On Stranger Tides

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On Stranger Tides

I started this image a while ago but it took me a while to finish it until I discovered a couple of wonderful photoshop plug in’s, the Nik Collection Software which is free to download and Impressions 2 by Topaz Labs. I have been using these for a couple of months now and I feel like they are great programs to add that extra pop to your work.

I was really inspired to use impressions by fine-art flower photographer Kathleen Clemons, I watched her creative live course and she mentioned a few of the programs she likes to use on her images. I had previously used Photoshop’s oil paint filter but lost it when I updated, Impressions is like that but way better. It’s very initiative, it gives me a lot of options including brush stroke style, number of strokes, length, randomness, colour just to name a few.

This style doesn’t work with all my pieces but some I find it really finishes the piece off. Like this piece ‘On Stranger Tides’, I wanted this image to have an antique painterly look and impressions really helped me make that come true.

If your interested in seeing how I created this image please check out the video below, if you would like to seem more check out My Youtube Channel.

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2016 – A Retrospect

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2016 has been a journey of self discovery, I started this year wanting to improve my compositing skills through self-portraiture.The video you see above is timeline of both my journey in self-portraiture and the improvement of my compositing skills through out this year.

As most artists I found it hard to do self-portraits at the start but as time has gone on I have got more inspired to create stories and create new characters. I have felt that as I create new works I am starting to see a painterly style emerge in my work and its something I’m really liking.

I have made it a point that every time I create a new piece to try out a new technique or skill that I’ve learnt, I have used each piece as a learning experience.

Not every piece has turned out as great as I have wanted but I’ve tried to use this as inspiration to take things further. Recently I created an image where my character had wings and in the original image also had fireballs. I re-edited and re-edited this image but there was always something missing or not quite right. I used this experience to create two new images both which turned out better than that piece and I am proud to include in my portfolio.

This journey has been a great learning experience and I feel proud of the personal achievements I have made this year. When this year started out I new this was something I wanted to achieve, I was inspired by artist like Brooke Shaden who you will know is one of my favourite artists if you have been following my blog posts.

This year I have learnt a lot from following her work, whether its on her blog, youtube channel, through reading her book or the two courses I purchased of hers. I attribute her to my improvement because she has inspired me to keep creating.

I made a few goals this year, one to improve my compositing skills, two to create self portraits and three to learn about my craft by learning from other artist. I’m not usually one to set new years resolutions or projects like this mainly because I’m really bad at keeping to them but I feel that I have accomplished all these goals.

I’m already thinking about my goals for next year, what things I would like to accomplish but at the moment there not set in stone.

Thank you for following my journey this year.

Erin

The Evening Sun

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This piece doesn’t really have any inspiration behind it other than just wanting to experimenting with lighting.

I created this image from pictures I took while visiting my sister on the gold coast, I’ve spend the last four months her taking a break from some stressful stuff that has been going on this year.

One of my bucket list items this year has been to take sunset and cloud pictures to use in my work and finally I got to tick one of those off. The background was taken in the evening on a cloudy day I loved how stormy they look, the subject image was taken on a white wall facing a big window.

I feel extremely happy about this image it turned out amazing, the lighting fits well and its documents one of my highlights this year.

To see how I created this image please view the video below, to see more videos check out my Youtube Channel.

Dealing with change + social media

I’m currently exploring how I share my work, I’ve been thinking about areas I should focus on and what I’m posting to my blog and social media pages. I’m not liking the current format I had put in place to try and promote my work, I just keep coming back to where I’m feeling that its two forced and not feeling organic enough for me.

So I am making some changes to make my life better and to better share with you the work that I am so passionate about.

I’ve been going through a lot this year and my pursuit into the fine art photography world has helped keep me inspired and to keep going, along with the support from those close to me.

As some of you might know if you follow me on Facebook or Instagram I may have mentioned that I have been living in the gold coast for the last four months with my older sister. I needed a break from my life as I was going through some personal issues and I needed a change of scenery.

A week from now we are both going home and I can’t wait to see everyone, I pretty much guarantee you that I will cry like a big baby, I have missed the rest of my family so much and I can’t wait to see them all.

This trip has been good for me I have learnt a lot about changes I need to make in my life and that I need to start to accept myself and stop seeing my mental illness as a burden. I know when I stop seeing it that way and start to accept myself that I can start to heal and move on with my life.

I am going to be making many changes in both my personal life and online, I have many plans for changing how my brand looks and what I will be sharing and where I will be sharing it. So expect them to see some in the coming weeks.

I would like to focus more on my blog , sharing my inspirations, along with new work and more comprehensive videos on how I create my work. I have plans next year to try and branch out into portrait photography and graphic design specializing in branding, book covers and a bunch of others. These are both areas I have explored before but not on a regular basis, seeing as I have spent the last two years studying Digital Design I would love to explore it more and branch out to be able to use all the skills I have learnt.

As for my personal life that will be a work in progress I know its not going to be overnight but I know that I’ve I take small steps I can finally be in a place when I can feel true happiness. As most people who suffer from any kind of illness this is hard, its not to say that I don’t have happy moments I have many but these tend to get overshadowed by the toxic and negative thoughts that go through my head.

So here’s to the future. ☺

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Creative Influences – Music

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I am by no means musical other than that time when I was about 5 and did piano lessons at school. But I have a love affair of listening to good music which varies in style depending on what mood I’m in.

I’ve always been influenced by music, growing up I was always interested in the music my parents listened to and I have an immense appreciation for music that has a lot of electric guitar and I don’t know if that comes from listening to my dad’s favourite album from the Dire straits ‘Brothers in Arms’. It’s always been one of my favourites as well I remember us pulling it out when we have the family around and having a listen. I have a lot of memories attached to this album and maybe that’s why I love it so much.

My love for guitar has grown with listening to bands like Halestorm and Slash featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators. These have become some of my biggest rock influences at the moment, I had the chance last year to see Halestorm in person and it was the best damn show I have ever been to. I think that I will love them for a long time and looking forward to hearing new music from them.

When talking about my love affair for guitar I can not forget to mention The Living End, I have been a fan of their’s since I was a kid. I have memories of watching ‘Prisoner of Society’ on Rage, I’ve had the privilege to see this band play quite a few times since I first saw them when I was 16. They were my first concert and that gig hold special meaning to me because it’s been a decade since I was there with my best friend. Due to her growing a baby we weren’t able to go to the gig they did earlier this year at The Gov where we first saw them but I will always hold that memory close.

Rock isn’t my only musical influence I love listening to all sorts of music, right now I’m loving music from Birdy and Florence + the machine especially and some of their music has had an influence on my creative work.

These pieces from my ‘Nightmares and Dreamscapes‘ series were influenced by songs from Birdy and Florence.

Music has a massive impact as far as influences go on my work, my recent series ‘Counting on hearts‘ was inspired by the music from the band Icon For Hire.

In my personal life I use music as a way of relaxation, a place I can go to distract me from my thoughts, a place of rest but also something I can listen to while I’m working. Which is why I think my music choices vary so much, from mediation music to music like Birdy to rock n roll. They all have their places in my life and serve different purposes.

Check out my Last.fm profile to check out what I’ve been listening to and follow me on social media to see what I’ve been working on.

Note – This is not a sponsored post just my thoughts and feelings.

Topaz Labs – Texture Effects 2 & Impressions 2

I find it exciting to discover new techniques to aid me in creating my art, in the last few months I’ve tried out both Impressions 2 and Texture Effects 2 from Topaz Labs.

You may have noticed a painterly effect in my latest work and I’ve been using Impressions to help aid me in creating that look, like the example below.

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On Stranger Tides

Impressions really helped me create the look I desired with this piece, I wanted to emulate an old style traditional painting and it really helped me. By now your probably thinking this is a sponsored post but I love sharing how I work and new discoveries to help others with their work so you don’t have to worry all the links through out this post are just to help you find the programs I’m talking about.

I have to admit these plug-in’s can be overwhelming at first because they allow you to create truly unique custom looks for your image. Both programs are extremely intuitive, in Impressions you can change a number of things to create your own unique look including style of brushstroke, how many strokes, length, randomness, and so many more.

You may remember if you have the Creative Cloud version Photoshop that they had a similar filter called ‘Oil Paint’well Impressions is similar to that but has many more options. Both Impressions and Texture Effects can be used as a plug-in in Photoshop and Lightroom or as a standalone program. I like using it with Photoshop because it allows me to use layers to enhance or play with the effects further if I feel the need to do so.

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I’ve been having fun creating presents in these programs you can download them yourself using the easy steps in the above image. (the steps are the same for both programs)

Texture Effects allows me to play with textures in multiple layers with in the program and then add extra effects to those effects. Each program comes with a range of default presets but you can also create your own or download presets that other people have uploaded from the Topaz community.

Check out the image above to see how to access those.

One of my favourite options is that I can load in my own textures, its pretty simple.

See the image below for guidance.

Step 1. Click on the create a new texture button.

Step 2. Add a new adjustment layer.

Step 3. Select texture from the drop down menu.

Step 4. Select the symbol right of the texture drop down menu. This will open a new box like the one pictured.

(optional) you can create a new category to import your images.

Final Step – Click import to import your own texture images.

Close when you have imported your images.

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I am currently testing out the trial version of Texture Effects but I will defiantly purchase the full program once my 30 day trial is up.

Price

Texture Effects 2– $69.99 US

Impressions 2 – $99.99 US

I get that the price for these could be considered a bit much for some people but for my work personally I think that they are a great investment. I use a lot of textures in my work anyway and I love the looks that I can create with Impressions.

You can test these programs out before buying which is great to be able to play and see if you like it. I had a little trouble getting Impressions to work when I first tried it, so make sure you check out Topaz Labs website to see if your computer is compatible.

They also have a YouTube channel so that you can see how the programs work.

I would love to know If you have used either of these programs and what you thought of them? Have you tried out any of Topaz Labs other programs or anything similar to this?

Keep an eye out for new work coming soon, I’m starting to include more speed edit style videos in my posts to give you visuals of how the pieces came together.

Have fun & be creative,

Erin.

New Stock Image

I put together two free stock background packs for free download via my deviantart page. I was going through some of my photos the other day and thought these might be good to put up there. I used other peoples stock for a long time so I felt that it would be good to pay that back by putting some of my own stock up.

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You will need a deviant art account to access them. Full terms and conditions are on the link provided you can find them here.

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Hopefully more will be coming soon, until then you can find more of my stock and textures here.

Have fun & be creative,

Erin.

Carried Away

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Part five of my counting on hearts series partly inspired by Brooke Shaden‘s ‘White Wall Wednesday’ and by songs from Icon For Hire. I’m not musical by any means but I am often inspired by the music I listen to.

If you would like to see how I created this image check out the video below  or if you would like to see more of my videos check out and subscribe to my Youtube channel :

 http://bit.ly/2ccVFYm.

Only a memory

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This is a continuance of one of my newer series which was partly inspired by Brooke Shaden‘s ‘white wall Wednesday’ and by songs from Icon For Hire. I’m not musical by any means but I am often inspired by the music I listen to.

I’m not going in to huge details with this series like I have in the past but I just wanted to share these with you. If you want to see more detail of how I put this piece together watch my video below.

If you would like to see more of my videos check out and subscribe to my Youtube channel : http://bit.ly/2ccVFYm.

Overlays

UPDATE – This overlay pack is now free.

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Last week I released a new textures pack but this one is a little bit different, it’s a bokeh overlays that you can use over the top of your images, these textures are available for you to purchase (purchase price – $5 US) and use but you are still required to stick to the guidelines from the Creative Commons License. Basically you can use them in your work but you need to credit me.

If you want to use any of my texture packs without having to credit me please contact me for licensing rates.

You can find all my texture packs via the Textures & Overlays tab, there are also alternative download links available for all of the texture packs.

Deviant Art

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License

There are 18 images included in this pack, I hope you have fun using these textures and please let me know if you have any issues downloading them.

Also I would love to see what you use them for so feel free to send me a link in the comments or via Facebook or Twitter.

Have fun creating,

Erin.