Thursday, September 9, 2010

Now for a change, this post has nothing to do with bookbinding.  I've been lucky enough to take several online classes and workshops (most of the free) from Cynthia Powell.  The latest workshop or rather series of workshops, which I have most willingly paid for, is called Digital Montage Studio and it is a series of classes that explore digital image manipulation.  One program used is Adobe Photoshop Elements which is a program that I have but I've only touched the surface in my use of it. 

There are five workshops in the series and each one is a stand alone entity so that you can opt in for which ever topic interests you.  The first workshop was for beginners and began with simple explanations of layers and blending modes.  Cindy and Sherre, the co-instructors, run a Yahoo group that allows great communication among participants and the course leaders.  A lot of sharing of resources and insight and constructive help takes place in this group.  Files are posted for download and resource links are available for use at any time.

Here is a run down of the workshop descriptions taken from Cynthia's website:

July 19-30th-Workshop #1-Blending Texture & Color Layers-Blending/Overlaying for dynamic visual effects. Bonus technique: "Trappings" will be shared in this workshop. SOLD OUT!

August 16-27th-Workshop #2-Creating & Using Custom Distressing Tools-Create unique brushes (from found images) and learn how to use various digital tools to create the illusion of age to your backgrounds & elements. Bonus technique: "Gesso Effects" will be shared in this workshop!

September 13-24th-Workshop #3-Bonus "Digital Stenciling" Technique will be shared in this workshop!-A truly unique way for using Stencils in the virtual world of digital imaging. The results are stunning! Plus create a variety of digital stamps for your own personal collection.

October 18-29th-Workshop #4-Shadow & Light-Creating depth with Shadows, Bevels, Styles and Lighting effects + additional blending techniques. Work with text and photos! Bonus technique for creating a truly unique signature for your art!

November 15-24th-Workshop #5-Filters & Patterns-Filters can change your whole perspective, when you discover what they can do for your art! Throw in some patterns and your digital world becomes a playground for your art.

These workshops are loaded with fabulous digital mixed media techniques and a few New Bonus Techniques as well!

For more information, to see samples and to sign up for these great on-line workshops-visit:  Digital Montage Studios

Here are some of the montages that I created for Workshop I:

This assignment was called "Widow's Walk".  Several images were added in different degrees of transparency.  Texture was added as an overlay.  Special effects were added to the layers.  Every image was placed on a different layers


This was a bonus assignment after Workshop II.  In this one, I practiced taking out the background from around images so that the dolphins and the paint splashes sat cleanly on the black background.  This technique will be useful when you want to take an element out of one picture and add it to another or use it in your own artwork.Once again, I really, really, need to practice my digital photography.  Some of the participants in these workshops take amazing pictures.  Those of us who can't are left to rely on copyright free images found on different web sites or purchase for use images from sites like istockphoto.

If you are interested in digital art and image manipulation and would like to learn more about using the software, I would highly recommend the course offered by Cindy and Sherre.

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