Hellraisin’ Holly Hobbie

In a past entry, I mentioned how I wanted to begin discussing my art more, talking about my process and giving tips on creating digital art.

The Forever Search

It seems the thing that often what inspires me to make art is the process of making art itself. Meta, huh? Most of the time, searching for inspiration, that perfect piece of stock, that search for the right texture is amazingly frustrating. And I agonize over each detail. I also scrap a surprising amount of my works. I’m forever searching for that perfect piece. The piece that I’m insanely proud of and that resonates with others. It’s my forever search.

A fun thing to learn to do is think about stock differently. Re-purpose it. See a beautiful, ruffled gown? Make it into curtains. It’s what I did here. Learn to look at stock differently; it may just change the way you make art.

OK, tip, in the form of a little color theory: Elsewhere I mentioned that I’m shocked by how many people are bad at color, skilled artists even. They just don’t know how to work with color. Here’s a color palette you can’t screw up: golds/bronzes/browns with robin’s egg blues (or really, almost any shade of greenish-blue). It’s stunningly gorgeous. This palette is practically magnetically pulled-together. And you can add a unifying golden glow to your digital works by adding a color overlay. Create a Gradient Map or Solid Color Adjustment Layer and set the color(s) to the gold/bronze/blue of your choice. Set the blend mode of your layer (s) to Multiply, Overlay, or Soft Light. Adjust the opacity  to your liking.

My piece has a couple of color overlays: A gradient map of sky blue and gold-yellow (I forget which blend mode I used here) and a golden yellow overlay set to Multiply.

Here’s something funny: one of the boxes in this picture is apparently from “Hellraiser.” I saw that in the description, but dismissed it, thinking it was merely a way to say the box evoked “Hellraiser.” Nope. Apparently it is an actual “Hellraiser” box. I don’t know whether to find the fact that there is  Hellraiser merchandise funny or appalling, but I find the fact that I put an element from a gruesome horror film in this peaceful, pleasant piece pretty hilarious.


10 thoughts on “Hellraisin’ Holly Hobbie

  1. It’s nice to see some color and warm tones again. It was your rich saturated color that drew me to your work in the first place. And your quirkiness, of course. Your work does look like you’re very engaged in a world of your own, in the best way with your own gravity.

  2. Yes. I’m with the Subster. I always struggle with bitmap editors (PShop & GIMP) in a way I don’t have problems with other tools. So I often get frustrated and give up what I’m trying to do or end up just using one of the built in filters because my attempts look horrible or just not what I was trying to do. In some cases (like creating transparent backgrounds) I just bookmark a tutorial and follow it slavishly. I’d pay attention to how you do the stuff you do…

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