For my week 3 task, I continued my software skill development by creating three creative images in Photoshop. This task aimed to help me to explore further and expand my creativity. From the last term, I demonstrated my design skill on the topic of a podcast cover. Therefore, I decided to accomplish another topic choice for this time. I always wanted to create artworks for my cat, but I never had a chance. This task was an opportunity for me to achieve it. In my last term, I watched a bunch of videos to help with my skill development. Nevertheless, I nearly forgot all of them that make me realised the balance of quality and quantity. Instead of watching numerous tutorial videos, I decided to focus on one skill topic and practise in-depth.
The first two design are both oil painting portraits of my cat. I watched the same tutorial video but with different authors to compare their approach towards this topic. For my last design, I made it a review practice of what I have learnt in Photoshop so far. I combined all the skill and created the final piece.
I first used the lasso tool to select the head area and applied a content-aware fill to replace it with the background colour. After that, I cropped the head part of my cat by using the lasso selection tool again. I copied and pasted the head on the painting. I then applied a layer mask onto it and started using the brush tool to erase the unwanted edges. Before applying the oil paint stylisation, I added one more layer of unsharpen mask. It can bring back the details of the image. I further adjusted the level values and colour balance to match with the painting itself.
For my second design, I repeated the same procedure as the first one. Dispiratively, I used the stamp tool to copy the collar pattern as one of the clone sources after using the content-aware fill. The shadow underneath adds depth to the head part and creates dimension to the painting.
After I decided to use the painting ‘Summer is icumen in’, I then inserted my cat image and started resizing and adjusting its perspective. Apply the oil paint filter to make the image look like having painting strokes on it. It was different from the last two design. I altered the levels of stylisation to match with the original painting at the back. The cat looks like it is floating in the air, so I used the brush tool to draw a shadow and blend the colours. I additionally used the eyedropper to help me get the exact shade in the painting to prevent colour differences.
This video is a tutorial on how to create an oil painting portrait for your pet. The author applies different layers of filters to edit the image from a digital form to an oil painting. I followed his instruction of stylising the pet image with an oil paint filter. This filter can add a brushstroke texture to the image and creates harmony with the original painting. Apart from using filter layers, he makes level and colour adjustments to the image to achieve a more satisfying result. The level adjustment depends on the original value of the photo. It is impossible to copy all of his value changes because we were using different pictures. Therefore, I had to adjust to other value levels to see if it works in my case.
This tutorial video has a similar process as the previous one. However, one point that is worthy of drawing attention to is the use of the stamp tool. Although the content-aware fill can approximately cover up the head, the texture near the neck will get blurred out. As a result, the author finishes its touch up by using the stamp tool. He uses the stamp to copy the pattern of the collar and starts pasting them around the neck. For my second design, I followed his way of creating an oil painting portrait. Compared with the first tutorial video, his method can keep the detail part of the collar and makes the whole piece look more well-finished. Overall, I prefer this tutorial more.
The following tutorial is an introduction video of the brush tool. The brush is the core tool that I used in my third design, so it is essential to learn about its functionality. This video talks about the importance of adjusting different brush hardness levels. A softer brush can build up layers and create smooth edges. It usually uses to blend colours. A soft brush can also embellish an image easier. On the other hand, a higher brush level can draw out a sharp line, so it generally uses for outlining. Therefore, I adjusted the brush hardness to 0% when I was blending.
After finishing this task, I am interested in exploring further with the brush tool, especially experiment with different types of brushes. I have experience in drawing in Illustrator but never tried to draw in Photoshop. Accordingly, I will start to develop my drawing skill by practising with the brush tool or watch some drawing time-lapse videos to observe how people utilise the brush tool in Photoshop.
Resources for Research and Inspiration
My main inspiration for this task is the series of oil paintings named ‘Dogs Playing Poker’. General artists usually express an image by painting a human as the character, but Coolidge used personification to paint dogs playing poker. This surreal approach is interesting to investigate and discover. Therefore, I put this idea into my first two designs, editing my cat head onto a human portrait.
All of my designs focus on the style of an oil painting. When I was searching for the image option, I chose portraits that painted during the Renaissance. I found out they usually had a bulky collar that covers their neck. This clothing decoration can make the process of editing easier because it avoids extra works.
Recently, oil paintings with a soft pastel colour scheme have become a famous aesthetic. I have an album on Pinterest where I collect this kind of oil paintings. It is also the inspiration for my third design in this task.
To conclude the topics I have done so far in Photoshop, I tended to research vintage and retro themes. In the last term, I designed a series of vintage podcast covers. For this week 3 task, I used renaissance paintings as my inspiration. It might be a good idea for me to explore other kinds of approaches, such as combining neon colours and glowing effect to create a futuristic style.