Monday, October 29, 2007

Red Hibiscus Painting

Red Hibiscus painting, by Mary Stebbins Taitt. Click image to view larger. I smudge-painted this yesterday by hand on the computer while driving to and from the corn maze (an hour or so each way) and then fininshed it at home. It probably took a little over three hours.
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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Trick or Treat


Here is my Trick or Treating picture for Illustration Friday. Ball point pen and colored pencil on computer printer paper. I hope you have a fun and spooky night!
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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Crawdad Hunter, October

The Crawdad Hunter, October, by Mary Stebbins Taitt. Click image to view larger.

Biker Buddy and I went to Wolcott Mill Metropark Sunday. We were surprised by a Civil War Muster (which we missed), but we did see all the people in period costume. This girl was actually collecting crawdads (crayfish). We saw her get one (I may post that picture later.)
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Monday, October 22, 2007

The Fate of Dreams

The Fate of Dreams, by Mary Stebbins Taitt. A variant of a piece I created for The Unbearable Darkness of Being to go with last night's dream. Click image to view larger.
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Friday, October 19, 2007

Red Hibiscus

Red Hibiscus photo, by Mary Stebbins Taitt. Hmm, do I have a thing for hibiscus? :-D Well, I sure like this one! Click image to view larger.
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Tuesday, October 16, 2007


EXTREME Speed, by Mary Stebbins Taitt. Click image to view larger. My granddaughter, Soccer Girl, loves sitting on Biker Buddy's motorcycle and pretending to be going really fast, so I made this for her. I painted it from a photo. In the photo, she was just sitting on the bike.
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Sunday, October 14, 2007

Eagle, Detroit Zoo

Eagle, Detroit Zoo, by Mary Stebbins Taitt. I did this photo for my Detroit Daily Photoblg, then made a quick smudge painting from it for Monday Artday's bird theme, so forgive the repetition, but I thought I'd post them both here. I may even post them to Silk Creek Portal, since that's MOSTLY a different audience. (For the overlapping people, I deeply apologize for the repetition).
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Friday, October 12, 2007

Scott Fountain, For Detroit Daily

Scott Fountain, For Detroit Daily, by Mary Stebbins Taitt. Click image to view larger.

I did this for my Detroit Daily photoblog but I am posting it here (first) because I'm happy with it. It's not a sepia but a duotone I did with curves and masks practicing what I learned at that photoshop seminar. For those few of you who visit more than one of my blogs, I apologize for the repetition, but tomorrow when this shows up on Detroit Daily, it'll have a companion, so it won't be exactly the same.
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Little by little, step by step

I've had some questions about process, so I thought I'd share these.
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Thursday, October 11, 2007


RainRose, by Mary Stebbins Taitt. Smudge Paint, a combination of rough and smooth digital smudge painting. Click image to view larger.

For Illustration Friday's "Open" Theme. (Check out everyone else's entries!)

And for Bearuh and her Grandfather.

This is a brand new painting, even though it resembles another I posted recently. I started absolutely from scratch and did it all over, doing the rapid smudge and then doing the fine smudging for the water droplets. The earlier version was very small, this one is 15 x 20, though I just printed it at 8.5 x 11. The water droplets were a new challenge for me and a lot of work. I studied photos of them.
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Palm Frond at Sunset

I am trying to learn some of the techniques we (supposedly) learned in the Photoshop workshop that I took in Livonia. This may not be a great image, but it is me doing my "homework." I posted a tutorial on what I did using the background eraser to remove the original sky here.
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Saturday, October 06, 2007

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Camels at the Detroit Zoo

"Afifah, have you heard the one about the blond camel with two humongous humps?"
"Fahad! Shhh! Must you be so crude?"

Camels at the Detroit Zoo, by Mary Stebbins Taitt. Click image to view larger. This is another rapid smudge painting, because a week isn't long enough for me to make my usual kind of painting. For Zoo theme at Monday Artday.
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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Rapid Rose

Rapid Rose, by Mary Stebbins Taitt, click image to view larger.

for Mick Mather.

This is a rapid smudge painting, a digitally altered Photograph. See the original photo here. (The one right before this, for Wordless Wednesday.)

Here is an attempt at a brief tutorial to do this in Photoshop. Choose a photo that is not TOO complex to make into a painting with a large brush. Duplicate the layer. In the second layer, add noise. Add a new layer, label it "paint." (Do all your painting in the "paint" layer.) Choose a large smudge brush. I like to use a ragged brush--I think I used "chalk" for this one. Choose a strength--I used 81%. Strong bushes smear more, weak ones smear less. Choose sample all layers on the top of the smudge. Then on the empty layer, paint rapidly (or slowly and carefully) in the direction of the natural flow. Then with a smaller brush, fill in the spaces you didn't get. You can see where these are by turning off the layers below.

For more texture, use more noise. Also, make an adjustment layer of hue and saturation ABOVE the paint layer (but be sure to paint in the paint layer) and change the hue slightly and the saturation slightly and lower the opacity of the layer. Turn that layer on and off as you paint for more colors. (You can add several of these for slight hue changes as you work). The orange in this painting was added that way.

If you want to actually paint over something, one option is to use the paintbrush set to dissolve and lower the opacity and flow and then paint over with several similar colors and then with the smudge brush to smooth out the little dots--it will match better and look more like a rough painting if you do this. I added the cyan sky that way in this painting. The original sky was white.

Using this technique, you can, if you wish, produce a very rapid painting compared to taking your time and working slowly which usually takes me a month to 6 weeks. Depends on the effect you are after. :-D I'm including this tutorial because I was asked for it.

The rapid technique causes a loss of detail. I added some water droplets back in. It was raining when I took the picture--the droplets on the original were real. I made new ones with two strokes per droplet (approx), using the burn and dodge tools once the layer was painted.
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Wordless Wednesday: Rose in Rain

click image to view larger. For Wordless Wednesday.
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Monday, October 01, 2007

Man with a beard

Man with a beard, by Mary Stebbins Taitt. Pen and ink with water-color pencils. Click image to view larger. THis is a little like Biker Buddy, but doesn't capture his likeness.
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Girl at the Fountain

Girl at the Fountain, by Mary Stebbins Taitt. Click images to view larger.
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