I knew I wouldn’t have a chance for a sketch today, but if I had it would have been this one, those lovely colors and shadows from morning sun as Mewsette sat behind Jelly Bean and gave him a bath, casting their shadows together onto the wooden floor. It was a nice photo too, but to suffice I took the nice photo and applied a few art filters to it to make it look more like a loose sketch, so we have a photo that has been made to look like a sketch.
I use Photoshop filters all the time, but I’m always disappointed by the art filters because I don’t feel they really do the intended medium justice. Beyond that, I don’t expect a computer to make the same aesthetic decisions about color and technique as I do, so when I do use them I often use a series of filters and even pull out sections of the original photo to place back in, unfiltered. The algorithms that determine the filters tend to break up the image into small or large sections depending on your settings, and layering filters tends to break up or soften the edges, letting them blend. But if you compare this to some of my sketches, for instance, you’ll see it’s the variety of textures and the mix of small and large sections of color and pattern and the addition of final highlights or even fine detail that become focal points and give the painting a reference point.
In this case I used “Underpainting”, then did a “Dry Brush”, then a “Rough Pastels”. But in the process tiny details like Bean’s eyebrow whiskers are always lost, but they are such an important detail to maintain. If this had been a real painting, I would have left them for very last, as finishing touch. And so I did here, having copied that area out of the original photo, then pasting it back in place on top of everything with a little bit of canvas texture. But I still want to paint this one.
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