Category Archives: Photo Editing

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.


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. 



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. 



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 finished piece:


Here is the PS panel that shows more detail.


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:

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.

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.


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

This is how it looked at this stage.

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.

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.

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!


Next time another a tutorial.  Thanks for joining me!





The Hour of Silence

‘Dawn is the time when nothing breathes, the hour of silence. Everything is transfixed, only the light moves.’

 Leonora Carrington, 1917-2011 
British artist, surrealist painter and novelist. carrington

Tip: Before I introduce a new piece today I want to say a word to photographers who are interested in taking their work into the realm of the photo artist; a place of creativity, individuality, and sometimes if we’re lucky, a little magic.

The very first order of business is to become a collector- of papers, textures, elements;  anything that might bring life to your piece.  I literally have hundreds of papers, textures and things as well as my photos.  Many textures & backgrounds can be gotten free by googling ‘free photo backgrounds.’  Free images can be found at   When I’m looking for something new I purchase papers & kits, and one of my favorite places is  You’ll find many sales and occasional free items, and this is a great site for scrapbookers.  

Once you’ve collected images and elements the next order of business is to organize them into folders.  I have folders for Papers & Textures, which I have sub-divided into categories of Colors, Edges-Frames-Overlays, Splotches, Scribbles, Scratched Surfaces, Brushes & Text, Clouds-Moon-Stars just to name a few as well as folders called Critters, Botanicals, Patterns-Graphics-Icons, and Victorian-Steampunk. 

‘The Sound of Silence’ is the title of the piece I’ll be working with today, and we’ll start with the finished image and work backward.



The image begins with a gray speckled paper, which I duplicated twice putting an impressionist painting filter on one layer and an ink-watercolor filter on the other.  Blend modes and opacities are shown on each.




Once the base layer is in place I add a very nice grungy gray/blue background and a sunspot.



A photo I  took on the Okefenokee swamp is cropped, reversed horizontally, duplicated, and blended in luminosity mode at a 50% opacity.  The duplicate is given a sketchy watercolor filter, blended in soft light mode with a 75% opacity.



Next come the flying geese and the text.


The text was blended in hard light mode at 40% opacity.


The final touches include the addition of a gorgeous blue/brown background and a starry background.


Finally the panel layer from Photoshop.  The layers were not originally placed as they are here, but this is the final stacking before the image is flattened.


Have a happy week. 


After a very long hiatus we are back with a new name, a new look, and new directions.  We hope this will be an exciting place for photographers, photo artists, and art lovers alike as we share our images and art pieces with tips, how-to’s, and works in progress.  We’ll also be happy to answer questions.

Starting off then with a new piece called ‘Scarecrow’ posted yesterday in our Etsy Shop and just in time for that most fun and spooky of occasions.


Work begins in Photoshop CC and assumes the readers basic working knowledge of the program.  Scarecrow itself began with the main background layer and some elements that I purchased as a kit.


Two more backgrounds and a cloud photo were added  for texture and color, blended in soft light for the first two and overlay for the clouds.   Opacities  were adjusted and portions of each layer masked out. untitled-1Next came the addition of various elements, first the train, the tree behind the train, the skeleton beside the train, the sign,  chair,  chest, candle, and all of the various darker crows.  Some leaves were scattered under the chest.



Finally we have the piéce de résistance, the king of the crows; the steam punk crow.  He is the product of playing around with several images to fit them into the look I was after.  I selected these layers and made a group, which allowed me to move them around as a unit once they were placed in the image.  Here’s what I used and how it turned out.


Here is the working panel from Photoshop:


Fun, right?

Tip:  When photographing jewelry for your shop or site keep the background as uncluttered as possible.  Don’t photograph jewelry on wood, rocks or shells as these backgrounds tend to obscure the piece.  Use neutral colors for the background, focus on the piece and get as sharp an image as possible.

Thanks for popping in!