Saturday, August 31, 2013

Creative Expression: I'm Moving ... to Ipernity

I thought I posted this here already, but obviously not. I've had a headache all week ... complications form a poorly adjusted new occlusal guard. Maybe that's the reason I didn't get this posted here. I am feeling human again!

I've decided to move from Flickr to Ipernity. No that's not a physical location, but a new (new to me) photosharing interface. I can't say I'm total frustrated with Flickr as some others, but I do find the new interface more challenging than the old one and I like Ipernity's simplicity. I plan to leave my photos on Flickr for now and start Ipernity forward from this point.

I keep finding myself pulled back, so may post the occasional image on Flickr, but I want see how Ipernity pans out.

You can find me at www.ipernity.com/home/lafcustomdesigns … yes, you can even customize your URL.

Thanks to Sebastian Michaels' Photoshop Grunge Artistry for lots of brushes and textures
in his Photoshop Grunge Artistry course.

Some of the benefits of Ipernity:

* Has the old Flickr "look"
* Customize your homepage
* Create albums
* Includes a Guestbook roll where people can leave a note unrelated to a specific image
* Log in with Facebook (I'd rather not, but some may like this feature)
* Move your Flickr photos to Ipernity; see script www.ipernity.com/blog/team/485851

The down side:

* As with all technology, there is a learning curve, but it's really pretty easy
* You will likely have to convince your friends to follow you to the new interface
* You might have to keep both Flickr and Ipernity going in parallel, at least for a bit
* You may feel like you're starting all over

Best to all. Thanks for connecting with me here at Flickr. I've made lots of great friends here.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Creative Expression: Moonrise Over Cloud Mountain

How is it this represents half a day's work! Well, there are a lot of elements--a custom-made brush from an image of clouds, layers of textures, and several images, and lots and lots of clipping masks!

Click image to see larger and in better detail 

Thanks to Sebastian Michaels' Photoshop Grunge Artistry
for lots of textures and vector masks.

One step just leads to another and before you know it the day's almost over. But at least I got some Photoshop play in this weekend.

Creative Expression: Taking a bad blurry photo to painterly art

This was a really bad picture ... blurry because Kobi was moving and I was taking the picture with one hand. I love it though because Kobi is enjoying the remnants of raspberry sorbet in the carton. Oh, and that moth on the edge of the cup ... didn't bother Kobi a bit ... it was Photoshopped in. ;->

I learned how to make a brush from my own photographs of clouds and marble, and using some warm colors enhanced the image creating a painterly effect.

I love learning and am so inspired by Sebastian Michaels even though I go off on strange tangents after watching his videos.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Tales from Kobi: A Quick Trip to Coal Creek

Mom had trouble deciding if this should go in Creative Expressions or if she wanted me to tell the story. I guess I won 'cause she's letting me tell the story.

She had one of her usual working coffee visits with her friend Shirley, but while it was still relatively cool outside, she took me for a walk to our usual haunt, Coal Creek. It's a really nice walking path and we almost always go to the crossing where I get a little drink. Truth is, it was already warm at 10 this morning, so when I saw that water, I just plopped right down in it! Ahhhh .... felt soooo good.

click image to see larger view in Flickr

Then Mom left me at home to visit her friend. She spent a LOT of time working on this composite, not only at the coffee shop, but later in the evening. It just wasn't coming together the way she wanted. I think she finally decided it was good.

Do you see the little frog statue in the right corner? She captured that along the way in someone's front yard. And those purple flowers that are big enough to be a bush ... they are little wild flowers that grow in clumps ... but I think this is pretty cool, just like that water I have my legs in.

Truth is though, I got all black from the sediment on the bottom of the creek and got half a bath when I got home ... just the bottom half to get all the yucky out of my fur. Sure did feel good to be cleaned up.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Creative Expressions: White Water and Pelicans watercolor

There are just some places one is called to ... for me that is any place with water, but particularly the Pacific Coast with its crashing waves and elegant broad-winged pelicans.

click image to see larger view on Flickr -- it's worth it! ;->

Since I live in Colorado, I'm not able to get to the coast anymore, but using the coffee stain texture below that I created this morning, and rushing river and pelican images I took here in Colorado, I was able to create my dreamscape--a place I can run off to when I need a break.

Feel free you download this 450px, 300 dpi texture Playing-450px.png and see what
you can do with it (right click image, Save Image As); all I ask is you link back
to this post ...oh, and I'd love it if you'd share your link with me. Thanks.  ;->

Thanks for visiting. It's always nice to see you here. Enjoy your weekend, my friends!

Creative Expression: Playing with brushes and images as textures

I think this piece is more like playing scales on the piano, doing stretches, or writing to prompts. Or maybe it's just like finger painting, but using a keyboard!

I started out with some brushes by Distressed Textures ... using different colors for each brush on separate layers so I could manipulate them individually.

Then I added a portrait such that it was almost unrecognizable except to the subject maybe.

I added a picture of a rock and one of a dandelion puff I'd taken on one of my many walks, then used blending modes until I liked the effect.

Just a short post for today. Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your day!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Creative Expression: Hidden in the Shadows

I believe I've found my mojo again. I'm so glad I decided to take a new class. This work is quite a departure from most of my previous work. It will be interesting to see the development as I learn more from Sebastian Michaels.

I know, this seems a bit sinister. Maybe I've been watching too much Criminal Minds. But it's really not about that ... it's just how the images I chose came together.

Do you see the face ... a profile? It's really not a face at all ... it's tree limbs in the winter ... a picture I took while driving in the snow and fog earlier this year (see original image).

I think this could be an interesting cover for a mystery novel. What do you think? A bit of creepy and a bit of beauty and whimsy. Frankly, it makes me laugh because I don't typically go looking for this sort of thing. Maybe I'm up for a some mystery.

Creative Expression: Accelerating the Learning - Take One

I am SO excited!

I got a notice from Kim Klassen about Sebastian Michaels' Photoshop Grunge Artistry class over the weekend, but what kicked my into overdrive was my friend, cj's encouragement to really take a look at it. Last night I jumped right in and here is a composite of some of my North Sourdough Trail at Brainard Lake images. My intention is that it look like a magazine cover.

You may remember my report on this trip from a little over a week go ... if you'd like to know more about the trip as told by Kobi, see my past post.

mouseover to see before image
click to see larger in Flickr 

This is quite a complex piece as there are numerous layers, textures, and edge effects.

What a blast! I'm looking forward to really stepping up my artistic work. Maybe I can inspire you to join this class too. The great thing is all of the textures, brushes, and mask effects as well as the tutorial videos are available to you for life. So cool.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Creative Expression: Creative Altitude Church Dome - A Tutorial

I started by stealing ...

No, no, no ... not really stealing ... not the kind where I'll go to jail. But recently I was looking at the Denver Metro Chamber's Business Altitude quarterly magazine, Business Altitude, and I couldn't help, but like the play on words ... altitude (being in the Mile High state of Colorado) and attitude, which I can have plenty of sometimes. Playing with fonts gave me the perfect corner title, Creative Altitude.

I called this Church Dome because it reminds me of the Orthodox Church Domes of the European type.

For the first time since I started playing with Photoshop and creating original designs, I decided to show my work and provide a bit of a tutorial. You'll have to have Photoshop basics, know of textures and brushes, and understand the concept of layers.

Here are my steps ... to be read from the bottom up. You will notice some of the steps are not in a logical order ... that's how the creative mind works as most of you will completely understand!

  • So, you'll see that I started out with one of Kim Klassen's textures, oops just noticed I didn't name that one ... it's kk_jamal, part of her August trio.
  • Then added a layer of kk_cecile and made the layer smaller so as to have kk_jamal provide a border.
  • Added a French Kiss Flourish to the bottom right corner (not quite sure where to find these brushes anymore);
  • and kk_cecile texture, which I clipped into the flourish;
  • Added a full layer of kk_traverse;
  • Added French Kiss Script1 Stone Daisy brush with an inside bevel;
  • Clipped in a layer of kk_heartfelt; 
  • Created the title, Creative Altitude in three layers to get an angle using two different fonts: Herculanum and Trajan Pro;
  • Added a French Kiss Flourish in the upper left corner
  • Overlayed smaller French Kiss Script2 Stone Daisy with an inner bevel in the center of the large one
  • Added a French Kiss script in the lower left corner for interest
  • Used Plastic Wrap - Light 90px in the upper right corner for interest
  • Inserted Stencil Sponge Twirl in the center of each spoke with a drop shadow
  • Added Texture Comb 2 into the "spokes of the Stone Daisy
  • Added my company watermark for the limited protection it provides

Enough for today ... if you are so inclined to actually look at the steps and have questions, feel free to ask in the comments or contact me directly. Don't forget to experiment with blending modes and opacity levels.

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Tales from Kobi: North Sourdough Trail - Brainard Lake

It's been a month since Mom and I have gotten out for a real hike! She decided to just move on rather than post pictures from our Frisco trip over July 4th weekend. So, here is the story of our latest trek ...

We drove out Lefthand Canyon Drive west of Boulder through the tiny little town of Ward where there were a bunch of dilapidated structures, but still they had a church, a library, and a post office! Mom was just feeling her way when finally she saw a sign for Brainard Lake Recreational Area. She'd heard of it, but we'd never been there.

I wondered if we'd ever get there, but finally we stopped in a parking lot and Mom let me out. Ahhh, it was good to stretch my legs. After looking at the trail map, off we went. She decided on North Sourdough Trail ... a nice improved path. It smelled lovely, of pine. The temperature was cool ... a sweet 70º. We met a few bi-peds and four-leggeds along the way ... some not so friendly. I always wonder about them, but I just stay clear.

So, here I am running ahead of Mom, as usual ... just exploring and sniffing all the new smells. I can always tell how happy she is to be out in the wilderness. Reminds her of the "olden days" when she used to go hiking every weekend with college buddies. She says it makes her feel free being out there.

There were lots of fungi ... with bright orange edges. It almost looks like a seashell. Hmmm, seashells for the woods. What do you think of that?

And it was sooo lush and green out there. That's what happens when it rains.

Then Mom stopped and got down low ... well, at least the camera did. It almost looks like a tiny forest made just for a shadowbox, doesn't it. She used to make those when she was in grade school. I wasn't around then, but she tells me about these things once in a while.

And here's a bunch of fungi growing out of a felled tree trunk. I think it looks really pretty. Along the way we saw a fellow with a bucket. Mom asked what he was gathering. He said, "Mushrooms." I don't think it was these orange things though. We wondered how you tell which ones are for eatin' and which ones you must stay away from. On we walked.

Finally, we got to a bridge crossing the St. Vrain River, but wouldn't you know it ... it started to drizzle! It's impossible to predict when rain is going to stop, especially when your in the thick of the woods, so Mom decided to get right back on the trail and return to the car ... we were a mile away. She trudged and trudge since it was an uphill climb ... stopping occasionally to catch her breath. Yep, she needs to do more of this! Since I was getting ahead of her occasionally I waited saying, "Come on Mom, I'm getting all wet!" But she just couldn't go any faster. She was getting drenched too.

Finally we got back to the car. She put me in and attempted to dry me a bit, then disappeared behind a door. When she returned she was wearing a flannel shirt and jacket instead of the black tee-shirt she'd been wearing. Wish I could have changed my coat so easily. And her hair was so wet, it looked like she'd just gotten out of the shower. She kept her camera dry though ... that was good, for sure.

... it was a fun time anyway and I was tired. Slept all the way home.