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Day 22 February 2022

Day 22, 3 x 4.25 in.  mixed media on Arches cold pressed paper. © 2022 Sheila Delgado.
Day 22, 3 x 4.25 in. mixed media on Arches cold pressed paper. © 2022 Sheila Delgado.

I still think of it as “cheating”. When I use digital tools to alter something I have painted by hand. Maybe it is the stigma from the over and incorrect use of Photoshop in social media.

Most often, if I use Photoshop with my artwork, it is only to make the painting look online, the way it does in person. To alter colors that have scanned flat, or too saturated.

For this piece I used Photoshop as a save. I attempted to paint dark, stormy clouds. And failed. Big time failed. Haha. I let the paint dry, and tried to rework what I had done. But they just got worse. I tried several times. Finally, I rewet the sky, and washed off all the paint. Arches is great like that. You can scrub and start over.

I had used a cheap paint, and that is probably why the clouds did not work the way I thought they would. The darker color also left some blotchy, uneven stains. Just enough to make the sky look dirty. Can’t have that. Haha.

Dirty Sky, Clean patch Marked.
Dirty Sky, Clean patch Marked.

It took more time to fix the sky, than it had taken for me to ruin it. Digital isn’t always a quick fix. I played with adding puffy white clouds. Changed the blue. But nothing was working. So I used the clone stamp to “copy and paste” clean sky, to areas of dirty sky.

Using this technique is great, when you are trying to hide a speck of dirt that got on the scanner bed. But using it to fill the whole sky can be a challenge, when there is very little “clean” sky to copy. The texture from the paper ends up being repeated so often, that it creates a pixilated pattern. Not good. I only had two small areas of clean sky to work with.

You might not be able to see the pattern without zooming in. I only highlighted a few. But this should help to show what the problem is.

Repeating patterns.

Next I had to copy and paste some more, to camouflage the pattern. And to be sure, I used the blur tool, to soften areas. To “mask” the pixel edges.

After all this work. A couple of hours at least. I realized, and laughed at myself, that it wasn’t really necessary. (And for such a small piece!) I always save my blog images for the web. Which means that it is a small file size, and much of the details are lost. It is a low resolution image. So if someone tries to steal my work, to reproduce it, all they will get is a blurry mess.

So when I read Hockney’s quote, I laughed. Lordy! Haha. I know he meant something else. But it fit my silly situation just as well.

The moment you cheat for the sake of beauty,
you know you’re an artist.
David Hockney

The importance of art is in the process of doing it,
in the learning experience where
the artist interacts with whatever is being made.
Roy Lichtenstein

Day 21 of February’s 30-Day Creative Gathering

Day 21, 3 x 4.25 in.  watercolor on Arches cold pressed paper. © 2022 Sheila Delgado.
Day 21, 3 x 4.25 in. watercolor on Arches cold pressed paper. © 2022 Sheila Delgado.

The roots of all things are holding hands.
When they cut down a tree in the jungle,
a star falls from the sky.
— Lacandón proverb

Love what you do and do what you love.
Don’t listen to anyone else who tells you not to do it.
You do what you want, what you love.
Imagination should be the center of your life.
Ray Bradbury.

I have spread my dreams beneath your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
William Butler Yeats