Thursday, 31 May 2012

What the Font?!

Totally loving My Fonts for their font finder tool, upload an image of the font and it will either suggest one there and then or you can submit it to the forum of the most wonderful people!

I used it a while ago whilst looking for the font for Burning Desire Fireplaces within an hour I had my font, Diavlo!  

Wish I had the chap's name still, or that I had credited him here!  

Well I am using them again this evening, to find this font....

The tool advised me that it was FF Meta OT Normal, available at Font Shop, but in that I am still a mere novice, I cannot justify the cost yet, so will look for a similar one for free or much cheaper.  Deff will note it for when I'm pulling in more spondoolies and would very much like to get it!

Anyway, this isn't about FF Meta Normal, it was to say how fab My Fonts is!!

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Sunny day for Mummies and Babies

What a great time to be on maternity leave!  Today Bear and I spent the morning photographing the Mums and Babies from Water Babies, in Nutall Park.

I'll blog some pics soon but I just wanted to tell you all how proud I am of Bear, he played and kicked about in the sun while I snapped away.  He wasn't the focus for today and I just caught him on the fly, hence the quality of this shot not being the highest.

Needless to say, I love this head!

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Quick share - fill me in posters from World of Moose

Will blog this properly soon but wanted to quickly share these fab colour in posters from World of Moose, or @MooseAllain as I know him on Twitter.

What a great idea for a wedding or leaving present!

Monday, 14 May 2012

Happy Anniversary Mark and Emma

A year ago today two of our most special friends were married, I had the pleasure of photographing their big day.

Happy Anniversary guys! xx

Tall Short - Digital Illustration 3

Tall Short

The theme is purveyed through the obvious means of tall chap and a dwarf, in the style of Vaudeville with a contemporary spin.  It’s quite punchy and comedic which I feel will be memorable.

The featured subjects are from a Photograph.  I traced them with the pen tool and created a mask to reveal just them. I used the mask to cut them out to create a blurred effect on another layer.

I upped the contrast, added a colour layer to make it look sepia, the majority of Vaudeville images I have seen are in Sepia.  The blacks were darkened, I added a dark corner with the gradient tool with a soft light blend, darkening the image slightly.

Another colour layer was added, set to Exclusion, which softening the colours but brightening some of the features and upped the contrast slightly.

Lastly I went round the subjects with the smudge tool to soften up the edges and refined the mask.

I created another layer below the subject composite.  Using the custom tool I created a target, a cross, a rectangle and line tool, rotating them with transform. 

I used Illustrator to create 2 black curves with the pen tool, using the blend tool with specified steps, duplicated curves filling the space giving a gradual colour change.  This swirl moves the eye away to the background giving a sense of depth.  I also used Illustrator to create a checkerboard grid.

The shapes were placed asymmetrically to balance out the overall image, and enhance the contrasting heights of our subjects.  There is equal distance between the top of Tall’s head and the top of the image, and that of the distance between his centrally positioned foot and the bottom of the page.  This foot is closer to Short’s foot which makes the eye draw to this more concentrated are, it feels heavier and therefore cheats the usual balance approach.  The edges of the bottom shapes are set equally away from their closest edges.

The top layer, with the subject matter and all it’s effects, was set to the blending mode Pass Through, which allows the effects to be active on both the group and the layer beneath it.

Mark awarded = 73

Friday, 11 May 2012

Earth Sky - Digital Illustration 2

Here is the second submission for the Digital Illustration series.

Acknowledgements and thanks are shown in the previous post.


The theme was inspired by the Genesis story day two, where he makes a firmament.  The photograph that I used in the background of the image, it is Traeth Llygwy on Anglesey .  I liked the balance of the land and the heavily clouded sky, how they are separated by the headland and the way the ripples on the beach travel at a contrasting angle.

In the story, God creates a firmament (a process of separating), which is the sky, to separate the waters from each other, these waters are heaven and the ocean.  As yet God hadn’t created the land.  In my interpretation however I am using the headland as the firmament.  The beach has it’s own ‘waves’ created by the ocean.  I think I am granted a little artistic license and hope purists will turn a blind eye to my inclusion of the land.

In this design I set a texture layer as the background.  I applied a warming photo filter and dry brush effect to the photograph, adding a gradient, overlayed, to enhance the colours in the sky, masking the headland so as to not affect it’s appearance. There were some posts also cut away from the horizon using the heal tool.

I sketched out some handrawn brush strokes around the headland, clouds and some of the beach ripples, these were blended with soft light layer option.  These are very subtle but accent some of the features without being too dramatic as there is a lot going on visually and I don’t want it to be too busy.

These elements were grouped and a mask was applied, inverted and then watercolour brushes were painted on to reveal the image.  The layer blending option was set to pass through allowing all the group layers to be actioned first and the composite is blended with the layer below, the texture, to create a stencil.  This makes it look like the brushes have washed away the sand and revealed the beach scene. 

I then used the pen tool to create some vector waves.  This new layer was blended with overlay.  I added a new layer and painted some translucent paint effects to look like there was watercolour painted ontop.

The next step was the addition of text, I chose a formal traditional font to reflect the formality and importance of the message.  To give it an aged, distressed appearance I rasterized the layer and added noise for texture, adjusted the levels and added paint splats to look as though water had been spilt on the ink.

I feel the image tells the story and really looks as though God is busy at work, creating his artistic masterpiece and splashing the waters about merrily.

Mark awarded = 73

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Digital Illustration 2012

I have completed my first submission for the new assignment, Digital Illustration and Motion Graphics.

The first section, Digital Illustration has 3 submissions each on the theme of Contrasting Opposites.  We will then chose our favourite and create an animation using, I think, After Effects.

So here is week 4's submission, Masculine & Feminine.  I have to write a 300 word piece to accompany it, posted below.


I upped the brightness and contrast on the portrait of Phil, who was set in frame using the 2/3 rule.  I cut him out using the pen tool, duplicated the layer and applied a watercolour filter.

The original layer was adjusted with threshold.  Setting a level, for lighter pixels turn to white and darker to black.  This is a great way to get contrasty B&W images from a colour or greyscale pic.

I blended the two layers with multiply and merged them, this allows the colours to show right through the white parts of the image on the above layer.

I set a new layer and painted some splats with my new watercolour brushes, selecting what I perceive to be girly colours, pinks, purples, golds, bright shades of green and turquoise.  These colours I feel are in contrast to the portrait of a chap who is very much a blokey bloke.  To really hit the message home I included the combined male and female symbols.

I added a layer mask to this ‘colours’ layer.  I copied the image from the ‘merged’ layer, inverted the colours so the layer mask hid the Blacks, and reveals the Whites and hid the ‘merged layer.

I created a new layer which sits beneath the ‘coloured head’. This was to give the appearance of light trails.  To do this I did a rough lasso around the head and set a pink gradient radiating from behind the head and shoulders.  This gives an element of depth. I used the lasso tool as to contain the gradient, as the blending mode of the other layer allows the colours to shine through, I didn’t want this.

For the light trails themselves I drew some swirls with the pen tool and I applied the brush tool to the path, in white.  I selected the blend mode on the layer and applied a pink colour with outer glow.  I duplicated this layer twice, adding a gaussian blur to one and a radial blur for a vibration effect on the other, offsetting them slightly.

I duplicated and merged these layers, blending as overlay.  This option both darkens the darker colours (as multiply) and lightens the lighter areas (as screen does).

Next I added more light trails and glitter using some brushes that I downloaded.  The glitter gives a bokeh effect which I am rather partial to.

I scanned in a painting of a tropical flowers, duplicated this, changing the colours with the replace colour tool, rotating with transform.

Lastly I added a background texture using a photograph of some flowers, I applied the photocopy filter, inverted the colours and played with the levels and opacity.

Must thank a load of people who helped me create these:

Axeraider70 on Deviant Art for the light brushes, honeydesign for the Sumi Ink brushes,  whatsername777madamsvito and qbrushes for the coffee stains. Bluefaqs, Abduzeedo and Rahul Jha on 10steps for the tutorials for watercolour effects, Wegraphics and Sandy on Brusheezy  for the watercolour brushes and Brushking for the Fake Glitter brush.  Mustn't forget, actor Phil Higton, for having such a great head!

Mark awarded = 73