Sunday, 1 July 2012

Black & White with a Touch of Colour

A rainy day. Should have mowed all the lawn yesterday, instead of only going as far as the first tankful of mower would let me. It's too bad one needs to let the machine cool down -- gives one time to cool down oneself, and after that it's a real effort to get going again, although I do, for some unfathomable reason, enjoy lawnmowing. But now the grass is so wet that the poor machine will choke immediately if I try to tackle the backyard.

Oh well, since Better Half is off town training today, and all that the doggies do on rainy days is snore on sofas and chairs around the house, hoping I won't be suggesting anything stupid such a going out, this gives me time to do some more catching up on Beyond Layers. I'm feeling really accomplished -- I'm already on week seven, which means I'm only four weeks behind! That's great -- when I started, the others were doing week 11 already.  And so far I have completed each and every assignment. *insert some the self-satisfied beaming here*

On day 14 of Beyond Layers Kim gave us two videos to study, with ideas how to turn a photo black & white and then add some colour into it to heighten interest. She also gave a more in-depth tutorial on how to create watermark or text brushes.

The brush part really was all familiar to me, but it made me dig up something useful. Kim explained how to resize a brush you're using by using the left and right bracket key -- well, in my Scandinavian Mac keyboard the keys would be totally something else, and while trying to find out which keys to use I landed on this useful hint. Wow, Ctrl + Option drag made changing brush size really quick!

I'm not going to share the brushes I've made, since they are my watermark stamps and anyone interested can see them in the photos I upload, but the black & white assignment was interesting. Thought I'd try using the b&w adjustment layer presets instead of the actions suggested (to be able to afford the Florabella actions I'd have to be making money with my photos or with something anyway). Originally I was quite happy with the results, but decided then to try out the Pioneer Woman b&w action. It gave quite another depth to the image so I ended up using the action.

And then I had a brainwave. Earlier I fretted over the use (or rather, uselessness for me) of brushes, and now I suddenly saw what one could do: use a bold splash brush to add colour to the photo, instead of gently touching the photo with a default brush. Now that was fun to play with.

First Splashes of Colour

Resources used:
Pioneer Woman Black & White action
Splatter Brushes by Fuzzimo

I still have to figure out why, when flattening an image or saving it for web, Photoshop sometimes discards the layer styles. It was most annoying to notice that after I had cracked my brain for a good while to get a bevel to the splashes, it all vanished when I flattened the image. Luckily I finally managed to keep the bevel, though I'm not sure how.

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