Thursday, October 28, 2010

Using Photoshop to compose a painting

I am at the nail biting stage of this painting. It is almost finished so I am scared of ruining it. Because of the clean background on this one (it took a couple of weeks and six or eight coats of paint to get the smooth gradient) I can't paint over any mistakes. So Photoshop comes in handy for trying new ideas. I want to add more branches to the tree.

Maybe some more branches on the top.

Or some branches on the sides.

The animal is a mountain beaver which is native to Washington State. It is about cat sized and has a stubby furry tail, not a beaver tail. I'll post more about it later but for now I have to choose how to position the branches and then get to the studio. Each twig takes such a long time to paint.

This painting is four feet wide. I love all the empty space.


  1. aplodontia!! i had the pleasure of watching one grazing by the roadside in carnation.

  2. In a way, photoshop feels like cheating... but then, I'm sure Michelangelo would have used it, too. A perfect way to save on all those carefully painted layers! I love the first version; as you wrote, empty spaces are just as important as filled ones. It is so well proportioned, as it is. Have lovely weekend, Liisa.

  3. we have mountain beavers . They do a lot of digging which isn't very cute, then Sadie our lab digs after them and make "ankle-turners" all over the yard. I love the empty space too. How about some free time to go with it?

  4. first one is the strongest!
    love your work..

  5. Clever trick using Photoshop to add elements without actually painting them in yet.