Merging mediums

Looking for news way to work which combines techniques and mediums I came up with this.

I found the portrait of this lovely young woman from, then in DAZ Studio I posed a model in roughly the same position as her head and shoulders.   I used Infinite Painter on an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil to draw the head, then I drew the body and tweaked the end result in Photoshop.

edit: it took me much longer to write this short post than it should have.  Is it mediums or media?  Not a simple answer apparently but Mr Google convinced me that because we’re talking about art, mediums is perfectly acceptable.

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ICAD 2020

I’m slotting this into traditional art, it is physical art on an ordinary old index card but it’s also an online event so has to be photographed or scanned.  So that’s digital then, right?  One of the rules is that there can be no digital elements. Oh well.

I’ve taken part in the Index Card A Day challenge since 2014 and it’s always been fun.  It takes place during the months of June and July every year and was initiated by Daisy Yellow.  The object is to create any piece of ‘art’ on an index card.  This can be painting, sketching, collage, sewing in fact whatever your heart desires.  Here are a few of mine from this year’s challenge.

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Daz Studio
The morning after

Daz Studio

I looked into DAZ Studio/Daz3D a few years ago and came back to it time and time again.  If you’ve never heard of it… 

Daz Studio is a software application developed and offered for free by Daz 3D. Daz Studio is a 3D scene creation and rendering application used to produce images as well as video.

So you can create models, dress them, pose them in any kind of scene you can imagine, light them and render the result.  When I first became interested in Daz there seemed little in the way of either documentation or instruction and I found the software to be a steep learning curve.  I had a great deal of help from Tonnie Wolfe who has gone on to offer tutorials through Shift Art, the Photoshop Artistry site (link below.)

There are numerous channels on YouTube these days with tutorials for Daz and I’ve tried lots of them.  Some assume a certain knowledge but one of the most accessible I’ve found is this one from Parmy Baddhan.  Explained in a down to earth, understandable manner and all in a Brummy accent.  Hint – start at the beginning.

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Surreal portraits

Before and after

I tend to see a lot of ads on Facebook and Instagram for art courses.  I rarely click on them because I’m subscribed to so many groups and courses I’m in danger of becoming overloaded.  However, this one jumped out at me.  If you know me you’ll know that I use Photoshop a lot and I’ve completed many Photoshop Artistry courses but I’d never seen anything quite like this.  Instruction on how to manipulate a human form to produce a surreal portrait.  I loved the unusual look of these portraits and you can see (above) the result before and after Kelly Robitaille’s amazing tutorial using a reference image supplied.  The image at the top of the page, King Pelicania is another example using Kelly’s techniques.

I was keen to do more but where do I get the models?  I don’t have the setup to shoot my own and I felt a little uncomfortable manipulating stock images in such an extreme way.  Then I wondered if I could use this technique with models I create myself in the 3D modelling program, Daz3D…and that’s another story.

Click here for more information about the: Surreal portrait retouching course

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Plague shawls

Although I’ve always been a knitter I’d never been able to master crochet. Something about that lone hook flailing around it didn’t seem ‘tidy’ like knitting.  More recently I attempted ‘granny squares’ but I’ve never been able to follow a pattern.  When lockdown came along I was determined to master some new skills so crochet was one of the first.  Thanks to YouTube for teaching us just about everything. I followed some basic crochet instructions and then tackled this shawl in the video.  I may be obsessed with shawls now. I’m on my fifth.  The first four are pictured above.

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Blog templates using Elementor
Using laptop. Blogging.

Blog templates using Elementor

This is how to make a template for a single blog post using Elementor (Pro).  I’m forever tweaking my sites then I can’t remember what I need to do to replicate the process.  Using a blog template enables me to set up  design that is then allocated to all new blog posts.

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Abandoned projects

Sometime in 2019 I embarked on a sewing project.  I’d bought a top that I really liked and wondered if I could copy it.  My sewing skills are, well let’s just say I know my limitations and I carefully choose what I know I can comfortably achieve.  So this was ambitious for me.  I found pretty fabric at Hinckley market and bought a pack of pattern paper from Amazon.  I didn’t want to take my favourite garment apart so I set about carefully measuring each part of the top and transferring the dimensions to the pattern paper, drawing curves with a French curve and after a few hours I had my pattern.  Then I left it.  I think it was fear of cutting the material and getting it wrong.  Yes, I’ll do that another day.  

Then along came COVID-19, self-isolation and then lockdown.  Suddenly everything readjusted in importance – hell, I was cutting my own hair.   So I pulled out the sewing. 

I’m used to following a pattern when I sew so it was strange to have no instructions but I took it step by step, the most difficult part first.  The small curved opening at the neckline with the rouleaux loop ties looked tricky but I kept comparing it to the techniques used on my purchased top and it wasn’t as bad as I thought.  Once I’d got that tricky piece out of the way the rest was relatively plain sailing. 

Behold the finished article!  This is going to be my ‘first trip out after COVID outfit’ – I hope it’s not going to sit on that dummy for years.

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Don’t throw out your second rate photos!

I don’t mean that the content is second rate.  All those old family photos are precious no matter what condition they’re in, but they might be small, poor resolution copies that are difficult to display. I’m experimenting with some fun, digital techniques to bring tiny old photos back to life.  

The original  black and white photo from the 60’s of my granddad was tiny. Low resolution, etc.  I started off with the iPad app Infinite Painter and added a layer of skin colour, set to Multiply blend mode.  From there I did some basic paint marks with the Mixer brush.  Then I moved to Corel Painter 2020 and laid on the ‘paint’.   I’m a novice at this technique and taking my first baby steps from Dmitry Marin’s Corel Painter Thick Paint course.  Then it was back and forth between painter and Photoshop, tweaking and adjusting, painting and blending.  I used ON1 Resizer to enlarge it to a display size without losing resolution, printed it out and now from a tiny black and white photo I have an eye-catching A3 portrait.  

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Baby Yoda

The Baby Yoda craze has firmly taken hold of the internet on the run up to Christmas 2019 so I made one.  It has to be a better alternative than a creepy Elf on the Shelf.   It hadn’t been an intention to make this creature but after randomly coming across this charming video from Rachel Maksy I couldn’t resist.  I’ve never used Sculpy before and I made a ton of mistakes but it was so much fun.   I have stuff left over.  There will be more creatures!


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