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Showing posts from August, 2008

Graphic-style florals

I can hardly say the word "poppies" without hearing the voice of the Wicked Witch of the West as she croons, "Something with poison in it, I think. With poison in it, but attractive to the eye—and soothing to the smell! Poppies! Poppies! Poppies!" Anyway. I took lots of pictures of poppies and other wildflowers in Italy, and decided to try something a little different with them. Floral images are often great subjects to play around with in Photoshop and other image-editing software. Just when you think that everything has been done with a flower that can possibly be done, you find some new digital tricks that you’ve not thought of before. Although I like "plain old plain old" flower photos, I’m always tempted to see what else I can do with them. Here’s one such experiment: 1. Crop small piece of image and increase resolution to slightly pixilate 2. Boost contrast using levels 3. Add grain. Layer>new layer>>overlay mode, check fill 4. Filter>

Watercolor backgrounds for mixed media

Sometimes I forget that there are other media in the world that are useful for creating backgrounds besides my usual acrylics. Watercolors, for example. No instructions are needed for a piece like this: The only thing I would caution, though: if you plan to use your watercolor background with other wet media in the future, spray it several times with Krylon fixative, or it will run. That’s what watercolor does! So here's how I used it: It struck me after I had fooled around and painted the watercolor background paper, that it would be a really good backdrop for some of my pictures of Venice. I’ve been sorting through them, and I particularly love the doors and windows, weathered and peeling as some of them are. So I scanned my watercolor piece, and sized the Venice images to fit: Copyright 2008 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, rem

Mounting beaded pieces

I have been participating in the year-long project known as the Beaded Journal Project , or BJP , started by Robin Atkins. You can see all of my pieces on the BJP website . When they were all finished, I needed to figure out how to mount them. I used 12″x24″ gallery-wrapped Frederix canvases to mount my the pages. Each one is 6″x4″, so this left plenty of space around them. Materials and Tools 3 gallery-wrapped canvases Golden’s acrylic paints Sponges Waxed paper Beading thread Beading needles 1. Arrange beaded cards as they will be on the canvases. Mine are arranged by month: otherwise I may have grouped the colors somewhat differently. 2. Test the colors that you plan to use. I only ended up using one color on each canvas, despite the mottled look that they have. 3. Sponge on a first thin layer of color. Apply it in wide sweeping circles. As soon as it’s tacky dry, apply a second layer, not covering the canvas evenly, but allowing darker spots to form. I used slightly smaller ci

Making an abstract collage that focuses on shape and repetition

Cosmic Flowers This one almost got named Lucy in the Sky with Flowers , but that seemed too cutesy. Cosmic Flowers is a fantasy abstract that I created when I was fooling around with repetition of shapes. I would recommend reviewing my post on creating an abstract , where I quoted Nita Leland’s explanation that the elements and principles of design are what an abstract is really "about". To add a bit to that here, let me share another quote with you from Nita’s Creative Collage Techniques : The elements of design are the tools with which you construct the framework for your collage….The principles of design are the rules that you apply to the elements of design to organize your collage into a unified whole. Keeping all that in mind, the elements that I primarily focused on were shape, size, and color, and the principles that I primarily used to create the piece were repetition, rhythm, and harmony. The color scheme is an analogous one, with a few splots of the complementa