Friday, December 2, 2011

"Cardinal in the Snow" (oil on linen; 8" x 10") sold

Original image

Speaking of Photoshop, I learned something very valuable during the workshop with Bobbi Pratte on Monday.  I have lots of paintings with a white background.  For instance, in "Cardinal in the Snow," much of the painting is the snow-covered ground.  Sure, it is about the red cardinal looking for food on a winter day, but if the bird had been standing on a dark ground, the painting's impact would have been completely lost. 

So it is imperative to show in the photographic image what I had captured with paints.  Unfortunately, whenever I take pictures of paintings with a white background, they come out looking drab.  Whites just are not white enough.  They might reflect too much of the blue sky, turning bluish; or they turn out dull, dirty-looking.  Sigh.

Hoping that Bobbi must know what to do, I asked her.  She did indeed know how to correct the problem with Photoshop.  Go to "Enhance," "Adjust Lighting," then "Levels."  In the dialog box, you will see the Input Levels in the top half.  There are three buttons.  The far right button controls the highest values.  Drag it to the left until you find the satisfactory light value.  That's it!

I could have done some more cool stuff even before I started painting "Cardinal in the Snow," too.  I had to use two different photos while painting: one for the pine tree in the background, the other for the bird's pose.  If I had taken the workshop before, I would have combined the two pictures with Photoshop and worked with just one printout.  If I had wished so, I could have flipped the bird's direction, so that it would look the other way.  You get the idea.  I have just entered the wondrous world of Photoshop!

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