Watercolor Wednesday

I’m pretty pumped about this week’s project. It combines work on the computer and working with my own two hands, and I’m pretty happy with the results!

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From the close up of this, you’ll see that this peice involved quite a bit of layering. I essentially took a black and white picture of myself and Kyle that I love, ran it through a couple programs to reduce it to six shades of gray (insert literary joke here) and then painted it in layers, with the lightest layer coming first, the later layers adding to the darkness. Each was was about the same color and opacity, but because it built on existing color, it got progressively darker.

process document

I’m pretty enthusiastic about this and looking for my next photo to do! And contemplating how I could start incorporating more color.


Sometimes do you ever wonder to yourself, “This is what I do for a living?”

…Because I do!

I spent the better part of last night making basically a picture of myself on fire, then at some point I stopped and realized how odd my life is at times. I followed this very helpful tutorial. Judging from my before and after, you might guess that the first step is to take a very unflattering picture of yourself- and you may be right.

But in all seriousness, I’m so lucky to work with such fun clients who let me really play with our assignments. It’s a bit kooky, but it’s a great way to make a living. I’m so excited to put this image to use for a client- stay tuned!

Manic Monday


There is something about this Monday that really has a smile on my face. It might be the weather. It might be the tremendous news I had last week (top secret but it’s got me beaming!). It might be the amazing Season Finale for Mad Men.

It might be this website, that never fails to make me smile and want to do something random and kind and a little weird for other people.  Do you ever send E Cards? Do they normally make you groan and roll your eyes? Well these are hilarious, and a great way to tell someone in a really inappropriate way that you’re thinking of them.

Anyway, I’ve made a discovery of my new favorite coffee shop on Hawthorne. Oui Press has everything I like- bold typography in the decor, french and delicious pastries, free wifi and good coffee. Look how cute it is:

Anyway, here are some head-scratchers I found this week on the internet. Happy Monday!

  • Nubby Twiglet reads this book, and now I want to, also. Great review.
  • How to be a Beginner– good advice from Miss Modish and pretty pivotal in my life right now!
  • What is it about McSweeney’s that always seems to speak directly to me? This piece entitled “The Ultimate Guide to Writing Better Than You Normally Do.” is pretty hilarious in how spot-on it is.
  • I’ve been thinking a lot lately about taking banjo lessons at the lovely Artichoke Music on Hawthorne in preparation for the amazingness that will be this year’s Pickathon. Doesn’t it seem like some people have a musical gift, and other people have a song inside them they don’t know how to start- or in my case are too tone deaf to articulate?
  • My old-timey creative streak is  itching to try out this tutorial for turning a photo into an engraving in Photoshop. Maybe this week!

Have an excellent start to a sunny week!

More adventures in Photoshop!


Today I spent a good chunk of time familiarizing myself with Photoshop filters. This post will detail me walking through one of these “just for fun” tutorials, found in full here. I’ve always wanted to figure this style out, as a big Roy Lichtenstein fan, and am so relieved to see someone else figured it out for me already!

Step one- choose an image!

I figured I might as well stick with the trend of picking goofy pictures of myself on here.

Next step: knock out the background and make it blue! This was a snap using the pen tool.

Then turn the top layer to greyscale….

Then, you make the magic happen. This step was difficult, in finding the right threshold with an image that is pretty low contrast. Next time, I might pick a different photo that would allow for more of the details to remain- you pretty much lose my lips and nose (not a small feat with this schnoz!). It’s also bitmapped to give it that Rastered effect.

The final steps involve adding back in color! Not really a need for explanation there:

And there you have it! Just as a refresher, here’s the original photo again (I know how much I hate scrolling…so you don’t have to)

Again, if I were to do this tutorial again, I would try to use a photo with a little better contrast. I think the blur effect in the original contributed to the loss of detail. Definitely worth another shot, though!

Happy Friday, y’all!


Playin’ Round with Photoshop!

On Monday I posted this link featuring a tutorial to make your own SNL photos- and today I decided to try it out for myself! The original tutorial can be found here, courtesy of the amazing and snarky Pugly Pixel.

It was pretty easy to follow, considering Photoshop is probably the Adobe program I’m least familiar with. I’m not entirely happy with the results, next time I’ll try to be more careful in the coloring process-  but then again I’m not generally a color-inside-the-lines type of girl.  Here are the steps in order!

Step one: Choose the photo (obviously, I’d pick this one!)

Step two: Knock out the background (hopefully in a more refined fashion than I did, above.)

Step Three: woops. This is where I did a bunch of steps without pausing to save the progress in separate files. Basically, I knocked out the color, painted my own neons, then returned some of the color for less creepy skin tones. Again, next time I try this out I’ll be a little more selective in my coloring and choice of colors- I was a bit rushed in wanting to get to the end stages and test it out.

Step four: Add type! I kind of love the way my R, A and V in my name line up… how is it I’ve never noticed this before??

I highly suggest trying it out for yourself!