Category Archives: Digital Art

Faux Painting

I have many friends who do amazing work with watercolors, acrylics, oils, etc. Paint brushes do not belong in my hands! However, from time-to-time I do enjoy taking a photographic image and making it look like a painting. Here is one i did just this afternoon. I hope you enjoy it!

 

“T” is for

“T” is for TIME. But what really is time? Does anyone really know what time it is? Is there such a thing as a time-warp? What does it mean to “kill time”? And is it possible to “save” time or “waste” time? We could name many more uses of the word “time”.

But, here is a different look at time!  I hope you enjoy it!

Time-web

“O” is for

This will come as no surprise to those who know me. “O” is for ORBS!

One fall day in 2009, I was reading through some of the forums at www.photoshopelementsuser.com when I came across some information posted by a lady from the UK named Wendy Williams. Wendy was telling forum members how she had taken photographs and created some “orbs”. These “orbs” were supposed to look like what you would see reflected in a gazing ball placed in a garden. She also posted a number of examples. Additionally, Wendy posted step-by-step instructions so anyone interested could create the same “orbs”. Well, I was indeed interested. I took Wendy’s instructions and created a few of these “orbs”. I was addicted after the first attempt!

If you would like to learn how to make your own orbs, there are video and written tutorials on this website. Click on “Tutorials” in the menu bar above, or just click this link.

Below are some of my “orbs”. You can see others in my Orb gallery.

Click on image for larger view:
BirdofParadiseOrb-web Brookgreen-Find-orb-web GraveYardGateOrb-web Leaves-Orb-web redgreenyellow-orb-web Rope-a-Dope-Orb-web

“M” is for

“M” is for Middleton Place!

Middleton Place is a National Historic Landmark and home to America’s Oldest Landscaped Gardens. The Garden Club of America has called the 65 acres “the most important and most interesting garden in America”.  Centuries-old camellias bloom in the winter months and azaleas blaze on the hillside above the Rice Mill Pond in the spring. In summer, kalmia, magnolias, crepe myrtles and roses accent a landscape magnificent throughout the year. The Gardens have been planned so that there is something blooming at Middleton Place year-round.

Below is an image I captured, and applied a painterly effect to, during my last visit to Middleton Place.

Click on image for larger view:

Middleton-Oak-web

“K” is for

KALEIDOSCOPES!  One of the best things of digital photography is the ability to do so much with your images. Sometimes I like to do some “fun” stuff such as making kaleidoscopes from my images.

In 1816, the kaleidoscope was invented by Scottish scientist, Sir David Brewster, and patented by him in 1817 (GB 4136).

David Brewster named his invention after the Greek words, kalos or beautiful, eidos or form, and scopos or watcher. So kaleidoscope means the beautiful form watcher.

Brewster’s kaleidoscope was a tube containing loose pieces of colored glass and other pretty objects, reflected by mirrors or glass lenses set at angles, that created patterns when viewed through the end of the tube.

Today you can create your own kaleidiscopes using Photoshop (32-bit) or Photoshop Elements. If you want to learn how I have a video and written tutorial in my “Tutorials” section. See the menu above, or just click here to be taken directly to the tutorial. Be aware that what I have given you only works on a PC.  If you work on a Mac, contact me for instructions.

Below is a kaleidoscope I created just this evening, others can be seen in my gallery here.

 

ornament4-kaleidoscope-web

“F” is for

I guess it would be appropriate today if “F” was for FROZEN!  However, it is not. Today “F” is for Fractal.

Benoit B. Mandelbrot coined the term “fractal” in the 1960s, he was a rebel. Today, he’s revered for inventing a new geometry.

Think of fractal geometry as a way to measure the rough and tumble real world. Nature abounds with complex shapes, from trees to snowflakes to mountains. What Mandelbrot discovered is these geometric shapes look the same when you break them into their smaller components. Consider the cauliflower, whose smaller and smaller buds mirror the whole bunch.

Relative to art, fractals are a unique, digital art form, using mathematical formulas to create art with an infinite diversity of form, detail, color and light. In simple terms, a fractal is a graphical representation of a mathematical equation. The formula used for a particular image determines how each pixel in the image is formed and colored. (Pixels are simply little squares which are the smallest display elements that make up the images you see on a computer monitor or television.) A typical fractal image contains millions of these pixels.

Below are a few “fractaled” images I have created. I hope you enjoy them.

Click on individual image for larger view.

Leaf-webPurple-Gerbera-webDougs-Truck-web  Gerbera-Square-webYellow-Rose-Frac-webDown-the-Drain-webFractalized-Floral-webTenticle-Arms-web

Kaleidoscopes

Last month I showed you some kaleidscopes I had digitally created from photographs. You can re-read that blog post here.

In 1816, the kaleidoscope was invented by Scottish scientist, Sir David Brewster, and patented by him in 1817 (GB 4136).

David Brewster named his invention after the Greek words, kalos or beautiful, eidos or form, and scopos or watcher. So kaleidoscope means the beautiful form watcher.

Brewster’s kaleidoscope was a tube containing loose pieces of colored glass and other pretty objects, reflected by mirrors or glass lenses set at angles, that created patterns when viewed through the end of the tube.

Today you can create your own kaleidiscopes using Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. If you want to learn how I have a video and written tutorial in my “Tutorials” section. See the menu above, or just click here to be taken directly to the tutorial. Be aware that what I have given you only works on a PC. Maybe a Mac user will be kind enough to link us to something in the comments.

Here are three kaleidoscopes I created just this afternoon AND all three came from the SAME original image of some shrimp boats.

Click image for larger view:

Shrimp-Boats1-web Shrimp-Boats2-web Shrimp-Boats3-web

Kaleidoscopes

Do you remember playing with a kaleidoscope as a kid? You know, that cylinder with mirrors and loose colored objects like beads or pebbles or bits of glass. You would turn the cylinder and watch with amazement as wonderous shapes took form and then changed before your eyes.

Most kaleidoscopes are mass-produced from inexpensive materials, and intended as children’s toys. At the other extreme are handmade pieces that display fine craftsmanship. Craft galleries often carry a few kaleidoscopes, while other enterprises specialize in them, carrying dozens of different types from different artists and craftspeople. Most handmade kaleidoscopes are now made in Russia and Italy, following a long tradition of glass craftmanship in those countries.

I like to create my own kaleidoscope images – images that look like what you might see when looking into a kaleidoscope. Below are some I created today. Let me know if you enjoy them!

Click each image for larger view.

BoatKal-web Kal2-web Leaves-Orb-Kal-web Milk-CEF4-web MilkFC12-2-web MilkFC12-3-web MilkFC12-web

More Milk and Food Coloring

Toward the end of July I told you about a little milk & food coloring experiment I did. I gave you some directions on how to do your own and showed  you some examples of my meager efforts.

Yesterday I pulled up one of these images and ran it through the NIK Plugin Color Efex Pro 4.  Color Efex Pro 4 is part of the Nik Collection and provides a comprehensive set of filters for color correction, retouching, and creative effects.

After combining several of these filters here is what I achieved!

Click on image for larger view:

milk

 

Make Abstract Photos From Milk and Food Coloring

Make Abstract Photos From Milk and Food Coloring

Strange as it may sound, you can make twisted tie-dye swirls and churning volcanos of color by simply mixing milk, soap, and a little food coloring. Plus, you don’t need any fancy gear and all it costs is lunch money.
Your fifth grade baking soda volcano may not have turned out so well, but take my word for it this experiment is an easy and fun way to make abstract art!

You never know what creations will come out of this churning rainbow wonderland and it’s 

good times for everyone from kids to Great Uncle Horrace.

And although it’s quick and easy to clean up, it won’t be short on the wow factor.

THE INGREDIENTS:
Whole or 2% milk
Dinner Plate
Food coloring (red, blue, green, yellow)
Dish-washing soap (Dawn seems to work well)
Q-tips

Milk-1

 

STEP 1: POUR THE MILK

Set your dinner plate somewhere level and safe from getting knocked over, and then pour in a layer of milk.
A thin coat will do, you don’t need to go overboard.

 

Milk-2

 

STEP 2: ADD A DASH OF COLOR

Grab your droppers of food coloring and add a few drops of each color to the center of your plate of milk.
The food coloring will allow you to see the reaction that happens in the next step so feel free to experiment with the placement of your dye drops for different effects.

 

Milk-3

 

STEP 3: GET SOAPY

Apply a good dollop of dish soap to one end of a clean Q-tip.
Twirl the soap around a bit to make sure the whole cotton swab is coated.

Milk-4

 

STEP 4: DIP YOUR Q-TIP

Dab your soapy swab into your milk and dye mixture and watch the colorful explosion!
You can keep dipping your Q-tip and reapplying soap to create new shapes, colors, and textures.

Milk-5

 

STEP 5: CAPTURE THE COLOR
Grab a phone, compact, or DSLR and start snapping.

I found that increasing the saturation, contrast, and sharpening, helps to get pictures that really pop.

Milk-6

Try using a macro lens with your phone or DSLR for super close ups.

Also, using a fast shutter speed will help prevent the moving colors from blurring.

You can experiment with new color combinations, try using a different type of milk, drop colors around at random, use two or three Q-tips at once, or anything else you can think of to spice up your pics.

 

HAVE FUN!