Archive | November 2010

Elf dancing in the Light

Elf with vignette

Elf dancing in the Light. Digitally enhanced colored drawing by Ulla Hennig

When I began to work on the elf again I had an image in mind with the elf standing in the focus, surrounded by light. And I wanted the colors to signify energy and nature, so I chose the ones you could see above.

Again I used the possibility to work with layers in Photoshop: The dancing elf is on one layer, the vignette on a second, and the dark background on a third layer. I am not sure whether the background is not too dark, but I am a bit of an impatient person and decided to leave it at that…

The Speaking Tree

Speaking Tree

The Wise Speaking Tree. Drawing colored with copics by Ulla Hennig

Have you ever seen a tree which looked like having a face on it? No, of course not a real face, but something which reminded you of a face? Berlin has quite a lot of forests, and there have been some trees with funny forms on them.

So suddenly I had an imagine in my head which kind of wanted to be painted, the image of a tree with an old man’s face. I took a pencil and did a first sketch, and then inked the sketch and colored it with my new copic markers. I colored the eye in red because I thought it would make a nice contrast.

Now I am thinking about putting the elf and the Speaking Tree together. They could be a nice contrast, too: The young and happy dancing elf, and the old Wise Speaking Tree, maybe saying something like “Stop dancing around in the woods and do something useful!” Maybe there could be a cartoon with speech balloons? I’ll keep you posted!

Analogue vs Digital

Königsee. Pastel painting, digitally enhanced

Königsee. Pastel painting, digitally enhanced. Artist: Ulla Hennig

Actually this is a pastel painting which I did in the late 80s of the 20th century. It is hanging on the wall in my small entrance hall. I took a photo of it which turned out very, very blurry.

Some time ago I would have thrown it into my virtual trashcan (bin) without spending any thoughts on it. Now, that I’ve entered the wondersome world of Photoshop I said to myself: “Stop! Maybe you can do something with it.”

As those of you that use Photoshop may know: this program has a lot of filters which change your image file into something very different. It has got art filters, too. I applied the water color filter with the effect that you can see above.

So we’ve got a pastel painting turned into a watercolor painting. Well!

My Creativity Journal

Today I want to share something with you — my creative journal.

In June a friend of mine gave me a DIN A 4 notepad with a very nice cover as a present. I decided to use it as a kind of journal for my creative activities. In the beginning I mostly wrote down tasks–work on that Squidoo lens, create a new Zazzle design, put it on new Zazzle products. I also wrote down ideas regarding the next blog posts, and when to put them into practice.

From August on my lists changed into longer paragraphs. I began to write reports about my experiences with Photoshop–what did I learn? Which mistakes could I avoid in the future? I also wrote down thoughts about the use of twitter as a promotional tool. I jotted down the structure of a new Squidoo lens about my Zazzle products (I must admit I haven’t put that into practice yet!)

To say it in one sentence: The journal now is a tool for development and learning. To-do-lists haven’t disappeared completely, but often they are annotated (“This task is important because … In doing it I have to keep in mind that…”)

Having written this I would be very interested to know: What do you think about such a journal?

Portrait of an Elf

Portrait of an Elf

Portrait of an Elf. Lineart and coloring done in Photoshop

This colored drawing is far from perfect. The lines still need some cleaning. Again, I did the sketch with pencil and ink and took a photo of it. This time the lines are not done with the brush, but with the pen-tool–a new way to do it for me.

Another tool I tried out for the first time was the airbrush which I used for the coloring of the hair with different shades of red and yellow.

Fat Monk

Fat monk

Fat monk. Sketch and coloring: Ulla Hennig

This colored drawing was more or less done in Photoshop. Okay, I did a first drawing with pencil and ink, but then I took a photo of it with my digital camera and continued to work on it with Photoshop.

My first step here was to outline the face with a brush on a new layer. I haven’t got a wacom tablet, so it took quite some time and a very steady hand to do the lines. In a second step I colored the head in the lightest pink I could get. Every time I went over the outlines I used the eraser. It is important here to be sure on which layer you are working! It is also important to zoom in for details.

In a third step I used darker pink colors to shade. I did not have a reference photo to see exactly where the darker parts of the face are, so I did it as I thought it would be correct–which might be wrong!

By the way: I thought about a caption for the colored drawing. What about “Yes, I know, I am fat. So what?” What other captions are you thinking about?