Well, considering I have never used Photoshop and Illustrator before, and that I am currently undertaking a Digital project, I decided it was about high time that I learn from the ground up; what better way to learn from others who are able to share their skills and best practice.
My first port of call was to visit a wonderfully informative site run by Dylan Mierzwinski:
The first workshop/tutorial I decided to tackle/watch is ‘ILLUSTRATING FLOWERS & ARRANGING BOUQUETS IN PHOTOSHOP’
One thing that struck me about this tutorial was her use of creating a design from a photograph, when she had flowers to inspire her from life. Perhaps her being an illustrator, she likes flat and 2D design work?
Dylan advocates the choice of certain elements within the chosen subject matter:
- Size of flowers…..the larger the flower, the larger the focus
- Variety……..the variety of different flora will allow a kinetic and interesting juxtaposition to flow
- Shape, pattern and line…….vitally important to show a diverse range of structural qualities.
- Texture………to avoid the design to look flat and characterless.
- Focal point……the area chosen for the highest vital impact.
- If using photographs/online images……….describe from multiple sources (do not directly copy)
I DO NOT ADVOCATE DRAWING A FLOWER BY FIRST DRAWING A CIRCLE!!!!! I WILL ALWAYS WORK FROM THE INSIDE OUT, THAT WAY THE FLOWER WILL BECOME ORGANIC, RATHER THAN BEING FORCED TO FIT WITHIN A CIRCLE. NAUGHTY DYLAN.
When drawing a flower pay attention to how the petals/structure interacts with one another; concentrate on line first and foremost. I always think a really good way to begin to understand the form and structure of a flower entails studying it by looking and touching it in various perspectives. My Dad always instructed me to explore an object through touch drawing first; it allows me to ‘see’ with my hands. The eye/brain can misrepresent what it sees due to preconceived ideas, take that away and ‘see’ with your touch, and you can begin to understand the core ingredients of the chosen object.
A Rose midway through bloom. The structural essence is visible to see; one drawing instrument Pencil) was used to convey form and structure.
A Rose decaying; a mixture of dried and still living petals. A range of drawing instruments (pencil, finaliser and charcoal pencil) were used to describe certain characteristics of the flower.
A Rose nearly naked of it’s petals; dried and stiff elements of the sepal and stamen are described with expressive mark-making (pencil, pastel, charcoal pencil, biro). The touch drawings are a wonderful way to express what you ‘see’ without actually looking at the object.
In the ‘DRAWING YOUR BLOOMS’ section, I notice that Dylan is not observing from a natural form/life and is making up the linear and defining patterns of her chosen flower; this does not really reflect the true nature of what is actually being ‘observed’, but I love the fact that she informs me that what is drawn on a blank page does not necessarily translate exactly when manipulating and transferring the image digitally.
DIGITISING YOUR DRAWINGS
Looking at Quick Mask Mode – CTRL+U (DE-SATURATE) Drag Saturation to -100 (OK) Use Lasso tool to ‘frame’. Double Click on Background layer – CTRL+I (INVERSE) Gets rid of everything outside image to keep.CTRL+X To get rid of it. To make sure the black is true black and white is true white press CTRL+L and adjust the bar to make sure there is no grey area. To make New Doc CTRL+N. Use Lasso tool to frame image and press CTRL+C. Make sure white is your foreground. Press Q for Quick Mask and layer should turn red for activation. Press CTRL+V to paste image into new doc, which will shows red due to being still in quick mask mode….so hit Q. Photoshop thought that what was black needed to be removed and save what was white. To remedy this press CTRL+I and choose black as foreground colour. Now press ALT+and then CTRL+D to select.
MORE TO COME………