Sunday, July 13, 2014

Watercolor Portraits


Blue Lightning Watercolor Portrait No.2 

My Friend Vicki M. at Ren Faire
If you click on it to open at a larger file, it looks more like a painting than it does at this distance.

Ever since I discovered the Waterlogue App, I've been intrigued with how it works, and deconstructing the process.  I'm still not to the point of digging out my physical watercolors and paper (don't have the workspace, or desire to clean up the mess), but I did find ...

... this Blue Lightning tutorial on YouTube that explains how to turn a portrait photo into a watercolor via PhotoShop.  So I've been playing with that this weekend.  My biggest problem is that I don't have many portraits in my files to start with--the people I know don't like to have their pictures taken.   So far, I've learned I need to work on brush strokes.  I just don't have a feel for the watercolor style yet.  That said, this is something worth practicing with ...

Then again, it is so easy, quick and satisfying to use the Waterlogue App.  The hardest thing is transferring the files between the iPad and the "big" computer.  I use DropBox, but even that takes a while for the file transfer and then simply remembering where I put things and where to find them in the transfer process.  In my experience, Waterlogue is pretty good with landscapes and still lifes, not so great with portraits, though I've had a few successes.

Here are some recent waterlogued portraits :

Waterlogued - Color Bloom Preset
This is the same image as the one up top, processed through the Waterlogue App.

The accordian player from the band, Vana Mazzi.
This is still one of my favorite Waterlogued Portraits. 

Three versions of my son, Oliver in Waterlogue :

 Waterlogue - "It's Technical" Preset 
You can even see the graph paper underneath the virtual paint.

Travelogue Preset via The Waterlogue App.

Rainy Preset via Waterlogue.

 Here's my version using the Blue Lightning Watercolor Tutorial "manually" in PhotoShop Elements.  I followed the instructions faithfully, with the final addition of a 2LO background texture, then softened it up a bit more in Picassa.     I'm getting a better idea of what to do with the brush strokes, but it still seems like there's too much detail for the watercolor style.  The final softening in Picassa helped with that.   That said, I like this version.

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