Friday, April 18, 2008

A Bad Brow Job

As with most people, I love the image of Mona Lisa and her enigmatic smile. But it has always bugged me that the woman is missing eyebrows. I love a good full brow as seen in my header image above. As a child, I used to draw brows on Mona Lisa’s face (still doing it!) Later, I discovered that plucking eyebrows was not in fashion until years after Mona Lisa was painted and I was left wondering…where did her eyebrows go?

Now the mystery of the missing brow line is finally solved. Pascal Cotte, a French engineer and inventor, used a high-definition camera to discover the lost hair in the famous painting. Turns out that good old Mona got over plucked by either the ravages of time or a few overeager attempts to restore her image. You can read more about it here.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Painting with Style

In this tutorial, I am going to show how to use Photoshop styles to create depth and as a base for your paintings. Styles sort of get a bad rap because most designers and illustrators think of those glass buttons that the mac folks made so popular a few years ago. I remember every client was asking for “glass buttons” during that time and styles started to make me peevish too. But they do have their uses. Photoshop styles helped me whip out the name plate in last week’s tutorial without much fuss.

Here are the steps

1. Select the rounded rectangle tool from the Photoshop tool palette and set the radius to about 10. Pick some sort of goldish color. Click and drag to make a square with rounded corners.

figure 1
2. Next, we are going to create rounded circles jetting out from the square. Select the eclipse tool in the tool bar. We don’t need to create a separate shape here. It will be much easier to edit as one path. So to do this we will go to the top bar in photoshop and select the compound path option (figure 1)

figure 2

3. Next, hold down the shift key and draw a circle to the left side of our square (figure 2). (holding the shift key constrains the proportions of the circle)

4. Now we obviously want both sides to have the same size circles so we will select the path selection tool (figure 3) and select the circle that we already drew.

figure 3
Hold down first the alt key and then the shift and drag the left circle over to the right.

figure 4

(The alt key makes a duplicate and the shift key makes sure that the second circle is aligned with the first). You will now have one fully editable shape. (figure 4)

5. Now the fun part. We can apply styles to create the depth. Hit the small “f” key at the bottom of your layers palate or double click on the right side of the layer. This opens up the styles palate. Styles are something that you really need to play around with to get the most out of them but I used the following settings for the plate:

Check the following Layer Styles:

figure 5
Drop Shadow:
Opacity 51, set to multiply, distance: 13 Size: 8
Bevel and Emboss: (see figure 5)
Satin: ( see figure 6)
Color Overlay :
Set to orange, Normal blend mode, 100%

figure 6

If you want a rougher metal texture then you may want to play around with the pattern styles too.

And when you are done, in the styles palette, click the small right button and select “save styles” (right). Now you can use it again for creating more metal plates.

Monday, April 07, 2008

New Blog and Site

I have a new blog and site up on gossip and rumors surrounding royal rulers. Check it out and let me know what you think:

The Raucous Royals and the Raucous Blog