Friday, 29 July 2011

Not So Technique-Driven Techniques

It hasn't rained here in a while, and being a "cloudy-rainy day" person, I always feel a little bit off and forlorn waiting for the droplets to fall from the sky. It's amazing how the weather can really affect's like some people are built for certain climates, don't you think? So while I anxiously eye the sky every now and then, I've also been keeping myself busy with some deadlines and playing away with Photoshop. Now, for many people who know me well, they'll tell you that I'm not a very technique driven person. I don't do too well with manuals and tutorials, hopeless with gadgets (which drives my husband crazy!), and prefer to use the only reliable tool I have in me. My feelings. :)

You can pretty much see my point by following the way I work with Photoshop to transform this painting into a new form of life...

For a start, I picked three templates to help me create the depth and textures I want for the piece. Many times I would go crazy and paint my own templates, but sometimes I just scan real pages and then alter them into something more to my likings.

Of course as anyone who are familiar with working digitally, most artists and designers usually have their own tricks and techniques of "layer effects" that they use to achieve the right characteristics needed for the work. Unfortunately, I'm not one of them. Why? Probably because I usually change the layer effects so many times that I lose track of what I've done so far. Haha! Like I said, I rely on my feelings....

Other than the layers, I also like to play around with the brightness-contrast tool, and especially balancing the colors. With this particular painting, I wanted the old antique feel to it but still show some brilliance of the colors. So I added some sheer blue and pink to the robe and the lady's cheeks for a richer look, then painted a little yellow light across her hair for a vivid glow.

Lastly, I added some crackling effects by using the crackle-texture template to the overall piece, and there you have it...a new form of painting created using my very, very simple steps and techniques.

The Guardian, watercolor, pencils and digital mediums

I wish I could show you one of my more complex pieces that involves dozens of layers, but that would probably just drive us all insane! :) Well, I think I'll go back to my sky watching now. Thought I saw a little grey cloud hovering above the trees somewhere....


Amalia, oxx

**The original painting of The Guardian is available at my Etsy shop, and fine art prints (of the rendered piece) is available over at RedBubble**


  1. well that looks great, thank your for sharing your secrets :)

    the thing about these things that look so simple - well they are the product of a great deal of work and experimentation - it's like turning on a tap is such a simple action, yet gives a great stream of H2o... yet it took an awful long time for humans to get that far - arh crappy metaphor but you know what I mean... I am off to get dressed for my next appearence at the back of the opera :)

    avagoodweegend !

    from Oz

    PS l;ove that crackle

  2. I love that crackle too. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Loved seeing this.
    I am still running in great fear of Photoshop! LOL!!!
    That's why I am happy to see how YOU do things. Generally my attempts end in a temper tantrum.....
    It is raining here this morning and I wish you could be here to sit on the porch with me, have coffee or tea and smell the freshness in the nice.


  4. this painting is beautiufl. and i love the title, too....thanks for sharing your work process, too!

  5. I concur with our friend from Oz, make it look so effortless but to rely upon your feelings and instincts takes a lifetime of confidence, patience, and courage. Thank you for sharing your process..I have not ever taken existing things and scanned..I may try that now..and oh, that crackle effect is something else. Lovely work, indeed, Amalia!!

  6. Oh, I like so much the original drawing! Such a tender hug, I can feel the love and trust between the bird and the girl. Her dress wears a feathery hint that strengthens the sensation of harmony.
    I suppose (and I can see!) the computer programs can give a lot to a person who knows what he wants to achieve... The final effect of the drawing is very intriguing - like an old fresco...
    Have a nice weekend, Amalia! If you'll feel better - let it rain!:-)xx

  7. Amazing work! Love the layering and the way you build up the piece! Thx for the follow on Twitter! Following you there and here! POP ART MINIS

  8. Oh . MY . GOD.
    i just discovered your blog...
    and it is absolutely fantastic.
    I love love love your work...
    will add you to my list x sandra

  9. This one's a beauty, Amalia, and at all the stages too. Love the antique effect. How very odd...I was just thinking about owls, and then I see you've just posted one! Hope you are well, and in your rainy element. :-)

  10. I agree, I am always waiting for a cloudy, rainy day... they're beautiful.
    This is yet another stunning piece Amalia, I liked seeing your process too. The effects you've added to the piece really bring a new level of depth to it.

  11. Oh Amalia - I simply LOVE this piece! There is innocence and love and beauty here. Thank you for sharing how you created the piece. :) xoxo

  12. Your work is so amazing - I love your work and the added textures are beautiful too. Thank you for linking into artsee bloggers.


Tell me your lovely daydreams, they always make me smile! ♥