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Friday, November 14, 2014

A Dragon Hide Journal

The Woot Derby has been changing things up lately. For starters, they're now running TWO derbies per week. The main derby, for shirts, now begins on Monday which now regularly gives artists additional time to work on their submissions after the Thursday theme announcement.

Another change is that the 2nd derby (the one they'll run first after the theme announcement) will be for another product, and for some of these products, many of the restrictions regarding colors, halftones, gradients and photographs have been thrown out the window. For that I'm all "YAY!" because I love artistically editing photos.

This week the product is journals and I'm excited to be entering an edited photograph which I've altered to look like iridescent dragon hide. Here's a view of the full front (right side) and back of the design.

It Breathes Fire No More, artistically edited photo, dragon hide skin iridescent

The title is "It Breathes Fire No More," since, obviously, if his skin is binding a book, he's no longer in need of a breath mint. But as this is merely Photoshop work, no actual dragons were harmed in its creation.

I started with a photograph I'd done some editing on before and had used to create a patten with different colors. (I'm not going to show the original here now, as I'd like to keep the Wooters guessing as to what it might be, but by sometime on Monday when this derby ends, I'll update this post to display the original.)

This time, I first improved the overall lighting by making several copies and adjusting the levels (ctrl-L) to optimize each section, regardless of how bad it made the remainder of the image. I then masked each, and worked on the masks to reveal only the best portion of each layer, combining them into a single image to finish.

Working with a desaturated version, I added layers of color, mostly with a wet media brush and at low opacity, then changed the blending modes of these layers to "color" and "overlay." And voila! Dragon hide.

"It Breathes Fire No More" will be up for voting now through Monday, November 17, 2014, noon Central Time. Winners will be revealed and available for purchase on Monday, November 24th.  I hope you'll click over there to offer your support and check out what I'm sure will be a very interesting selection of art this week!

Thanks for visiting, and please come again!


And here's the original, a close-up shot of a Savoy Cabbage. I saw this and loved the texture, but in working the photo, I ended up inverting so that deeps and highs were reversed. Nature provides such beauty.

Savoy cabbage leaf close-up

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