every single flower in my rockery way back in the 80s, (see “sketchbook” page) it  was for no other reason than I enjoyed doing it.  End of.  Stuck into diary pages and put away.  Never could I have imagined the sort of application and manipulation of stuffy old sketches which digital imaging allows.  This card was created in Photoshop and, with appropriate text, can be tailor-made for a friend or relative.

group of flowers
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group of flowers

single flower
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single flower

B&W silhouette
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B&W silhouette

coloured silhouette
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coloured silhouette

For any nerd who may be reading this, I started with one of those flower pages and isolated one of the flowers – cut and pasted on Photoshop.   I applied the magic wand tool to select the white area around the flower and selected the small areas trapped inside the flower. Delete and fill with black using the Paint Bucket Tool.  Then I inversed the selection so that the flower is selected and deleted (flower gone).   Again using the Paint Bucket Tool, fill with a colour.  Tidy up with Crop Tool.  For the final picture, open a large canvas, go to Layer – Duplicate Layer.  Move each into place along the line and fill with chosen colour.  Bob’s your uncle!

Flowers in Surrealistic Setting

I made many sketches of the flowers in my garden long before computers were in common use, let alone digital imaging (Photoshop).  I would never have believed it if I’d been told then that I’d be able to isolate those flowers and add them to a watercolour wash and arrange them round a digital cut-out of my wife.  Technology has moved on at such a pace over the last 30 years!

That is what I did here.  The background is a wash using colours derived from the painting of John Cotman, a contemporary of JMW Turner.  At least, they’re the best I could manage.  Cotman’s use of colour was exceptional.

To that I added an image of my wife, cut out in Photoshop, using the pen tool.  Then I used the magic wand tool to select particular flowers, recolour them, duplicate them and incorporate them into the image.  In the background there is a line of pale flowers, all the same but duplicated several times.  Finally, some text to poke fun at her walking attire.

Wash in Cotman style
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Wash in Cotman style

Marg in theatrical set
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Marg in theatrical set

close-up of flowers
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close-up of flowers

walkrs' class=
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walkers’ guide to dress

 

Music Hall Double Act

the two of us on stage
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the two of us on stage

the two of us on the path
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the two of us on the path

The theatre scene was a sketch I made to accommodate the two superstars on stage.  So, why is it on my digital page….well….it’s all in the cutting and pasting, darling!

It’s a photo of the two of us on holiday in the Lake District.  We’re standing on a  straight stretch of path, unaware that our pose was identical, and there’s a neat grass edging to it.  Using the cutting tool in Photoshop, I cut out the figures and a section of the path.  I can’t find the original photograph or I would have included it here.

Then I made the sketch to fit the angles of the path, scanned it into Photoshop and married the two images together.  So, the cutting and pasting were all done digitally in Photoshop.    Not a drop of glue was used in the making of this picture.

All we need now is a rousing chorus of the song….1, 2, 3, 4..

FOPG (“The Force of Paxton Green”)

The FOPG
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The FOPG

The Force of Paxton green is a story about a group of children – five boys and one girl – who live in a rural setting by a river in a village called Paxton Green.  The five boys belong to an all-male gang called the “Force”, and play macho battle games in their domain of woods, wasteland and riverbanks.  However, their leader’s sister, Siss, who carries her dolly everywhere, has more courage and cunning than any of them and when they find a “treasure box” in the mud bank  only to have it taken from them by a rival thuggish gang, she is the one to rescue the sitauation and lead them to victory.  They accept her in the gang and further adventures follow.

The image is a Photoshop-enhanced series of hand-drawn individuals.  Each double line outline (see “Dozer” below) is filled with a different colour, after the background pixels have been removed, then bevelled, using the filter function.  Each figure is then dragged onto the black background.

head shapes
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head shapes

This is a sketchbook entry – one of the many to help me work out the characteristics of each protagonist.

hand drawn, photoshop filled
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hand drawn, photpshop filled

A hand-drawn group, coloured in Photoshop

final group pose
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final group pose

A group pose.  In this one, Siss knows her place and isn’t really in the group shot at all

double outline figure
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double outline figure

Dozer.  One of the double-line outline figures

on the jetty
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on the jetty

The moment Cornflake, one of the gang, falls and lands on the “treasure box” and Siss spots the approach of the rival gang.

More images from this story in due course in “Books”.

Umbrella with a Difference

umbrella with a difference
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umbrella with a difference

Sara with umbrella
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Sara with umbrella

Newcastle building
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Newcastle building

building removed, roof left
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building removed, roof left

drawn & filled shapes under umbrella
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drawn & filled shapes under umbrella

This was a bit of fun, but with a purpose as well.  I was on a course and a course task was to create some adverts for a tourism brochure.  This was one of them.

In learning to use Photoshop, there were two things I wanted to do – the first aesthetic – to put familiar objects in unlikely places.  Why, because photoshop lets you.  The second – functional –  to get to grips with two Photoshop functions – layers and the pen tool.  Understanding and controlling layers took me ages to achieve, if I ever did, and fine controlling the pen tools for cutting was a massive task.

So here we see my daughter, Sara,  with an umbrella.  Next to that is a building in Newcastle.  First, remove the umbrella and cut around Sara.  Next, remove the building and isolate the roof.  On the third layer I drew an underside to the umbrella and filled it with muted colour. Finally, I added a background of blue sky with clouds.

In Your Dreams

techno dream
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techno dream

nightmare
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nightmare
I drew the character, dropped it into Photoshop then added many elements taken from other visual sources – wires attached to my computer, a Miro character, grains of salt in a clearview bag, all sorts of things. The filters in Photoshop added the mystery through the infinite effects they can create to texture, colour, pattern, overlays etc.td>

STOP PRESS!

wedding exclusive
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wedding exclusive
This cover was presented to my daughter and son-in-law at their wedding and it was presented as an actual magazine during the father of the bride’s speech. It was only a fleeting moment before the penny dropped dropped but it was so worth doing. The reaction to it was shock and then hilarity.
Photoshop was the tool I used and the cover is simply a collection of rectangles, squares and circles with selected photos inserted in them. It was more time-consuming than difficult but it gave me an insight into how all those types of magazines are composed.
Knowing how to manage Photoshop’s layers is important because placing components above and below each other can effect the final appearance so much. It is also worth taking time to learn to use the cutting tool so that you can remove all unwanted detail.