. 5 April 2018 .
An abstract glitched image of a picture of the ocean

When my productivity and creativity is feeling a little low I like to browse stock photos. Mostly I look for interesting textures but I'll mess around with pretty much any image. From photos of actual human beans to palm trees and ariel shots of beaches. If I like it I'll download it and tinker. Of course, I only use 100% free stock photos via the likes of Unsplash and Pexels. Really I should take my own photos but I'd actually have to leave the house and I lack brilliant equipment soo... 🤷 

Recently I found some amazing photos of water, or more precisely what looked like some lovely bits of an ocean. The purple image above started out life as this photo which I first edited to be purple in colour and then did a little bit of glitching magic. I ran it through Processing to pixel sort it (explained vaguely better in this post, but do ask if you have any questions) and then played around in Photoshop until I was happy with the result. I particularly like the bottom of the image, where it's lighter and looks more broken up and separated from the background.

An abstract glitched image of a picture of the ocean

I also used this image of what I believe it said was a swimming pool and started to work on it in the same way - changing the colours slightly etc but ended up with something different. I wanted to have a couple of colours in this piece, so I edited the colour channels in Photoshop to distort and layer the colours. That's how I got the pop of pink/magenta to appear without too much effort. Generally, when I do this type of glitch I select the colour channel I want to edit and use Filter > Distort > Shear. It's a technique I've talked about before in this post on channel glitching. I also ran the image through Processing to pixel sort it slightly, which you can see most at the bottom of the image.

An abstract glitched image of a photo of a swimming pool

As I had been searching for some botanical and plant based images for my previous experiment with the Colour Crush Creative palettes, I had a few downloaded that I'd not used. I didn't really 'glitch' these in any other way other than using the colour channels effect as I wasn't sure it would work. I like them mostly as they are as the palm tree leaves are almost x-ray like in some places.

An abstract glitched image of a palm tree
An abstract glitched image of a palm tree

Do you use free stock photos/found images in your pieces? I'd love to see some other examples.

. 24 March 2018 .
A colour crush creative colour palette 39 experiment
Well howdy. Don't' worry I've not been wandering lost in a desert for several months I've just been too lazy and too unenthused to blog. In an attempt to try and get myself back in the swing of doing something other than binge watching pretty much anything on Netflix I signed up to Color Crush Creative. I get an email every Friday with a new colour palette to help inspire me to, ya know, do art.

So for the past two weeks I have indeed done just that. I've made some digital art based on the colour palettes and I've also explored a couple of new techniques. The first image is based on this Friday's palette, number 40, or 'garden room'. As the colour palette was inpsired by lush foliage I thought might seek out a leafy image to play with and went with this one via Pexels.

The palette this week was also made up of peaches to contrast with the greens which are the colours I've used for the gradient. I also ran my colourised image through a couple of scripts in Processing (you can read my blog post about that here) to add some texture to the image and white outlines you can see.

A colour crush creative colour palette 40 experiment

The weeks before palette was called 'happy dance' and was made up of four purple colours, an orange and a blue. I tried to mainly focus on using the purple colours for this swirling, marbled image (of which the above is a crop of) but I couldn't help myself and added a few hints of the blue and orange. To add those colours in I used these great Photoshop smoke brushes and messed around with the layer blend modes until I found something that worked. Then I obviously added a noise filter as I seem to be in to lots of grain at the moment.

A colour crush creative colour palette 40 experiment
I also wanted to try and make something with a more liquid/fluid effect so I used my final larger image as I really enjoyed the colour combo and added a few extra bits of the lighter blue until I was happy. This took a lot of patience with the smudge tool but was actually easier than I thought it would be to achieve outside of the liquify filter.

No doubt I'll end up messing around with the colour palettes and images again so I might even have to do a part two to this post as I have a few more ideas I want to play with.

. 9 November 2017 .

Recently I've been a bit lazy with my art. I don't have a huge amount of space at home to work in any way, so aside from doodling in my bedroom, there's not much I can do regularly without taking over the whole house.

It's quite frustrating, especially when you like to make a mess and pour paint everywhere without staining ever surface. That's why I've been turning to my iPhone to help manipulate paintings without the need to also turn on my (very slow and very annoying) MacBook.

Outline Amy iPhone art Outline Amy iPhone art Outline Amy iPhone art

I've been using three apps to help me do this, iColorama S, ColorStory, and Trigraphy. Usually, I'll take some photos of a painting either with my iPhone or with my Sony a5000 camera - it has wifi so I can import the photos to my phone with ease. Then I'll import them into whichever app I want to use and play around.

Outline Amy iPhone art Outline Amy iPhone art

iColorama is an interesting app with both simple editing tools (like you'd find in most photo editing apps) and more complex effects. One of my favourite effects is 'ray' which is very much like pixel sorting, but not quite. I also like to use the various colour filters and effects in the app.

The first set of images I had already edited in Photoshop, so that's why they have some more depth to them. The others are edits I did entirely on my phone, mostly in iColorama, the last two images I did in Trigraphy which is great for adding texture to images. And I mean serious texture, my favourite is one that looks like flaking paint on a wall.

I wouldn't necessarily use these apps to edit everything, and I definitely wouldn't use them to edit a bigger project from start to finish, it would be far too fiddly, even if it is a relatively quick process. I do prefer the flexibility of software (like Photoshop), as the pre-determined app filters and warps are difficult to be super precise with. I can also, of course, team up Photoshop with other software too and ping between programs all day long.

The apps are great for quick bursts of creativity, or just when you have a bit of time to twiddle your thumbs. It would obviously be a good option for editing on the go, especially if you're too broke to own an iPad pro. Hands up in the comments if you're broke too.