|Original reference photo|
|Hue/Saturation adjusted photo|
Last Monday I took an interesting workshop with Bobbi Pratte at the Art League School in Alexandria, VA. It was about how to use Photoshop to improve paintings. I use Photoshop to crop, rotate, lighten/darken the photographic images. The basic stuff. I am not a techie; I dread the whole esoteric, mysterious universe of technology. So it was with some reservation that I signed up for the workshop, mainly because a good friend of mine talked me into it and some other good friends were taking it. Why not?
I must say that I did see some interesting "tricks" one could do with Photoshop Elements. My head spinned at the end of the three-hour workshop. Bobbi covered such an impressive amount of information in one afternoon that, in the evening, when I picked up my long-abandoned copy of Photoshop Elements 8 for Dummies, I could almost understand what the 600-page-long book was explaining--selections, tools, layers, opacity, etc., etc.
OK, let's talk about "Central Park Reflections." The original reference photo was taken on an overcast spring day a couple of years ago during a mini family vacation to New York City. I loved the way the Manhattan skyline was reflected in the pond water at Central Park. But I decided to change the time of the day to dusk to make the painting "romantic."
On the morning of the workshop, I tried to paint with the original printout, which was green all over with a colorless sky. It was hard. During the workshop, it occurred to me that I should adjust hue/saturation of the photo, so that it would be easier to visualize the mood I was going after. I did just that this morning and reworked the painting with the adjusted printout. It was much easier as I hoped.
I had known how to adjust Hue/Saturation all along, but have never manipulated a reference photo to suit my particular project, only relying on my power of visual imagination. I honestly don't know which way is better for an artist. But I suspect that I will be using Photoshop more often to make my life easier.