The Butterfly

w: Margaret

w: Margaret

The Butterfly

I’ve always been drawn to watercolour painting but its an art I have yet to master (I do try, but generally give up in frustration!). I began thinking about ways I might be able to incorporate a watercolour effect into my photographs without simply heading to Photoshop and applying a filter (they don’t tend to give a really genuine watercolour look in my opinion).

Starting with the a butterfly image that was taken during the annual Sooke Secret Gardens tour, I decided to try compositing it with an abstract watercolour painting.

First of all I grabbed a piece of watercolour paper (for the gorgeous texture) and then just randomly threw some watercolour paint at it. Once dry, I photographed it.

The two images were then opened as layers in Photoshop (PS6) where I experimented with blending modes and masks until I had something I liked. I then ran the flattened image through one of my favourite PS plug ins – Topaz Labs’ Impression software. This incredible tool allows you to create all sorts of artistic effects with your images….from pencil drawings to impasto (I’ll be talking more about this in future posts).

I tend to find this is a fairly organic process….I play around with it until suddenly the image emerges. I can’t say that I go in with a fixed idea of the end product….and that’s half the fun. It doesn’t always work but that’s the beauty of the digital realm – its easy to scrap it and start again!

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  • by Shirley
    July 30, 2017

    Hi Margaret, your work inspires me greatly. I found your site through Proshow Producer. I am a photographer but also love to dabble in art, of which I find very frustrating trying to learn. Looking at your work makes me think that this is a much better form of art for me. I am still in the learning stages of photoshop and currently do most of my processing through lightroom. I am about to take a look at a few of the photoshop plugins as you have mentioned.
    kind regards Shirley


    • by Margaret
      July 30, 2017

      Hello Shirley, thank you for your kind comment – I’m so glad you enjoy my work. I TOTALLY understand what you mean. I too was a bit of a frustrated artist until I started to delve deeply into photo compositing and digital collage. One course I did that really helped – in fact my work moved ahead in leaps and bounds – was Photoshop Artistry by Sebastian Michaels. You can find more info here: http://www.quillandcamera.com/photoshop-artistry/. But there are also plenty of free tutorials on the web now too. Best of luck in your quest!!

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