I love taking macro photographic shots of rose buds and blooms. The colors, texture, etc. create such beautiful visual imagery. Today, I wanted to feature a softer take on rose blooms and then explain how I created them by taking a step back through the process I use to create this type of digital art. I have used Adobe Photoshop for years….probably since it first came out. I remember taking classes from the University of San Diego on how to get the most out of it from an artist perspective. Trust me, it was many years and many versions ago. What I love about the program is the ability to do layers for each of the steps I go through. These roses are a great example of the process, so I will walk you through a simplified version of it.
I start with my macro photography of the rose bloom as the background layer. I then open an empty layer on top of it and using an ink stroke tool (Photoshop), draw the edges and shapes I want to highlight in black. Then I create another layer and pick a digital brush style I like (the brush style I picked here creates an almost air brush look..soft edges). On the blank layer I paint larger areas of colors by painting over the photograph if you will. The large areas of similar colors create the abstract look. I then move the “ink stroke layer” to the top of the layers, eliminate the bottom photograph, merge the layers and the end result is what you are looking at (simplified version as I actually open many laters typically for each color tone).
I also would like to mention that for the painting layer, there are numerous programs out there that can take your photograph and turn it into just about any style of painting. I use these programs in cases where I want to keep the detail of the photograph and am looking for more 3-D brush strokes as you would see in oil paintings. Even in that scenario, I come back in and work the resulting art print with some of the detail I described here.
This is a quick and simple walk through of my process that in actuality is very tedious and for every print I publish, five to seven are trashed by me for not liking the end result.
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