Category: best effort

Did You Really Say That

 

This is a painting that I started about two years ago.  It gave me nothing but grief.  I could see the eye in the main face just about in the center of the piece, but I could not get it to work.  I kept struggling with this piece, but nothing would work.  It just looked ugly.  I would go to other areas in the painting to work, and things just got worse.

Finally, I just gave up and put it away.  I have learned to never throw away or in my case of digital paintings, delete, a painting.  You just never know.

So about a month ago, I pulled this out.  Now this is where the joy of digital painting comes about.  I had the base of this painting.  I had started it in Rebelle, a watercolor app for the computer.  So, I was able to pretty much go back to that.  There were a couple of areas I wanted too preserve.  I kept those.  Then just like magic, the painting came together.

I haven’t had a painting go this easily ever!  It just flowed.  Which, given that it gave me such fits for so long, I guess I deserved this.

If you look around, you can find all kinds of other faces.  There’s a guy in the upper left spewing out all kinds of garbage.  We all know that kind of person, right?

I had a blast making this painting.  I hope you enjoy looking at it.

As I said, I started this painting in Rebelle, where I start pretty much all my paintings. Then I took it into Painter 2017 to finish it.  I used brushes I made.  I made the brushes from dynamic speckle types.  If you want more details about the brushes, or want the brushes, contact me.

Kalanchoe

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No, I didn’t just swear at you.  That is what this plant is called.  I’m guessing it’s a succulent.  But it may be a relative to the artichoke.  None of my followers on Instagram seem to know and I’m too lazy to look on the Internet.

I believe in always sharing how I process my photos.  I a, no great post processor, but I find it extremely helpful when people share how they get to the end of a journey.

I believe that the more I share, the more I will get back.  Like, what goes around,  comes around.  I have found that saying to be more than true in my time here on earth.

I also particularly love the phrase “give the person enough rope to hang themselves.”  That’s another one that I have always seen come true.  It takes awhile, but it happens.  Usually, they don’t need all that much rope.  What I have also observed, is that we don’t realize what’s going on inside that person that is making others so miserable.  I have learned they are miserable inside.  Like I don’t need to bother with revenge or getting back at them.  I could never think up a punishment worse than what they do to themselves.  Plus, if I were to bother with revenge, it would harm me.  It would take me into being negative.  It would poison me.  Why go there?  It’s not worth it.  It really isn’t.  It may seem so at the time.  You can almost taste it.  But I know now, it’s simply not.  But learn for yourself.  Waste your time if you want.   Most people have to learn the hard way.  I don’t know why that is, but they do.  I did.  I wish I had taken more advice.  I wish I had listened a bit more to my Dad.

Ok.  Back to sharing the post processing of the photo.  I can’t.  I found this inside Snapseed.  I hadn’t saved it!  I don’t have a clue what I did to it.  Other than to say it was in Snapseed.  I don’t use Snapseed that much for post processing anymore, so I think it was in there to crop it for Instagram.  But then why wasn’t it saved? I don’t know!  But I love this.  It’s not straight from the camera either.

I’m grateful I found it.  I think it’s one of my better photos.  I’ve been trying very hard to get this effect.  Very light lights and dark darks. I know people are using Stackables for this.  While this is close to what I’ve been trying to get, it’s not there yet.

So, I’m going to keep trying.

Introducing Blue!!!


I don’t use blue in my paintings. Not ever, not never!

Well, kiss those days goodbye. 

I have slowly been putting little dabs of blue in my abstracts. But now, in this painting, there is bright blue in large areas. 

I did this and the earth is still spinning around. I will note there was the election outcome that was pretty damn weird right after I painted this, however. 

Anyway, this was done on my iPad Pro in my favorite app, Procreate. 

Speaking of favorite apps, most of you know how very angry I have been at Corel, the makers of Painter. My former go-to painting app. 

Well, I just updated to the 2017 version of Painter during their Cyber Monday sale. Although my love affair with Painter will never be the same, I will say that in this version the mysterious brush lag I experienced in 2016 has 99% gone away. 

The app is running very smooth and feels like what one would expect from a top-tier painting app. 

But, Painter, how could you have treated me like you did for a whole year?  And no one at Corel gave a damn. They promised me I could be a beta tester, they told me they would help me. Then they just left me out in the cold with brush lag.  My little heart was broken. I never did or said anything mean to them. 

I’m slowly learning the new features in 2017. I’ll let you know what I think when I get them figured out. Mostly, they’re not really for abstract painters. 

For some reason, I’ve fallen in love with the particle brushes. Those were introduced a couple of years ago, I think. I didn’t like them at all. 

However, I’ve been using some fascinating particle brushes made by Skip Allen. That opened up my mind and got me exploring the particle brushes. 

Also, Jason Maranto has a very nice library of brushes at his blog spot blog. 

I’ve been playing with those and having a blast. 

Wandering


This is a watercolor I did in Painter.  I usually do most of my watercolors in an app called Rebelle.  Rebelle acts more like real watercolors.  But the watercolor brushes in Painter are varied and interesting.  This watercolor was done mostly with brushes from Skip Allen, an absolute master of watercolor brushes in Painter.  You can check out his blog here.  He has many great brushes you can download and use with Painter.  He also has tons of videos on how to use Painter.  

Sunflower

Sunflower

Sunflower

This is a sunflower photograph I took recently.  Warren and I were on a drive heading east in Washington state.  We stopped in at Index which is a very picturesque little village nestled among the cascades and sits below Mt. Index.

On the way home, we stopped in Gold Bar for lunch. I had the absolute worst meal of grease ever.  I will spare you the details.  I’ll just say that when traveling in small towns, Mexican is your best bet.  While it may not be the best, it is hard to ruin a taco.  One has to work incredibly hard to ruin rice, beans and a taco.

After lunch, we came upon a poor little bedraggled sunflower plant in someone’s front yard.  I have been seeing glorious fields of sunflowers lately.  I was extremely disappointed.  But I figured, what the heck.  You never know. Well, I ended up with this beautiful photo.

So, you never know when that one special photo will show up in your camera.

This was taken with my iPhone 6 Plus camera on auto, using  Camera+.  I may have used macro mode, I forget.

For post processing, I started in Enlight.  That is my new go-to app.  I have been a real fan of Snapseed and still use it.  But I find that I can make some more subtle changes in Enlight.  I especially like the Clarify settings under image.  Those settings there seem to offer a bit different set of adjustments for sharp, saturation and black.

Then I took this into iColorama in the style settings.

Finally, I took it into Tangled Fx and used one of my custom settings. I love Tangled Fx. I like to make my own adjustments to their settings.  I have about 15 special settings.

Enjoy!

Visions

Visions

Visions

This is a painting I recently finished in my iPad Pro.  As many of you know from my previous blogs, I absolutely love my iPad Pro.  I did not expect to like it so much, but I do.

I also love the Apple Stylus or Pencil as they call it.  Apple completely knocked it out of the park when they made this stylus.  There is no drag on the stylus.  It draws just like you are using a real brush.  It is amazing.

On a completely different Apple product, I watched the Apple press conference yesterday.  I swore there was nothing, nothing that could get me to upgrade from my iPhone 6 Plus.  I am perfectly happy with it.  Except for one little thing.  The camera.  Yep.  The camera.  And Apple made a huge improvement in the camera.  They could have made it even better, but at least they are taking us up to 12 mega pixels.  So, yep, I gotta have one.  Plus, guess what?  Apple has learned how to make black.  Well, I gotta have black. I have my choice of matte or gloss.  They are trying to convince consumers that black is a big deal, and I’m falling for it.  But really, black?

Sigh, oh well, I’ll just open my wallet and let Apple pick away.

I look forward to sharing my new sharper photos with you next year when I have my new iPhone 7 Plus.

Additionally, Apple is going to be bringing us, hopefully, a depth of field feature via software.  In the iPhone 7 Plus, one will get an extra lens that zooms.  Go Apple, take my money!

 

Maui Fern

Maui Fern

Maui Fern

This is a photo I took with Camera+.  There is a big difference between Camera Plus and Camera+, so don’t get confused.  Camera+ is an awesome app for your iPhone.  However, don’t buy it for the iPad.  It’s a total ripoff.  It has none of the features it does on the iPhone.

I used their macro setting which is not a real macro setting, but definitely brings you in closer on your subject.  Camera+ will let you set exposure, focus, white balance and other settings if you want.  They give you more than one way to do this.  I like to just tap both fingers on the phone screen and then tap in the exposure circle or the focus square to get what I want when I shoot.  Also their auto focus works great.

I shot this last year in Maui, although it could have been shot here in Seattle.  But, this is a Maui fern.  It is in a favorite place of mine, Kula Lodge in Maui, up in the mountain, as you go towards Haleakala, the volcano on Maui.

This was overexposed and posed some other problems.  I was going to toss it, but found that hard to do.  I had recently watched a Mike Moats video. If you don’t know who he is, rush, I mean, rush over here. Mike is a totally awesome macro photographer.

Anyway, I was watching one of his videos where he used Nik Software’s Viveza2 to work on a photo that had some problems.  Nik Software is made by Google.  It used to cost a lot of money.  But now, for some odd reason they give it away free.  There are also free videos on how to use it up at You Tube.

Anyway, in Viveze2 there are these little dots that you put on your photo,  They expand into a circle that you can then add contrast, saturation and other elements to in your photo.  So I worked on the overexposed areas in the photo and Viveza2 did it’s magic and my photo was no longer overexposed.

I hope you enjoy this image.  I had fun taking it and enhancing it.

 

 

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