Thursday, September 22, 2011


I think we have all been there. You make a piece of art, it's 3am and you hit the save as a psd button to work on it later.

Sadly sometimes we flatten the image first and only have 1 lousy layer for our PSD.

I did that with the image below. I was hoping to work on it later. Now I have a flattened image that I can't work on. I can't unflatten it. When I opened the .psd file there was only the one layer. My, "Oh, No, No, No' echoed through the building. I wanted to cry.

I googled, Unflatten image in photoshop and found page after page of people pleading for help. Why does photoshop do this? I even checked the Adobe site. It was basically, Sorry sucka.

There is one tip I have to offer. When saving, look to the bottom left of the save  screen. There is a box that asks, save as a copy? Check that box. Apparently it will save the original .psd.

Save as a copy.
I know it's not much, but it's all we have.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Getting My feet Wet

As I promised, I'm doing digital art again. Decided to get my feet wet by doing a challenge on Flickr.

© NeonSun Studios 2011. All rights reserved.

Starter image with thanks to " Sistah
Skin, wings, halo - JoesSistah
Model: JoannaStar Model pack at Deviant Art
Background: Darkwoods
Wreath: Ms.Bailey
Eyes: LoveandStyle at Deviant Art

It took about 2 hours. I'll probably go back and do some more work on it. For now (at 4:30 am) I'm happy with it.

A small tutorial on this image:

The vines were actually a wreath. After positioning it I used the eraser tool and wiped away the center of the wreath with a hard circle brush. I reduced the size of the brush and cleaned up the edges around the face and shoulders.

The skin is done using a S2 wrap. This method is so popular that there is a group on Flickr.

Here's a quick and dirty way for photshop Elements users. Don't look for the alpha channel. There aren't any in Elements.
1 - Place your pattern layer directly above the face layer.
2 - Select MULTIPLY in the CONTENT pallette that your layers are in. This will make the pattern layer translucent.
3 - Select the ERASER tool from the TOOLS on the lefhand side and find a hard edge, round brush/eraser  from the lefthand top brush drop down menu.
4 - Scrape away the the pattern around the face. Adjust the size of the eraser brush to get into the nooks and crannys, like the ears, etc.
5 - Done.

For the wings which were originally white I used ENHANCE ->ADJUST COLOUR function. There is more on that here on the April 28th 2011 post. - 

Let me know of anything you'd like to learn about and I'll see what I can do. I would love to hear from you. Also don't be afraid to leave a comment about posts. Tell me if the tutorials worked for you or feel free to add any info or links related to posts. Let me know if the TUTS didn't work for you and why. After all we are all in this together.

You may of noticed my snappy new social media buttons at the bottom of the posts. Try them out out. They work exceptionally well. Better than anything I've used before.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Time For A Move?

Should I or shouldn't I? To move or not to move?
I'm thinking about a lot of things lately.
Thinking about my art.
Thinking selling on Etsy is a very poor way to make a retirement income.
Thinking that maybe in order to go forward I have to step back.

When I started on computers I used to fix my own computer, crack open the casing and scratch my knuckles raw to add components. Ahhh, the good old days---NOT! However I do look back at my days of working with open source operating systems and programs with a certain fondness in the sense that I was constantly learning and suffering along with others who couldn't print after downloading the latest Linux release.

First background.

I started doing art on The Gimp. I coded my web pages from scratch and my first header was done on The Gimp.

My first website Header

I started trading ATCs on the Nervousness site. My first intro to collage.

Before I understood copyright laws.

I've drifted away from that community. A community I trusted and loved. I miss it.

Somewhere along the way I (maybe all of us) drifted into a world that lacked even basic privacy. A world where total strangers are asking us personal questions in order to use their websites. A world where computer support means walking into the Macstore and being flogged some piece of hardware to fix my problem. Where, who you are, is what you own.

I want back quality.
I want back my privacy.
I don't want a world where Google knows more about me than my friends do.

So I'm opting out of Google+
I'm winding down my Etsy shop.
I'm going to spend more time blogging and doing the artwork I love. I'm going to spend more time on Flickr and follow the work of some of the great digital artists there that have such a wonderful inspiration.
And I'm going to spend more time learning to be a better artist. I started this blog as a journey to share what I've learned with other like  minded people. I still think that's worthwhile.

I've always been an artist and artisan. I've always thought that it's good to share knowledge Because I know a technique that someone else doesn't know, doesn't make me a better artist and vice versa. I know I am in good company where that belief is concerned.

I'm looking into moving this blog over to Wordpress. It provides me with a bit more flexibility to do the things I want to do. Also it seems to be more graphically orientated. I will also move my shop onto my new site and will be able to sell things like digital brushes and Patterns. Digital work is something I love doing and want to focus my interests in that direction.

So as the changes take place I'll keep everyone informed. There are people that follow me in 83 different countries. Not everyone wants to stand up and be counted, but knowing you are out there keeps me blogging.


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