Adobe Photoshop is a program that is willing to be just as complex and advanced as you want it to be. Newcomers are able to quickly and easily touch-up, delete red eye, and add glowing light-sabers to any photo they choose—and all without breaking a (virtual) sweat. But the more you learn about the photo editing software, the more you begin to notice that all of those little icons and options sitting unassumingly over to the side actually open up into countless digital rabbit-holes that you can slide down into to discover an entire wonderland of possibilities. Here are five things you might not have known were possible.
Maybe you’ve got a great photo of you from your cousin’s wedding last year. You’re in shape, your clothes are perfect, and best of all, your smile looks charmingly unforced. Unfortunately, your date looks like a train wreck. Well, no worries, because you can still show off this stunning photograph of yourself without having to explain what you were doing eating cake next to a baboon. There are multiple tools available on Photoshop that let you delete objects from the image without having to whip out the scissors. The clone stamp tool, for example, lets you use the surrounding area to realistically cover up anything that you might not want in your picture—even people.
One of the earliest forms of photo manipulation is collage. Seriously, people have been Frankensteining together pictures for hundreds of years (just ask Abraham Lincoln). It doesn’t take much effort or Photoshop know-how to figure out how to copy and paste one image into another. However, once your new image is in place, you might notice that it tends to stand out from the background. No one is going to believe that you got into a fist fight with William Shatner if your face looks like a cardboard cutout floating against his right hook. Well, one way to give your digital lie credibility is to add realistic shadows. This can be done by adding lens flares, copying layers, and doing a host of other amazing, yet not-too complex, actions.
So, you’ve built a digital masterpiece of photo manipulation. But before you send it off into the ether of the Internet, you wonder how ethical it is to include all those unwilling bystanders in a picture that’s been so far removed from reality. Well, take a cue from the FBI and give those faces the “witness protection” treatment. Blurring faces (or license plates, or pretty much anything that shouldn’t end up in the final image) is actually really easy. All it involves is a little area selection and a click or two on the filter option. There. Identities are safe, and you’re ready to shock the world.
It’s a common misconception in photography that black-and-white photos are somehow artsy. That’s OK. If draining the color from an image manages to stir your emotions and set fire to your soul, then good for you. It’s easy enough to accomplish in Photoshop. Just de-saturate the entire image. Bam! Monochromatic. However, for much cooler images you can choose to spare a single area of the picture from decolorization. Let’s say your subject is holding a rose (again, this does not make it automatically artistic). By using duplicate layers and layer masks, one can simply “brush” color back onto an area, resulting in an eye-popping contrast that will be sure to turn heads.
Have you ever tried to take a photo in the rain? It doesn’t always turn out. Sometimes the lighting is too poor, or the drops are too small to show up. Don’t worry about it, because with a little help from Photoshop you can take otherwise dry images and hit them with a splash of inclement weather. It’s simply a matter of filling a new layer with a bit of “noise,” and then blurring that noise, giving it an angle, and reducing the layer capacity. Now you can make that intense game of table tennis seem even more epic. Have you ever played ping-pong in the middle of a downpour? You have now.
Jared Jaureguy is a Technology Consultant for several of the biggest tech companies in the world. You can follow him @JaredJaureguy.
I actually invented my own mixed media art form where I combine digital art, physical mediums for embellishing and jewels all on giclée canvas to create something innovative, fun, and eye-grabbing. Most of my creations are initially drawn digitally with my Wacom Intuos4 tablet. The digital works are then printed on giclée canvas and wrapped over a wood frame. Then the fun part begins: I hand-embellish each piece with clear gesso, string gel, heavy gel, acrylic paints, colored inks, and other mediums with various brushes and tools. I essentially paint my artworks twice by first digitally painting them from scratch on Photoshop and again with physical mediums. Lastly, I encrust my artworks with a variety of jewels including Swarovski crystals, diamonds, rubies, etc. to give them that final sparkle and magic touch. This is the part of the creation that usually makes people smile when they view the final piece.
What was the first piece of artwork you sold?
I sold my first piece to a good friend and it was then that I realized what I created had value.
Which of your paintings is your favorite?
“Zombie Chaplin” is my favorite for many reasons. For one, Chaplin has been someone I’ve looked up to as an artist and creator since I was a child. He was a perfectionist and he took his craft seriously. I decided to take a bit of a morbid approach with this piece, considering that I’m drawn to zombies, monsters, and horror in general. I also love the “Diamond Series” version of “Zombie Chaplin” since the piece is beautifully decorated with Swarovski crystals despite its horrific nature..
In your opinion, how should art be priced?
That is a relative question. Sometimes the simplest art pieces are highly priced for a variety of reasons. I personally think art should be priced based on how it makes an individual feel. If an art piece evokes a certain feeling in a person, it becomes that much more valuable.
Do you make a living as an artist? How?
Yes, I make a living with this new art form I’ve created. It has sparked interest in people since it is different and people generally are drawn to new and creative things.
You’re a huge Michael Jackson fan, like me! How has he influenced you?
Michael Jackson is my biggest source of inspiration to this day. I grew up dissecting him as an artist. He was an innovator as an artist and perfected every aspect of his art – from every dance step, lyrics, vocal arrangements, video creations and even his use of wardrobe and props. His imagination was out of this world. To see him so enthusiastic, passionate, focused, and so attentive to detail in every aspect of his work was always very inspirational to me.
Where can we see and buy your work?
My artwork can be seen at my website at www.myrahissami.com. I’m releasing a limited series of all my paintings – an “Embellished Series” & “Diamond Series” where each art piece is signed and numbered with a certificate of authenticity. They can be purchased directly through me via my email at email@example.com.
I remember looking at portraits when I was little and loving the colorful paint strokes. I was told that I was looking at photographs, but they looked so painted. Then, I learned that the photographer did indeed take a photograph and then painted it to “touch it up.” Of course, this was way before Adobe Photoshop and digital photography. Gazing at Ms. Fiala’s art reminds me of how much I enjoyed these photos when I was a child. But, I must say, Ms. Fiala’s work exceeds even my expectations and I certainly enjoy gazing on them.
When did you first decide that you wanted to be an artist?
I don’t know if there really ever was a moment when I made a decision to become an artist. It was actually something that evolved over time. I guess I’d always been somewhat crafty, but I’d never gone very far with it until I hurt my back. Up until then I’d been very active physically and an avid golfer. After I hurt my back, however, life, as I knew it was over. It was at that time that I picked up a paintbrush. I started by painting small pieces of furniture and glassware and began selling at art fairs and in shops. I then opened my own shop for awhile. I have since closed the shop but continued to learn new things; made jewelry and mosaics and became a fused glass artist.
It was with the advent of digital cameras that I had this desire to move forward. I loved that I could use a photo editing software to make changes, which morphed into digital manipulation and a bigger program, Photoshop. When I became frustrated at not being able to paint with my mouse, I asked for and received a Wacom graphics tablet for Christmas and purchased a painting program called Corel Painter. Voila, I’d found my passion and spent the next year learning everything I could about digital photo painting.
What was your first art creation?
I’m not sure I would call it an “art creation”, but I would take small furniture pieces–sand them down and paint them using very whimsical paint strokes and colors–happy furniture it was called. It was nothing very artistic, but it was considered cute. But, what I did know was that I really enjoyed painting these pieces and it certainly filled the void of not being able to play golf and be the active person I used to be.
What was your first memorable art piece?
Hmmmm, I couldn’t say what piece was considered memorable. The fact that I could actually produce something that brought a smile to someone’s face was, and is, a memorable moment for me.
Please tell us about a “Day in the Life of Jane Fiala, Artist Extraordinaire.”
I’m a fairly early riser and spend an hour having a coffee and reading. My dog, Callie, and I take a long, brisk walk–even throughout the cold, snowy Minnesota winters. Upon my return, I fire up my computer and spend a fair amount of time choosing the photo that I want to paint. This can be a photo that I’ve taken, or one that has been given to me to paint. I make most of my adjustments in Adobe Photoshop and may even combine several images, or parts of other images. I then move the image into Corel Painter and pull up my favorite brushes and begin painting. I will typically spend the majority of a morning and part of the afternoon painting, moving the image back and forth between these two programs until I’m satisfied with my painting. I then move the painting back into Photoshop one last time for final adjustments and a signature. I also save several different sizes and add textures for viewing on the internet. I tend to try to complete a painting all in one day, working until it’s completed. Sometimes I have to close down and finish the next day, but typically I will work all day to complete a painting. I’m fairly compulsive this way. I will spend some time posting the image to the various online accounts and forums that I belong to or prepare to send them to the lab for printing. I don’t, as of yet, embellish the canvas after it’s been printed, but I’m thinking that it’s the next logical step in my art.
What do you do with your art?
As I’m new to this type of art, I’ve had to learn a great deal about social media as a way of showing my work. I’ve recently started a blog that features my artwork. I have certain pieces available on FineArtAmerica.com, and have recently opened a store on Etsy.com. I’ve just completed my second commissioned piece and have also donated my work to a local charity. Part of the proceeds from the sale of my pet paintings on FineArtAmerica will be donated to local animal rescue organizations.
What are your plans in the future?
My plans for the future include continuing to build a body of work, hopefully accepting more and more commissions and, of course, always learning new things by taking workshops and online classes to keep me sharp and updated. As you may know, technology is always changing and programs are always being updated, so I need to stay up to date on all these things.
In Ms. Fiala’s own words, from her blog, “I’m a wife, mother, grandmother, and artist. I work in several different media; glass, bead and metal jewelry, and digital painting.”
|Connecting with Jane Fiala|
|Etsy shop :||etsy.com/shop/JaneFialaDesigns|
|Fine Art America :||fineartamerica.com/art/all/Jane+Fiala/all|
|Facebook Page :||facebook.com/jlfiala|
Are you an artist who would like to be featured? Contact me!
OK, I am not new to blogging (www.SocialWebCafe.com, www.PositivePersistence.com, www.ScatNStyle.com). I am not new to art loving. I wouldn’t trade my LACMA membership and I can’t resist visiting the Park West Gallery and art auction on every cruise. That said, this post marks the beginning of the series on the combination of both, “art blogging.”
I spent some time checking out the art blog world on the ‘net and found an interesting description of art blogs, by Liz Tunick @ Forbes.com. She starts by saying, “Ever start to read a newspaper or magazine review of a contemporary art show and give up because the writer seems to be speaking in a foreign tongue?” Personally, I have a tendency to want to slip into writing college term papers, so the idea of the foreign tongue sort of appeals to me. But, then I ask myself… When I have no idea what they are saying, do I enjoy it because it sounds sophisticated? Well, I will make every effort, in this blog, to be “sophisticated enough” without speaking in a “foreign tongue.”
Let me introduce myself. I am a Jazz musician (Deborah E) who appreciates art so much I sometimes want to crawl into the painting to take a closer look. I was trying to figure out this morning, when I began to be an art lover. I really think it was always there. One of those things where I was always an art lover, but didn’t know it. Can you relate?
I used to teach Adobe Photoshop® and Advanced Photoshop® to artists and was able to appreciate their great talent. Oh, I am still a Photoshop® expert, but I pale in comparison to that talent that I saw in my classes. I’m over here demonstrating techniques with stick people and then watching as the artists are creating works ready for a gallery!
Surfing the net one day my husband and I found an artist that we just adore. Stay tuned and I will tell you more about her, featuring her in another post (probably several posts!). We actually need to buy a bigger house to display all of her art that we have collected!
I have enjoyed my journey into art education, art appreciation, and art expression. My personal expression is music, however, music and art are related on the family tree of creativity, and I enjoy frolicking in the field with my cousin, the field that creativity sows.
Walk, read, comment, share with me on this journey as we explore the new and the old, the defined and the raw, where no answer is the “right answer” because all answers are the expression of what we feel and think.