Feb 20, 2015

Digital Bird Painting - WIP4

As I work more on my digital bird painting (Created using Photoshop CS5 and a Wacom Intuos 4 tablet) I'm finding more and more advantages to working digitally. One of the biggest advantages is being able to move things around easily. It's impossible to move anything on real canvas. If I decide I don't like the placement of something on physical canvas my only choice is to paint over the current element and repaint it elsewhere, which can be many hours of work. With proper planning of your digital painting (mainly, keeping all major elements on separate layers in Photoshop) you can easily move things all round with just a few clicks of the mouse. This is helpful in the early stages of roughing out your work to play around with different compositions, of course. But it's a real time saver if you've already spent many hours on an element and decide later you really want to change things around.

Below is a perfect example of saving myself hours of work or, more likely, just leaving things the way they were and not being as satisfied with the end painting. In my previous post you can see the male goldfinch is on the perch of the birdhouse and I was considering having a female poking her head out of the hole. But that seemed too crammed together. So I decided it would look better to have Mommy bird on the perch and Daddy up top keeping a lookout. Because the male was on a separate layer it was easy to just click and drag him up to the roof.

Another thing easily done digitally that's impossible on canvas is expanding. Moving the male goldfinch to the roof meant I needed more room on the "canvas" above the birdhouse. Increasing the size of the background was easy and, because it was on a separate layer from the other elements, it was also easy to fill in the new space with trees, flowers, and sky without having to worry about painting around or messing up the birds and other foreground elements.

Because large images with multiple layers can result in very large files on your hard drive, being able to expand the background only as needed saves on HD space. I'll next be expanding this image to the left to add another birdhouse and more birds, so hopefully you'll see at least a new birdhouse in my next update.


Linda said...

It is lovely.

paul leahy said...

wow really nice piece of art, thanks for sharing with us.

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