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Photo-Based Art Emulating natural-media painting techniques

My very first attempt

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  #1  
Old 11-24-2005, 01:31 AM
jb_seattle jb_seattle is offline
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My very first attempt

I've been playing around a bit, but this is my first attempt at photo-based art for a purpose. I'd appreciate any comments. (Is this more appropriate in the critique forum or the photo-based art forum?)

Anyway, the picture is of a little girl in Thailand who my brother is adopting. She won't be here for a while, and the best photo we have is a 640x480 blurry photo from a point and shoot. I'm trying to make something out of it. Comments? If anyone is interested I'd be happy to explain the technique.
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File Type: jpg bootsie-original-sm.jpg (73.9 KB, 58 views)
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Old 11-24-2005, 02:48 PM
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Janet Petty Janet Petty is offline
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Your efforts are quite nice. I would (IMHO only) add just a little more detail to her face. Everything else looks nice to me. The nice thing about art is that is so subjective. If you like it, then hey, go with the flow. In any case, keep up the good work.

I hope you don't mind that I took a shot at artifying this beautiful child. She is just too precious to resist.

I hope that she can become a part of your brother's family very soon.

Janet
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Old 11-25-2005, 04:58 PM
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CJ Swartz CJ Swartz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jb_seattle
...Anyway, the picture is of a little girl in Thailand who my brother is adopting. ... Comments? If anyone is interested I'd be happy to explain the technique.
JB -- Welcome to RetouchPro! Lovely little girl -- what steps did you take in your photo art? What program(s) did you use? I believe that you succeeded in making her face the most important element in the image by changing the background.
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Old 11-25-2005, 05:03 PM
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CJ Swartz CJ Swartz is offline
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Janet -- very nice! I agree with you about preferring more detail in the subject's face, and I really like your handling of the vignette and background.
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Old 11-25-2005, 07:47 PM
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DannyRaphael DannyRaphael is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jb_seattle
I've been playing around a bit, but this is my first attempt at photo-based art for a purpose. I'd appreciate any comments. (Is this more appropriate in the critique forum or the photo-based art forum?)

Anyway, the picture is of a little girl in Thailand who my brother is adopting. She won't be here for a while, and the best photo we have is a 640x480 blurry photo from a point and shoot. I'm trying to make something out of it. Comments? If anyone is interested I'd be happy to explain the technique.
Welcome, JB... If Seattle is your home, I'm just 31 miles away off I-90.

I agree with the observations so far regarding facial detail, especially around the eyes. Assuming you're using Photoshop, one way to do that would be to duplicate the Background, then apply a Levels adjustment to it (drag middle slider to the left) to bring out more facial detail. Then, add a Hide All layer mask and airbrush lightly with white on the Layer mask to bring out detail to taste.

In addition consider making the background "not so dark." As is, it's very difficult to distinguish the edge of her head from the background plants.

Take the attachment as "food for thought," not necessarily a stellar improvement.

For a first shot at this, I'd say you did terrific. You've got nowhere to go but up. Keep on swinging the bat.

~Danny~
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File Type: jpg bootsie-lighter-BG.jpg (97.9 KB, 12 views)

Last edited by DannyRaphael; 11-26-2005 at 12:12 PM. Reason: added example image
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Old 11-27-2005, 01:48 AM
jb_seattle jb_seattle is offline
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Thanks

Thank you everyone for the suggestions and the warm welcome.

I used photoshop exclusively, along with a brand new 6x11 wacom tablet (yay!). The steps I took basically followed the byRo oil tutorial right here at RetouchPro (http://retouchpro.com/tutorials/?m=show&id=164). The brush sizes I used were much smaller (given the small source material), and I didn't use the filter/render/light that byRo used (I couldn't get results I liked.) Instead, I used a levels adjustment layer with a circular gradiant centered on the head in order to darken the corners a bit and bring emphasis on her face.

The face was really tough because I wanted to show detail, but it was also critical (to me) that the face appear *painted*. That line between detail but not too much detail (which sometimes reveals the photographic origins) was/is difficult to find. I'll keep working at it and see if I can bring out more details while still keeping the painted look.

As for the background, I agree with Danny's comment (about the darkness) and I think Janet's background is a great example. Thanks!

Danny,
Yes, I am in Seattle and I think it's beautiful out where you are. Small world!

-jeff

Last edited by jb_seattle; 11-27-2005 at 02:03 AM.
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