Feb 19, 2017

Rainbow Colored Paint Horse

Recently I've been doing a series of digital horses in different colors to offer a variety of products for every kind of horse lover. Here's a sample of some of the color variations I've been doing, a chart illustrating some common horse coat colors.


Well, after several days of creating all these real horse colors I went a little crazy when I got to paint horses and pinto color patterns. My paint horse ended up actually being covered with dripping wet paint! Haha! This is the end result and actually ended up becoming my latest Amazon Merch t-shirt design. :)

Click the shirt image if you'd like to purchase this shirt on Amazon.

OK, play time is over. Back to real horse colors. I'll have those available on shirts and products soon too. Stay tuned!

Feb 11, 2017

New Whitetail Deer Art Products

In my previous post I introduced several new whitetail deer paintings. I've now added some of those images to products in my Zazzle store. These products include everything from coffee mugs to throw pillows, stationary to shower curtains.Here are a few examples.

This is just a small sampling of the products available. Visit my store to see all the whitetail deer images and products.

Feb 3, 2017

New Whitetail Deer Paintings

I have five new whitetail deer paintings. The first one is all original, hand painted (digitally) from scratch. This features a buck and doe in autumn walking through the woods.


This next one is a modified version of the above scene. Because it is digital I was able to reuse some of the background, and the doe, with some adjustments. Obviously, the biggest change was converting the background from a fall scene to a spring scene, making things green and adding flowers. The buck, of course, is gone and in his place are his offspring, two adorable twin fawns.


In case you just have a thing for cute fawns I made a few more variations featuring just the fawns. One is the just the two fawns in the woods. Don't worry, they haven't been abandoned! Mom's just over browsing a bush off-screen. :)


And here's a version of just one fawn in case your wall space is better suited to a vertically oriented print.


And, just one more, a simplified version of the single fawn. This makes a better choice for a small print, greeting card, or other small product such as a phone case.


All these images are available as prints, greeting cards, throw pillows, tote bags, and more. Click the image you like to see product options for that image.

Remember, because these images are painted digitally, they can be modified somewhat fairly easily. So if you want a customized version contact me and let me know. For example, if you'd like the first image with just the buck, it wouldn't be too hard for me to remove the doe. So don't be afraid to ask.

Feb 1, 2017

Deer Painting - Fawn WIP2

In my previous post I started blocking in a cute whitetail fawn. In this post I continue working the fawn's shading and fur.

With my "fur" brush, shown on the right here (Photoshop CS5), I start working the edges of the different colors to give them somewhat of a fur-like texture instead of just hard straight lines. I've started doing this below his ear in this image.

My fur brush is really just a simple elongated teardrop or bullet shaped brush stroke. Google how to create PS brushes to create your own brush. I won't get into PS basics here. But I'll give you my default settings for this shape to create a fur-like pattern. The most important thing here is to turn on Shape Dynamics and set the Angle Jitter Control to Direction so that you can control the direction of the fur by the direction of your brush stroke. Set the Size Jitter to about 20% and turn Control to Off. Next turn on Scattering and that to about 80%.

After getting all the edges furred up now we start blending those edges to give them a softer look. This harsh color change doesn't look very natural. To do this you can either use this fur brush with a Mixer Brush to blend the edges, or use a regular brush and click Transfer in the Brush panel (or click Tablet Pressure Controls Opacity at the top tool bar). I prefer to use a regular brush with Tablet Pressure Controls Opacity because the Mixer Brush tends to blur things too much. I want to blend the color tones without making the individual hairs too fuzzy.

Here you can see I've been working the edges to soften them. As you work the edges keep changing the color from one side of the edge to the other, overlapping them a few times. You don't want it to look like only one color overlaps the other. You want to go back and forth to get a more naturally blended look.

And here's the little cutie-pie all finished and in his natural surroundings. Feel free to leave comments if you have any questions.

Jan 24, 2017

Deer Painting - Fawn WIP

Work-in-progress of a whitetail fawn in a digital deer painting I'm doing. Here I'm just sharing the initial block in of colors and shading. This looks a bit like a paint-by-number at this pointing. First, the whole fawn. Then a close-up of a blocked in area.

Next post I'll start blending the different shades with m fur brush.

Jan 23, 2017

New Birds and Fountain Painting

I am already looking forward to spring! My first painting of the year is of a spring garden with birds around a water fountain style bird bath.

You may recognize the bird bath from a painting I did a couple years back, shown below. Since these are digital paintings I will admit I reused the water feature. But I did change its color a bit, and everything else in the scene is different. Instead of purple clematis clinging to the fence, I now have cosmos flowers among the daisies around the fountain. Instead of a "spear" style picket fence I now have a Gothic style. The bluebirds and goldfinches are in different positions, and I've added three black-capped chickadee and a male red cardinal. The background is also different, with a softer look to give more depth of field. So, overall it has the same feel but is very different in many ways.

I've actually had some people say they do not like bluebird landing on the fountain in the old painting. I'm not sure what it is about the bird that bothers people. Perhaps the wide wing spread and feet extended give people the feel of an eagle or hawk about to land on its prey, so perhaps there's a subconscious negative connotation there. I personally love seeing birds in flight. Their wings are so beautiful, especially when the light from above shines through them, giving them a heavenly glow. But, if that's not your thing, there's now a new version where all the birds are just sitting and quietly socializing in the warm spring sunshine. :)

There are, as usual, prints and other products available featuring this new artwork. Visit my Pixels site for fine art prints and greeting cards. Visit my Zazzle store for other products, all of which can be personalized to make unique gifts. Below are a few sample products including a throw pillow, shower curtain, tote bag, bath mat, and wall clock. See more products here.

Dec 20, 2016

A Simple Way To Find Stray Pixels in Photoshop

If you work in Photoshop or something similar you know what an advantage it is to keep different elements of your art on different layers. This allows you to add, subtract, resize, or move elements in your scene around, or remove the background altogether.

Since I've been doing more digital art I'm also doing more art where the subject can separated from the background scene and saved as a PNG file with transparency. This is useful for putting the image on products, particularly things like t-shirts and coffee mugs where you don't want a square photo-like picture on the product.

One of the things to keep in mind when creating images for shirts, and some other products, is there is no such thing as white ink. So when the printing company puts an image that contains white or light colors onto a dark shirt they have to put a white undercoating down first, then spray the darker colors over it where the image is not going to be white. They put the white coating down based on the pixels in your image so if your image doesn't have clean edges you may get a white outline or stray white spots outside the main image. So it's important to find any stray pixels or jagged edges and clean them up.

These stray pixels can occur without you realizing it, if you accidentally bump your brush against your drawing tablet when using a light color or lower opacity. Or perhaps you erase part of the image. It might look like you got it all but even 1 tiny mostly transparent pixel will cause a white undercoat to be laid down there on your shirt or other product. Finding that tiny pixel can be hard just by eye-balling the image. So here's a quick little trick to bring those little guys out of hiding.

Here's my original image, one of a silly chicken in a Santa hat I created for Christmas stockings and shirts. It looks pretty clean outside the edges, right?

Well, looks are deceiving. I know it's not that clean in reality because I created this from another image, moving the chicken's head a bit and erasing the old part of the head and neck. I'm sure there are pixels that I missed that need cleaning up. But I can't see them. So what we do to bring them out is right-click on the layer in the Layers panel and select Blending Options. In the panel that pops up go down to the bottom and select Stroke. Play with the size until you can see spots appearing outside the edges of your image, but don't make it so big it covers small pixels near the edge. Pick a color that's different from your image edges so you can see it better. Here's what I get with mine.

As suspected, there are stray pixels around the hen's neck where I didn't quite erase it all when adjusting the bird's head position. I need to clean those up so they don't produce spots when printed on dark fabric. To do that I just use the eraser tool and dab those spots. The nice thing about the Stroke blending option is that, as you erase the pixels, the Stroke outline will disappear too, letting you know you got it all. (Don't use the Stroke under the Edit menu for this...you won't the same results.) Here's the chicken with edges cleaned up.

When you get your image all cleaned up right-click on the layer in your Layers panel and select Clear Layer Style. Now it's back to how it appeared originally but you know you've cleaned up any stray pixels so you'll have a nice clean print on your shirts and products.

And here's my chicken on a "Merry Chickmas from your local chicken farmer" shirt.

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