The Photo by Me.. The Art by Me.. The Model is My MissMouse The Mouse... Inspired by the one and only MissMouse of the WC.
First of all, I'd like to say that there were no mice or meese harmed or inebriated in any manner in the production of this image. I started off by photographing the brandy snifter with MissMouse inside. She is so very docile and accommodating. She shows curiousity rather than fear. Besides, she expressed a desire to become a model sometime ago. The only thing I had to worry about was the lighting. I was afraid it would overheat her, so I had to be quick and do things in stages. I watched as she moved around and just started taking shots. Once satisfied that I had what I needed, I went on to stage two, which was creating the filled glass. I first had to come up with a color. I tried to use red food coloring and it just did not look right at first. I added 2 drops of blue and voila! I came up with this really nice burgandy. I would never use real wine -- that would be so wasteful! Next I picked out the two best shots of MissMouse and the brandy snifter with the simulated wine and put the two together. To get the art look, I actually used my sketching tutorial in grey scale and then applied it to the combined images of the two photographs, which gave me a rough pencil sketch of the above without color. To do the color, I just overlaid the original color version and did some opacity adjustment to where I was happy with the tonal quality and flattened the layers. Then I created multiple copies -- how many depends on the areas I want to work on. In this case, it was the wine color itself, the mouse and the background. I would adjust my layers, brightness and contrast, to get the desired effect for that particular target (such as the wine in the glass). Then I would delete all the surrounding image and work on my next layer, doing the same thing. At the end, I just combined everything to have the look that I wanted. It kind of helps if you can see the image in your had before you finish, but it's not necessary if you're just going to start playing with different filters, layers and opacities. The last thing I always do is add a little (very little) texture to it. A note there on texture: what looks good on your monitor does not always look good posted on the internet. Sometimes, to me, here on my computer the texture looks soft and subdued, more of a background enhancement; but after posting and with the low dpi, the background can take over and ruin an image. I will sometimes post an image to see how it looks with texture. If it looks bad and can't be adjusted, I will remove the texture all together from the posting. However, when I print, I usually print on art paper (such as Arches) so the texture is absorbed into the paper and it enhances the printout. Boy, I'm really rambing here. Sorry folks. I just thought I'd talk about how I do and not try to do a step-by-step tutorial (which I find difficult). Hopefully, you can get the gist of what I'm trying to say. Bye.