Last week, searching for an old photo, I found an image that I had scanned four years ago. It was a mountain scenery. At first, I was enclined to delete it but then, I thought it would be a good image for my pratices on PS7 and Painter during my week off. The image wasn't very good (I had a very cheap scanner at this time) but I thought it would be ok as a start for a 'restoring' practice.
First, I worked in Painter with the tracing paper. I used a few personnal variants of impasto brushes (Opaque Round, Round Camel Hair, Variable Flat Opaque, Opaque Flat). My goal was to try to understand different settings : Resat, Bleed, Depth, Plow and their interactions. And I wanted to try to work with layers. So I started with the sky on the canvas. Then I worked the mountains and the tree on different layers. First problem I had was with the depth of the strokes on different layers. It kinda interacted in a bizarre way and I couldn't work it out so I just dropped the Depth layer. I was sorry cause I liked the impasto strokes in most of the image but... Second problem : I'm still not very good to draw, especially mountain sides with shadows and highlights. But I kept going, adding a stroke here and there, putting some more clouds, practicing the mixing of colors with different brushes...
I would like to say 'when I was satisfied' but, to be honest, it's more something like 'when I realize I was degrading the image in trying to make it better' (I was at the 'n th' version, starting at a, b, c...), I saved it and switched to PS7. I first use auto contrast. Then, I duplicated the bg layer and added Emboss (135, 2, 500) with Overlay blending mode. Last, I adjusted the Hue/Saturation a bit and added Canvas textute (scaling 100, Relief 1).
'Et voila !' To prove that I'm not that good at painting (but very patient and determined), let's just say that it took me about 10-12 hours to do this. I've learned a lot, especially that I'm far from understanding and controling Painter 7. But I see the progress and I'm still encouraged to go on. Now, after this practice, I'll go back to the Help files, hoping that I'll undestand a bit more what I read.
If anybody knows who the original artist is and wich book the picture is from, I'd be happy to give this artist the credit she or he deserves.
The scanned image