Monday, June 11, 2012

beach house, "how I did it"

Processes I use to digitally output an analog drawing or painting are many and varied. They range from a little color correction plus a subtle filter leading to an outcome that for all practical purposes is identical with the original to an intensive, multi-layered process that ends with a final image quite different from the original. This recent "beach house" is fairly characteristic, and as usual, I planned the project for screen display and for digital printing. About three years ago I made a version of the drawing that's similar in many ways yet quite different in others.

Most often my fills are subtle, 2-colour linear gradients; in this beach house all the fills are solid, except for the sun and windows. A few years back I tended to use gradients that were contrasty in colour and value and led to a more dramatic, artistic effect; I may return to that practice soon.

01. first, a scan in 24-bit colour; because the original was about 12" x 8" I scanned this one at 450 dpi:

beach house scan

02. for the window reflections, this time I used a beach photo I took at Columbia Point, Boston, and edited with Photoshop filters:

beach house windows

03. canvas:

beach house canvas

04. outlines:

beach house outlines

05. colour blocks:

beach house colour blocks

06. plus grass:

beach house plus grass

07. with sun:

beach house with sun

08. windows:

beach house and windows

09. almost ready:

beach house almost read

10. with copyright / signature in Helvetica Neue ultralight:

beach house with copyright

The finished "beach house" totals 11 layers, including the signature / copyright. I saved out only 8 selections, which probably is an average number. Just as a couple years ago, I did versions with two different sky colours, but decided to make thistle sky the default.

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