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PHOTO ART: Mini-challenge #69 – Cedar Waxwing

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  • PHOTO ART: Mini-challenge #69 – Cedar Waxwing

    See below for "Information and Guidelines."

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    PHOTO ART: Mini-challenge #69 – Cedar Waxwing

    Here’s another “mini-challenge” to play with in the Photo-based Art category until the next major challenge is posted here.

    The base image can be downloaded by clicking the link near the bottom of this lengthy introduction!

    = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

    This weeks’ mini-challenge is as another beautiful nature shot taken by forum regular, Alan Smallbone. ("Thanks, Alan!")

    For the time being I’m going to cut back to one mini-challenge per week and depend on the “Forum Faithful” to populate the do-it-yourself self-service forum. So keep 'em coming.

    Happy New Year, everyone.


    = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

    Alan Smallbone retains the U.S. and international copyright © not only for the original image, but also for any photo-art versions of it. Unauthorized distribution or use of this image without permission are prohibited.

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    Unlike “official challenges” for this forum, which can be found here, this one will be self-contained within this thread. It is intended as an opportunity to engage in this art form until the next major challenge is posted.

    The rules are more-or-less the same:
    * It’s a challenge, not a contest -- intended to provide opportunities to experiment, share methods and/or techniques and, most importantly, have FUN.
    * Everyone who participates is a winner.
    * There’s no expiration date.

    1. Use any method, application(s), style(s) you like:
    . * Convert to sketch, grayscale, abstract, watercolor, oil painting, pen-and-ink, Conte crayon, impasto, van Gogh or any style of your choosing
    . * Add elements from other images (collage) or replace the background
    . * Hand painting? Tracing? Freehand? You bet. Always appreciate entries of this nature.
    . * Apply filters from your favorite application(s) or tweak it with 3rd party plug-ins
    . * Feeling animated? Animated entries are definitely welcome. There have been some really funny ones submitted in the past. Fish jumping, leaves falling, wheels turning. You get the idea.
    . * Any or all of the above

    Bottom line:
    How you create this masterpiece makes no difference. Whatever floats your boat as long as you follow guideline #4 in the process.

    2. When done, reply to this thread and attach your work (don’t forget the 100kb size limit).

    Note: Multiple entries OK if you’re so inspired.

    3. By all means include some verbiage on how you achieved your masterpiece so others will benefit from your skills and experience. Make it as descriptive as you like. Grammar and spelling will not be graded. Priority given to content, not how it is written.

    4. Have fun.

    A special message to those who are new to Photo-art
    … Who may be feeling a little uncomfortable about posting an entry.

    If you’ve read this far, it means you’re at least curious. That’s a good sign.

    But what if you’re feeling a little squeamish about posting your first image?

    From time to time I hear from those who want to participate, but have considerable anxieties about posting their creations in these mini-challenge. “I’m just a beginner. My pictures don’t belong,” “I see the works of others and I know I’ll never get that good,” “How am I supposed to compete with those wonderful creations?” are typical expressions of concern.

    To which I say: Put your fears to rest. This isn’t a competition. You will not be judged in the traditional “art critique” sense. Your honor isn’t on the line. This isn’t about who’s best.

    Don’t hold back from participating and posting your creation because your initial attempts don’t measure up (in your own mind) to images generated by folks with more experience than you.

    This is a no-fault, all-fun way to jump in the pool. Everyone started the same place: The beginning. Everyone who is more skilled and experienced than you got to that point by practicing, experimenting, asking questions, learning from others, and participating.

    Can one learn without interacting with others? Sure. Can one learn as fast? Absolutely not.

    When you participate, others get to know you. That makes it easier to ask them questions. Asking questions leads to learning from those with more experience than you. It just keeps getting better and better!

    By all means give it a go. You’ll be glad you did.

    The pep talk cheerfully brought to you by:

    Danny Raphael
    Photo-based Art Forum Moderator
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Based on the "watercolor tutorial" at and modified pretty much by trial and error from there.
    Attached Files


    • #3
      Beautiful picture, Alan! Waxwings are among my favorite birds. Here is "the usual."

      Attached Files


      • #4
        Followed by something very UN-usual. It's a little bit of everything, including FPear India ink and hue and cry with KPT equalize and assorted PS filters and blends in there somewhere too.

        Attached Files


        • #5
          I followed DannyR's new Basic skills tutorial from here.

          Attached is the result. I'm quite pleased with it!

          Phyllis: I rather like the "UN" usual one, can't figure out why though. How did you do the "wavy" pattern on the background? was it a specific package?

          As I've already posted this in the tutorial I thought I'd save a little space and just link to it.


          • #6
            And another, a watercolour effect this time.
            Attached Files


            • #7

              Both wonderful as usual; #2 is especially unique.

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              WOW! Looks like you nailed tutorial #4. Great interpretation -- and nice job on the links, too!

              Seeing your results so soon after posting #4 does my heart good. Thanks for sharing your results -- in both places.



              • #8
                Thanks! I learn from the best!


                • #9
                  I think I must get just a little "too excited" sometimes!

                  two more, this one, a pastel . . . I hope
                  Attached Files


                  • #10
                    And this one a softer drawing. I just added a brightness/contrast layer and played with the settings.

                    I might stop, I might play more though
                    Attached Files


                    • #11

                      Danny, Phyllis and Collin, great stuff. Glad you liked the picture Phyllis, I like waxwings also, tough to get them to sit still to get a good picture of them.

                      Here is my attempt, I sepia toned it and added the border.

                      Attached Files


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by collinf
                        Phyllis: I rather like the "UN" usual one, can't figure out why though. How did you do the "wavy" pattern on the background? was it a specific package?
                        The wavy colors are from the "hue and cry" filter in a package made by Flaming Pear. The wavy basketweave texture is the result of embossing the India ink filter, also from Flaming Pear.

                        Collin, excellent work on all versions! I can't pick a favorite, but I must comment on the satiny smoothness of the watercolor one...gorgeous.

                        Alan, they look great in sepia, and I LOVE that border! Where did that come from? And what camera and lens did you use to get that wonderful picture in the first place?

                        Chuck, you passed with flying colors! It's lovely. Must have taken some time to get that realistic painting effect. I have tried art history brush a few times but really lack the patience to do it right. Nice work.



                        • #13
                          Alan -- wonderful image! You've given everyone a great starting point, and there are many wonderful renditions here.

                          This one is trying to emphasize the feeling of winter -- used glowing edges, sprayed strokes, a neutral layer with spatter and other filters...
                          Attached Files


                          • #14

                            It never occurred to me to include B/C adjustment layer as part of the standard 'pencil sketch' (non-color) method. You've just added your own personal touch!


                            Very nice results with History brush on this one. I like this interpretation a lot.


                            Embossed India Ink? Who'da a thunk it. Now I gotta dust that one off and give it another look. Trouble-maker!


                            Nice work + great frame. The sepia effect really works here.

                            How 'bout sharing your frame method in THIS THREAD. Curious minds (mine, especially) would like to know. I've not seen one like this before.



                            • #15
                              Chuck - I can see I'm gonna have to get this paint engine thing and play too!

                              Your image first made me think of fibreglass, I know not why. I like it though!


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