Self-Portrait Mistake

I bought Photoshop as soon as I was getting bored (or overwhelmed) with what I was drawing and coloring by hand.  I see Photoshop as good and bad (a polar simplification I need) for my artistic process.  Good: I now have access to new tools that I can use to better understand visual arts, specifically right now): line completion, line width, contour lines, shading, color gradation, opacity and “brightness/contrast”.  I’m still trying to figure out how to make “hue/saturation” work toward my intentions.  Photoshop gives me some space to figure out exactly what I want to do (kind of).  Its ability to create layers is amazingly useful for the writing process.  They give tremendous power because they allow for many explorations and mistakes.  I can now create in a sequence that is different from the sequence evident in publication.  Bad: Now, I only want to use my computer to draw.  The images I’ve created so far with Photoshop and my tablet seem a bit uniform (though I’ve only created 3 recently…does that make a trend?).  It’s fun to create and play with all of Photoshop’s tools, but I don’t know if such solid colors, lines and logic is where I want to go with my art.


  1. I like making two copies — one light and the other dark — of my original drawing and superimposing the copies over my original while erasing to bring out various light and dark areas not seen in the original. This is similar to what photographers are doing in Photoshop to create stunning photographs that have rich contrasts. I’m still learning and hope to have some great images to share here at WordPress.

  2. aloha Lorna – there are lots of ways to break up the “flat” lines and shapes. it looks like you experiment a lot – which (imo) is a great way to get to know about things in Photoshop.

    if you are using your selection tools (for instance in this image) you can select just the lines. then use a brush and lots of different colors to go over just where the lines are. you can of course do this with the solid areas too. the gradation tool can be used to go from one color to another in different ways too. then while you have an area selected try using some filters.

    when i get new tools i tend to draw what i like to draw and then apply some of the new tools to that process. i also learn about what i want to do when i want to do it. over time that kind of experimenting builds up. a lot of it is just learning what can be done (imo again). then using this knowledge when you create your images.

    fun. aloha.

  3. Wow! Thank you so much for that guidance! I’ll figure out how to just select the lines! Also, what does “imo” mean? Thanks again for the tips and for stopping by!

  4. imo = in my opinion.

    because i’m not sure how much you know or what you might be doing to learn in photoshop i am hesitant to suggest too much or to explain “how to do” it more step by step.

    i’ve learned by exploring more than anything, however there are excellent tutorials on things like youtube and other places that you might find enlightening. and, if you have a question i’d be glad to see if i know and can explain it – so just ask. i use photoshop a lot. getting to know it and what it does is a big part of making it a useful tool (imo).

    something else you might like doing if you have a scanner is to scan in some of your line drawings or background color media in sheets that you can then use in your photoshop creating – you can so this with a camera if you dont have a scanner yet. the scanner would be easier to ensure the image is flat to the screen.

    i also enjoy digital collaging. and what i sometimes call digital mixed media along with digital drawing and painting.

    …and… as the name of the program implies it’s a great way to work into photographs too.

    for me i enjoy taking a work into different programs (each program offers different ways of working an image) – altho i do not have a lot of programs (other than on my iPad – which due to an old OS on my computer i have not yet sync-ed up with photoshop on the computer).

    usually when i post work i list the tools, programs and process i’ve used. i do that so a viewer can see what i used to get the effects that show up in the work. or at least they can have an idea of it.

    have fun tho. that is the basic way to work (again imo). that will make it so you want to work. …that includes work on paper with traditional materials too. …and as i mentioned these can be then used in photoshop too. that way you’ll keep your hand moving in both areas – on computer and off computer. …and that is fun. aloha.

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