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FROM THE ARCHIVE 30th September 2013

I confess I get increasingly sick of flower photographs — not paintings, whether digital, acrylic or oil — just photographs.  Rarely do I find them exceptional and yet even the mundane sell in thei…

Source: Valley Rose: Playing with Flowers


One from the archives.

First Night Design

e159blog

My latest abstract is the result of a happy accident.  I began with the idea of creating a faux vintage picture with an animal, in other words, something along the lines of the image below (genuine vintage).

img-thing

But as soon as I blended a background from Textures of Italy and a photograph of a goat that I took a couple of years ago, I was so delighted by the shapes, textures and colours, that I wanted go no further.

I have no doubt I’ll be doing my faux vintage animal in the near future, though.

Take care and keep laughing!

About Sarah & First Night Design

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Valley Rose © First Night Design

Valley Rose © First Night Design

I confess I get increasingly sick of flower photographs — not paintings, whether digital, acrylic or oil — just photographs.  Rarely do I find them exceptional and yet even the mundane sell in their thousands, if not millions.  I do take photographs of flowers but I cannot leave them be.  I have to play around with them, always wishing to create something painterly, something out of the ordinary.  Whether I have managed to achieve such in my latest artwork, only you can tell me by commenting below! Having said that, this piece does not use one of my flower photographs but a free vintage postcard with a rose and lily of the valley from The Graphics Fairy.

Rose-Lily-Valley-Postcard-GraphicsFairy

Creating the background involved so many photographs from my collection that this post would be the length of a book if I included them all and the different stages it required in Photoshop to produce it, not forgetting my tweaks and blends. I do hope you like it.

Linking to Brag Monday.

Valley Rose on Zazzle.

Valley Rose on RedBubble.

Valley Rose on Fine Art America.

Valley Rose on Saatchi Online.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


e159blog

My latest abstract is the result of a happy accident.  I began with the idea of creating a faux vintage picture with an animal, in other words, something along the lines of the image below (genuine vintage).

img-thing

But as soon as I blended a background from Textures of Italy and a photograph of a goat that I took a couple of years ago, I was so delighted by the shapes, textures and colours, that I wanted go no further.

I have no doubt I’ll be doing my faux vintage animal in the near future, though.

Take care and keep laughing!

About Sarah & First Night Design


My Computer Screen

In this post I am going to show a little of what goes into creating one of my digital art pieces.  Above is an inept iPhone picture of my computer screen while I was in the middle of writing.

Physical disability has all but destroyed my ability to create by hand, which I can’t pretend is anything other than frustrating. Like a lamb to the slaughter, I devour all the projects posted on craft blogs and my envy knows no bounds.

When I was a child I was always writing or creating something.  I would buy cheap notebooks, cover them in fabric (corduroy was a particular favourite) and add a fastening.  Or I would make necklace beads out of special craft dough and string them on a leather thong – well, it was the 1960s!   Even then I had problems with my fingers so that my efforts were never as fine or as perfect as I wanted.  On one occasion I managed to persuade a local gift shop owner to stock four of my corduroy notebooks and four of my necklaces.  She sold one necklace to a man she described as a ‘hippy’.  That was it!

I was still doing hand-made greeting cards for friends and family in the early 1990s but it was getting increasingly difficult as my fingers were that much more painful and scissors were a nightmare to use.  Then a friend said that what I was doing could be done on a computer with a design software called Photoshop.  Once I began, I never wanted to stop!

My enjoyment grew exponentially and remains a potent force in my life, giving me a satisfaction I had previously thought could only be engendered by my work as an actress.

It took some while to consider that what I was creating could be called art – I felt true art was only that which was drawn, painted or sculpted by hand.  I have now realised, however, that Digital Art is a discipline and craft in its own right.  Also, I have had so many compliments from professional artists of all kinds that I do now consider myself an artist.

And now to the nuts and bolts of my latest piece of work for Thanksgiving which I created entirely in Photoshop.  I started with a fairly ordinary photograph of a country garden.  I say ‘country’ but it was actually a holiday photograph of a garden of olive trees on the island of Crete on one particular day.  And a dull day at that!

A Garden in Crete

To use the word ‘started’ is also a misnomer as my original starting point was a delightful vintage Thanksgiving postcard from The Graphics Fairy which I played with for a time and then discarded or, rather, saved for another time.

Over the top of the garden photograph I added a textured background I had created for another design.

Texture

This I stared at for some while before experimenting with different blending states until I had the autumn-toned effect I was looking for.

Texture with Photo

I tidied it up a little by removing the electricity pole in the centre and a few odd birds in the sky.  At least, I think they were birds!

My idea was to create an open book with a Thanksgiving message and a pumpkin resting beside it.   For the book I had found a piece of clip art from Vintage Feedsacks which was appropriately decorated with sheaves of wheat.

Vintage Feedsacks clipart

I spent hours turning this piece of clip art into what I had in mind.  I struggled to make the sheaves of  wheat work in situ but in the end I had to cut them out.  Transforming the book into what you see in the completed design took several hours, a lot of tweaks, an overnight break, and a fresh eye the following morning.  That fresh eye made an enormous difference and I finished off by adding ‘Give Thanks’ in a style called ‘light coffee’ but which actually looks a better liquid gold than any number of ‘gold’ styles available as Photoshop plug-ins.

Once I was satisfied, I searched The Graphics Fairy for the right sort of pumpkin to nestle against the corner of the book.

To meld this into the whole was not a simple process but once I’d done it, I was a very happy lady!

Give Thanks

I have not gone into every single step in the process, partly because I need to keep some secrets and partly because it would make for a tediously long post!  Nevertheless, I hope it inspires you if you are also creative or, indeed, makes you appreciate the ways of digital art.

I dedicate this post to artist Christine Cantow Smith who said to me this morning on my First Night Facebook page: “I’d love to be a fly on the wall to see how you create such treasures!”  Here’s to you, Christine, for your endless support and encouraging comments!

I am linking this post to Brag Monday at The Graphics Fairy and Masterpiece Monday at Boogieboard Cottage.

Take care and keep laughing.

Sarah

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