04/12/2004: "Alarming side affects from using too much PhotoShop"
I spend hours everyday working from phtographs that I manipulate in PhotoShop before I ever start a painting. This is one of the work habits I've adapted from not being able to afford live models. The tools I use the most are the "Magic Eraser" and the "Lasso" tools.
With the magic eraser you can click on any solid block of color to delete it. So, for example, if I have a photo of a person with their hand out, and I want them to be holding a bottle of wine, I might find an image of a bottle of wine, delete the background and cut it out using the "lasso" tool so I can transfer it into the person's hand without any of the image's original background included. I can also take the bottle of wine and change the color, rotate it, flip it, change the direction the light appears to be hitting it, etc.
Then when all of that is done I can experiment with cropping the composition, delete the color of the sky then use the Paintbucket tool to add in a different color, etc. until I get it just the way I like it and then I use that image as a reference point for the painting.
Recently, whenever I'm watching TV or having a conversation with someone, a part of my mind starts working them over using PhotoShop tools...especially the Magic Eraser. When I see a solid block of color, I also see a little eraser icon happily bouncing about, clicking on their shirt, the blue wall behind them, or whatever, pretend deleting it (I always use a transparent background so what I see is the little grid of white and grey boxes). I can't turn it off either, which actually kindof worries me.
I'll be talking with someone and oops, there goes the lips, and let's just clone stamp over those zits shall we? Hmm I don't like those green pants he's wearing, let's try making them red...no, not that shade, let's use the Color Picker to find a better shade...ahhh that's it!
It reminds me of those old movies where directors or photographers walk around using their hands to frame shots.
And all of this is going on in the background while my mouth is saying "I'll get this written up and ready to report to the committee next week". Talk about multi-tasking!