Whither away so early, Little Red Riding Hood?

In my telling of Little Red Riding Hood, which I call The Red Cloak, the lass has a look in her eye that could be just as wily as that of the wolf though perhaps with a touch of sadness.

I began with a 16 x 16 inch blank layer and placed a woodland background on top, stretching it to fit.

background-copy

I then layered the three major elements-the wolf, the girl, and the moon-on top of that.  The wolf was on an orange background, so I masked that out, kept the opacity to 100% and blended him in multiply mode.  Then I added a reddish outer glow. 

wolf-howling-sunset-silhouette

wolf

The image of the girl was overlaid with a watercolor filter before I placed her at 90% opacity and a normal blend in the lower right corner, and the moon was masked out from an image of various moon phases and was set to 90% opacity and a hard light blend. 

layer-2-copy

moon

To finish the piece I used a paper that I have used before and that I love for its oil paint texture along with a pink textured paper paper.  The first was set to 85% opacity and multiply mode, and the second set at 100% opacity and soft light mode.

the-rescue2lo-artist-58

The finished piece:

the-red-cloak

Here is the PS panel that shows more detail.

panel

And where might your grandmother live?

Happy trails.  Thanks for stopping by!

 

 

New Art Sites

Yet again it’s been a long time since my last post, and I can only hold up a dog boarding business, time creating new pieces and a class at Georgia Tech as my excuses.

A word or two about my art.  I’m no longer selling it on Etsy but am now overseeing a couple of new websites (another excuse!), and here they are:

https://deborahdejuan.myportfolio.com
https://www.behance.net/debbiedeju8d9f

Each image is part of a limited edition, is signed & numbered and includes a certificate of authenticity.  All images are printed with archival inks on premium fine art paper affixed to a rigid & durable backing.

I especially love working with bird and animal images and am particularly fascinated with the birdcage motif (I use it a lot!).  The tutorial today features an image that includes the birdcage and hawks and is called The Rescue.

Here is the image in its entirety.

the-rescue
This image began with a blank canvas of 14 x 11 inches to which I added one of my favorite art papers that I textured slightly with an oil paint filter.  I kept it at a a normal blend mode and 100% opacity.  On top of that I layered in a cityscape that I found on Creative Commons setting it to soft light at 55% opacity and overlapping it at the bottom edge of the canvas.

dt-sm-energyinnature-3-copy

city
Next came a beautiful peach-colored cloud layer that I blended in multiply mode retaining 100% opacity.

fs_cloudy-day_backgroundbackground-7
This is how it looked at this stage.

the-rescue
For the next portion of this piece (which was very time-consuming and sometimes tedious, I must admit) I had to construct a cluster of the bird cage, the hawk inside the cage, the branch, and the small bird perched on the branch.  For this I opened a new 12 x 12 transparent document and added the cage first with the hawk on top.  After selecting all of the cage I painted out parts of the hawk so that he appeared to be inside of the cage.  I linked these two elements so that I could move them around as one piece.  Next came the branch on top of which I placed the small bird and linked these two elements.  I then placed the hawk & birdcage with the hook onto the branch and masked out part of the hook so that is looked to be hanging from the branch.  Finally I made a group of all of these elements and moved it to the main canvas.

group-1
After the addition of this cluster I added an osprey, a hawk, and an eagle-the osprey set to soft light at 100% opacity and the hawk and eagle set to normal and 100%.  Some flying birds dot the upper canvas set to darken mode (because they were on a white background) and 40% opacity.

At last we reach the end with the layering of a textured paper set to multiply at a 45% opacity.

fs_designer-background-2
I have so much fun!

Next time a re-reading of Little Red Riding Hood!  See you then.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Rat Pack

I’ve been so busy with my dog boarding business and the holidays that it’s been hard to find time to post anything.  That doesn’t mean that I haven’t been working though because…

I had a surprise commission fall into my lap just before Christmas.  It didn’t actually fall;  more accurately I stalked it and reeled it in.  

One of my daughters works in an upscale restaurant in the Atlanta area, and the owner of that restaurant is opening an even more upscale place in February.  As a holiday gift for their employer all the workers wanted to purchase artwork that they could have matted and framed for him to hang in the new place.  

He is taken with The Rat Pack from the early 60’s, so they thought they should go with that idea.  For those of you too young to remember them they were a group of actors and musicians, most prominently Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr.  They tended to be heavy drinkers, smokers and carousers who performed in Las Vegas and hence were dubbed ‘The Rat Pack’ by actress Lauren Bacall (wife of Humphrey Bogart).

My daughter asked me to check out different sites to see what kind of artwork I could find, and when I saw nothing that impressed me much, I thought, ‘Hey I think I can do something more provocative and with an edge (which is always a good thing for me!).’  My Rat Pack then has three actual rats…hungry, thirsty and ferocious…running along the skyline of Las Vegas (maybe heading for that very dry martini!).

The team liked it and bought it, and now it’s out being framed.

Here it is (this frame is only a mock-up).  Now if he only hangs it up!

mockup-for-rat-pack

Next time another a tutorial.  Thanks for joining me!

 

  

 

 

Indulge

A couple of posts back I suggested that you might scan items that you find and use them as papers and elements.   My sister, Joni, and I have a dog-boarding business, and a few weeks ago one of our clients (a couple) vacationed in Japan. They very kindly returned with a box of Japanese candy for us that was made from rice and fruits.  I had left the wrapper sitting on my desk when Joni meandered in and asked, ‘What should we do with this?’  I realized how much I loved the paper, didn’t want to toss it, and said with delight, ‘I know, I’ll scan it!’  So I scanned away, found it a new home in my specialty papers bin, and today it is the background of today’s image called Indulge.

Here is the wrapper.

background-copy

The other papers.

And the elements.

floral-overlay

asian-woman

gesso-ink-splotch

trees

Love this stitched motif. Stitching often provides a wonderful textural accent

watercolor-splotch

I began with a new white layer set to 12 x 12 inches with a resolution of 300.  Onto that I layered the candy wrapper and the orange paper set to the blends and opacities shown above.

The lovely Asian woman came next, and I had some fun with her in applying a blend mode I have never before used.  For this project I didn’t want her bright colors, so I set her to black and white, grouped her with the flower/butterfly motif, and set her to a color burn blend where she became just as I’d imagined.

Next came the crinkled paper that I duplicated and placed in the top right and  bottom left corners with the white/gray splotch layered over that and placed in the center.  I placed the tree stitching and watercolor-splotch-with-text  left and right center respectively.

The final touches included a bright orange origami bird, the various texts (I found a very cool free Asian-like font for these on my favorite font site http://www.dafont.com/), a few white specks, and then I signed off on it.  Here is candy wrapper art to show that art potential exists anywhere and everywhere.

indulge

I’m sorry to say that I took screen shots of the PS panels before I had renamed some of the layers, but here they are for basic info.  Feel free to leave any questions in the comment section.   And don’t forget.  Have a great week!

ps-panels

Nature Listens

The pure magic that is winter is the theme today in a piece entitled Nature Listens, which will be available on Etsy in a day or two.  Beginning with the finished piece I’ll follow with its deconstruction.  At the end it will be my utmost pleasure to offer  2 more  holiday-themed files free as a way of thanking you all for following along.   

Comparatively few layers and elements make up this piece, and with the understanding that you have a basic understanding of Photoshop this tutorial will hopefully be easy to follow.  So let’s begin.

nature-listens-1

Here are the papers and textures.

clouds-layer

fir-trees-layer

white-circle-texture white-scroll-texture

falling-snow

The layers were set in the order shown; first the clouds, then the landscape of firs, and finally the falling snow.  It’s always best to play around with the order of layers, blend modes and opacities to get just the look you’re after. 

Here are the elements (and how I love these clusters!).   The bare trees are in the foreground,  and I chose to place the skater and the village off center.  I rotated the dove horizontally and placed her in the upper right corner. 

bare-trees

village

skaterdove_graphicsfairy

Added the text and signature, and it is now a fait accompli!

For those who would like to take a closer look here are the PS panels.  The first is the panel showing the layers that have been grouped.  The second and third are the original working panels. 

panel-with-groups

bottom-panel

And here are the files as promised.  I see this as a photo mat for a holiday photo…

christmas-frame-for-blog

and this as a scrapbook page or for framing.

christmas-scrapbook-page

If you can’t retrieve these files directly from this post leave your email address in the comment section, and I’ll send them to you.  Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

Keeping up with 2017

We have two new 2017 wall calendars in our Etsy shop that I’m excited about and want to preview here as this might just be the perfect time to order one. 😉
Each calendar is large (14.25 x 11 inches) and printed on sturdy high-quality paper with vibrant full-color.

The first we call Ice and Fire, a nature photo calendar that includes stunning images from Iceland, the High Sierras and the Colorado Rockies.  These amazing photos were taken on trips that my sister and brother, Joni and Craig, made this summer, and I think you’ll find this calendar is a page turner.

Here’s what it looks like.

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Secrets & Dreams is an art calendar that showcases my art work, and here’s a peek at it.

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So here they are.  Take your pick!

Have a great weekend.

 

 

Grab life by the handlebars

Today I have an upbeat project to work through with you today, and it all begins with a magical transparency that I got as a freebie from E-Scape and Scrap and made by one of my favorite designers, G & T Designs.  When I first saw it I thought, “Na, I don’t want that; I’ll never use it.”  I did download it though and came across it while I was looking through backgrounds.  When I saw it that time I fell in love with it and thought it absolutely perfect for this project.  I had to flatten the image to post it here, but the original is a transparency where the windows have been masked out.

main-layer

The theme of the finished piece I hope elicits the joy and freedom of biking, and it’s called Grab life by the handlebars.  It has many layers, elements and groupings so let’s get started with some of those.

Below are the papers used in addition to the main background and all of the elements.

papers

 

 

elements

I began with a new white layer in PS size 12 x 12.  To that layer I added the butterfly layer that I duplicated twice putting an oil paint filter on one dupe and a find edges filter on the other.  Blending mode and opacities are shown above.  I then formed a group from those three layers.  The main layer was added along with the white crinkled paper and the brown overlay to add some color.  I quick-selected the window area, created a mask for the butterfly group, and painted out the part of the butterfly group that appeared in the window.

The photo behind the window is a free image found on Creative Commons, which I duplicated putting a find edges filter on the dupe.  The original photo was set to multiply mode with an opacity of 55%, and the dupe was set to multiply with an opacity of 75%, so the photo actually looks more like a drawing.  I made a group from the photos, and again I had to select the window frame and mask out the parts of the photo that overlapped.  The red bike was placed in the window frame.

Then it was time for the really fun stuff.  I composed a yield sign that had a ‘To Bikes’ sign (made with the small brown paper and text) and a Bike Route sign clamped to it, and I made a group from these elements, so they could be moved around as a whole.  I took the lines of stitching and cropped out the line I wanted, which I placed along the bottom edge of the brown overlay to make it look like a road, and placed the blue bike, to which I had added a basket of flowers and made a group of them, onto the ‘road.’   The yellow tricycle tries to keep up behind it. 

The birds flew in next…a bluebird on the window sill, a hawk in the sky high above and some little birds on a wire.  I only wanted one line of the birds on the wires, so I set the blend mode to darken, which hid the white background, created a layer mask and painted out all the other wires and birds.  This I tilted a little and added the text, ‘Be free. Be happy.’ above tilted at the same angle.

Under that text came another line of text, ‘Grab life by the handlebars,’ with an underscoring of twine and some black hearts, all grouped and then one more text line ‘and FLY’ also grouped.

Finally I added the red hearts in the upper left and another line of stitching across the top.  Just because.  And here’s how it looks.  

grab-life-by-the-handlebars

Makes me happy.  And I hope you like it too.

Tip: In the previous post I talked about collecting all the images, backgrounds, and elements you can get your hands on, and I forgot to mention the very simplest of all.  Scanning.  Scan fabrics, leaves, flower petals, your own scribbles & doodles, anything to which your imagination takes you.