My Lily Pad

I chose this copyright-free image so we could have a simple, but not too simple first exercise. I like the subject (I love lily pads, and this one is quite handsome), the quality is great, and it’s such a generic picture, with no baggage – perfect for dressing up.

To me, this lily pad needed to be stripped down to its bare essentials – the lines. I didn’t want to use any special brushes or effects that wouldn’t be available to everyone, so I stuck with what Photoshop had to offer already… which is plenty.

I made myself take notes, so this process ended up a little bit self-conscious, I must admit. I wish I had the patience to take vignettes of each step, but I don't. I might in the future, if I decide to incorporate something like this on the gallery website. But that's another post.

Lilypad © R. Koleilat, 2007

Ok, now - explanations: (NOTE: I'm updating this as needed from the comments)

First, under Filters, Stylize, I chose Find Edges, edited with Hard Light Mode at 74% opacity. This really bleached out the photo, and gave me colours I liked as a base.

I then went back to Filters, Artistic, and chose Cutout to give the image more of a hand-painted look.

I then selected the water feature with the Magic Wand, and filled it with the Satin pattern in the Paint Bucket feature at about 22% opacity, in Overlay mode. I prefer the Overlay mode for most “fills”, and generally reduce opacity for most everything for more subtle effects.

I then selected the lily pad leaves individually, and filled them in Overlay mode with the purple pattern, in some places with 22% opacity and others up to 84%.

I also cropped the image to get a narrower frame, because it was looking more and more like a Japanese print from the 50s. Which is why I went back later, and added an extra Layer with a vertical "brushed" signature and stamp.

Finally, I selected the centre of the flower, and did a Gradient overlay in a diagonal line with the Radial Gradient option, at about 25% opacity, with the violet-to-orange option (with mostly the orange showing up).

So, here are my six steps – I didn’t go overboard like I normally end up doing, because there was no need for any additional tweaking. I liked the lily like that and wanted to focus on its elegant shape, without all the distraction in the background.


dianeclancy said...

very nice. What is this water feature? And satin overlay? Don't know those ... which version are you using? Be interesting to go look and see if I have those in my version(s).

~ Diane Clancy

Rima said...

OOps, I knew I needed to be clearer. This is what happens what you think in terms of "thingy" and "whatchamacallit", but then you have to write it down for other people...

By water feature, I meant the one in the picture itself. It was originally very dark, so I wanted to emphasize the liquidity of that area.
By fill, I meant I used the paint bucket feature to fill the selected area. There's a Satin pattern that comes standard with it.
The overlay is one of the standard options in most of the features/actions.
I use Photoshop 6.0 - there are better and more complex versions out there, but I'm overwhelmed by this one already...

Rima said...

I'm also going to try and fix the problem with not getting a larger image

Neda said...

No fair! This is gorgeous! My digital try is going to look so primitive. I gotta learn to stop competing with you, my dear. LOL

Rima said...

it's not a competition! i hate competitions!

Debi said...

Rima, honey, I'm in awe. It is stunning. Just stunning! And I'm all the more impressed with your talent and vision after having spent a half hour playing already with that image without satisfaction.

WOW. Really Wow. Frame it and hang it up! Better yet, make some ACEOs of it so I can buy one! Seriously.

I don't know exactly what you mean about getting a larger image...if you mean, though, a larger printable image, have you tried upping the dpi?

Neda said...

I agree with Debi, Rima.. I was just kidding about the competition, my dear. Should we publish the attempts or will you do that? When do you want to receive the "steps" (mine are very simple)?

Rima said...

Thanks, Debi - coming from you that's quite a compliment!! By larger picture, I meant that when the little hand is on the image, and you click, you should see another screen with the larger picture. The dpi is already at 300!

Well, anyway, it's going to be fun to put them all on one page on the website, like a virtual exhibit - I just have to figure it out.

Naddoud, I know you were kidding, silly. Especially after I saw your entry, I knew this was un peu de fausse modestie, you silly girl.

Publish on your own site if you want, or you can send it to me. FRances already has hers on her blog (Carpet full of holes), and she's ok with me copying it to the gallery website.

Keep the description of the steps with the picture, so it's easier to understand. Show and tell sort of thing.

Sue O'Kieffe said...

im curious to know if you are working in just one layer..from your description, it would seem so...

Rima said...

Yes, Sue - I did all the transformations on one layer. I did add one final layer, just having fun with a pseudo-asian signature and stamp.

Frances said...

ooh - I am so glad it isn't a competition, or I would withdraw my hasty things immediately. but that is a lovely image. Clever girl, it's good to have such a gifted guide.

Debi said...

Oh, Rima, I see what you mean now. I was so enchanted by it as is, that I completely forgot to try to click a larger image.

So, ACEOs are available when?

Audrey said...

Check me out! ;)