It’s time! It’s time! If you haven’t heard the news yet, it’s time to sign up for the Liberate Your Art 2013 postcard swap. The postcard receipt deadline is April 6 so you have plenty of time to create your postcards and get them mailed. Visit the swap page and sign up to get all of the details and helpful resources via email.
We are going to have a fantastic time this year! There are already 232 artists signed up. Yay! If the previous year’s participation rate holds true, I’m going to need more than 350 signed up to meet my goal of beating last year. I could use your help! Join us, and help me get the word out. Blog it, share the Facebook event, whatever the best way to contact your creative peeps.
First off, here’s a quick example of what the app can do… Original photo at left, painted version at right:
This app has lots of options. You can “paint” with the colors of your photo, or you can use two-tone effects as I’ve used for this one. It is amazingly customizable… you can change the colors used in the tones, the intensity of the color and the watercolor edge effects, the paper texture, the wash and background bloom. I love all of that control, as it allows me to create something I really love.
As always, I’ve been experimenting with combining it with other layers and apps to create an original piece. I’ve found I use the Aquarella HD app slightly differently than the other painting apps I have. For most other apps, I shift colors prior to adding the painterly effects. For this app, I’ve been creating the layers without worrying about color, because I’ll pick colors in the Aquarella HD app itself at the end.
Let me show you what I mean, with this finished piece, Moonrise:
I started with a photograph from several weeks ago, captured on a foggy morning:
I wanted the evergreen tree alone, so I used TouchRetouch to remove the tree and ground to the right:
I was also playing with the ArcMachines app last week, which is free app that creates circular geometric patterns. I had captured a couple of different images off of that:
Next, I played around with blending the circles with the tree image in Image Blender. When you are blending black and white images, the blending modes do interesting things. In this case, I think I was using either the Difference or Exclusion blending modes, which I don’t use with color. I moved the arrangement of the circle layer around until I liked where the circles were in relation to the tree:
The three circles weren’t packing the visual punch I wanted, so I added the large circle over the top one in Image Blender. I will note that for both of these steps, I needed to mask out the branches of the tree, so that the circles would appear to be behind the tree branches:
I played around with painting this version in Aquarella HD for a while, and while I got the colors and effect I liked painting-wise, the composition was not working out. So I went back to Image Blender and played with enlarging the layers. After several tries, I got a composition I liked:
Since I already had the painting effects set in Aquarella HD from my previous experimentation, I pulled this image in and processed it. As long as you don’t close out the app, your settings will stay the same when you pull in a new image. Very nice!
I named the piece “Moonrise” because my husband said it looked like the moon rising behind the tree with a couple of extra moons along for the ride.
My favorite thing about this painting is the light-in-dark effect happening within the circles. The watercolor edges really make that contrast pop. I’ve also discovered, or maybe rediscovered, that I really like combining geometric shapes with natural shapes like this, and this new app has created all sorts of possibilities. You can see a few more in my Flickr photostream.
It’s great to add one more painting app to my toolbox, and Aquarella HD is chock full of watercolory goodness. I just love creating art this way!