Monday, September 30, 2013

Fall Photoshop Painting

Today's creative endeavor was completing a piece of work in Photoshop. I was in the "autumn" mood today which is what inspired the content.

I am so happy with it. I finished it surprisingly quicker than my normal pace! I usually spend so much time over every tiny detail, being my natural compulsive self when it comes to being creative. But I decided that an imperfect look was good for this picture. I used a reference photo that I found on a stock photo site that I like to start my painting from.

Here is the link to it if you ever have a need for stock photos: FreeDigitalPhotos

I painted the trees and the ground by using the eyedropper tool to pick color pixels from my reference photo. I then used a styled brush to paint the color on top of my reference picture.

I switch back and forth between my brush and the eyedropper tool every time I feel like I'm painting over a different color. I just hold down the "I" key on the keyboard, select my new color from the photo, and continue painting.

I used the eyedropper tool for the leaves as well, but I switched to a maple leaf scatter brush that I have before I painted them.

When I created the hills, I took the forward most ground layer I had and multiplied it a few times. I did some free transforming and changed the positioning of the copied layers to create the different hills in the background.

To get the foggy effect, I just created a blank layer and chose two different color grays for my foreground and background colors. I filled the empty layer with one of the grays and applied the "render clouds" effect. After putting a gaussian blur on the layer, I copied it and placed one layer on top of my hills that are farthest away the last one on the hill in the middle. I changed the opacity to make it look like it gets foggier deeper into the picture.

Well, that's that! Hopefully it puts you in the autumn mood, too!

Voice It

The most amazing thing happened last night!

I often talk to my husband about my book and tell him current frustrations I find myself in. Recently, I've been considering my plot. I had a basic idea of what I wanted to do, but was having trouble adding a good amount of depth and substance to the story. I wanted my book to be richer, but I couldn't think of anything. I figured I'd try the "fly by the seat of your pants" method, where you just write, write, write, and let the story develop as you go.

But, last night something wonderful happened, and as I was voicing my thoughts, amazing plot ideas began coming to my mind as we talked. My husband was very patient as I continued brainstorming out loud. I typed everything down as quickly as I could, and when I read it back to myself, I found the interesting story I've been looking for so desperately, laid out before me. I am so happy and am more excited than ever to continue writing.

Have any of you had any amazing epiphany moments?

If you're having trouble, try telling someone about your book! Voicing it out loud and trying to explain to someone what your book is about could trigger ideas in you head. It has helped me a lot to be able to talk with my husband about it and also my sister-in-law, who I'm very close with, who also writes.

I suggest to try and find someone you can really talk with about your book. My experience with having people like that has only helped me stay motivated and keep me excited about what I'm doing. Feel free to comment here about your own thoughts, too.

Be creative today!

Sunday, September 29, 2013


Happy Sunday!

One of my recent creative endeavors was drawing a Disney character. I adore Disney, and I like sketching. When I sit down to draw, it often takes me a long time before I actually put my pencil on the paper. The white space can be very intimidating to me! Also, I spent the longest time looking for the perfect picture that I wanted to try and copy. I finally found one of Meg from Hercules that I liked. It took me all of three hours to draw it, which is probably a little ridiculous, but I can be so compulsive!!! Here was my result.

The picture quality isn't the best, but you get the idea. I was actually surprised by the result and happy with it. It just proved to me that people really should try doing something that they want to do, even if they think it will be a disaster, like I believed this sketch was going to be. I usually don't try to free hand my drawings. I like using the grid method when copying from a photograph, but I figured since it was a cartoon I could try it. It's too bad I couldn't find my blending sticks or I would have tried smoothing out the lines in her hair more. I had a blast, so I think I'll try drawing more Disney characters in the future!

Here are some random things that I have taught myself when sketching.

  • When the white space looks intimidating, just draw a random line on the paper (lightly) and erase it! It makes it easier to get started when I trick my mind into thinking, "The paper has already been messed up so it doesn't matter if you mess up and have to erase anyway." Ah! The insecurity!
  • When I just started drawing, I always tried to start by drawing the shape of the face or an eye, but I have recently found it much easier to start with the nose! It helps me keep everything proportioned more correctly by working from the inside out. I don't do this when I'm using the grid method though.
  • I also used to find myself afraid to draw dark. My pictures used to look as if they were faded, but my first drawing class in college helped with that. Every time my teacher would come over to whatever assignment we were working on she would always say, "Make your shadows darker!" I've been working on that and can see improvement in the depth of my drawings.
Do you have any tips that you feel have helped improve your drawing?

Saturday, September 28, 2013

For the Love of Writing

Progress on my book is coming along! I am so in love with writing my book. I'm a new writer I guess you could say. I've been writing since I was sixteen but haven't written this consistently in a long time. I finished the first draft of chapter two. It might not seem like much, but I have already done so much brainstorming for my book that I feel like finishing chapter two was another giant leap ahead.

My book is about a seventeen year old boy, looking for purpose in his life, a precious stolen family heirloom, and best of all, pirates! I feel as if I learn more about about my characters every day I write. Diving into the secret thoughts, feelings, and desires of my character makes me feel as if my book is truly coming to life. I am always looking up fiction writing tips to improve my book. One simple tip that every writer always hears helped me. I've always heard, "Use all the senses!" But, until I read through what I had written did I realize that I was sometimes only using two or three of them. I've been trying to put in more description to help my book breathe. I'd love it if I could write a book where the reader truly felt like they were in a real world every time they opened the pages and felt like they knew my main character intimately.

A great blog I've been reading from is DailyWritingTips. There are so many amazing articles on writing! If you're writing a book, too, check it out!

One thing that I've also been enjoying is filling out character sheets. I'm still working on creating the perfect one, but I've compiled a lot of different questions from other sites that should help you learn more about who you are writing about. If I continue editing it and make it the way I want it, I think I'll post it on here for other people to use. It has helped me feel closer to my characters and understand more how they think. It takes me a while to fill them out, but I'd love to be able and have a complete character sheet for almost every character. Maybe it's crazy, maybe it's not, but I'd love to try it anyway.

If you're writing a book for the first time, too, just try and keep up your motivation! It often seems like a daunting task but imagine the beautiful product you will have when you finish. Let your creativity pour from you and decorate the pages. If you love what you're writing, there is going to be someone out there that would love to read it.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Thoughts on Creativity

Have you ever felt the aching in your chest that means to draw you out of your humdrum self, telling you that you can do something amazing? I feel it almost daily, and I like to call it my lovely creativity. There's really nothing more freeing to me than being able to create beauty in some sort of way that makes people really stop and appreciate what they see. We can all live similar lives and go about our days performing the same tasks over and over again, but creating something that's beautiful in your eyes is leaving a small piece of you with the world that can always be remembered.

I'd love this blog to be an expression of me, my thoughts, and my life, hopefully inspiring people to explore their unique creativeness. Likewise, I hope to be inspired, too, and continue growing in my love for beauty and people. Creativity is within everyone, and everyone is unique. Be creative! If you don't, the world could be missing out on something only you could give.