Saturday, April 21, 2012

I Made a Feather in Photoshop

I'm working on a South West, South of the Border, Tex-Mex, Cowboy, Desert
inspired group, and I needed an eagle feather for a design. So I decided to play, which in Mark-speak, means creatively tackling an unknown with the skills I had developed to date. Some of the work is "lost" meaning I didn't save it as an individual component but rather I have it as a composite image so I can't show you everything.

First was to create a basic feather that I would use as the foundation.

After filling in the rest of the basic shape above, I had what looked like a paper cut-out feather. I needed to put the individual "ribs" in the feather so I created the image on the left. This I pulled like a piece of taffy and made the lines as fine as I needed them, then warped them. I also used this same texture to create the downy-fluff where the feather meets the shaft of the quill.

Next was to blend the large solid areas of color and to give it more depth. The entire stem or center of the feather is highlighted. I try to give the images I use irregularity so there is an element to them which I think makes the viewer comfortable with it because there is an ease in the naturalness of it.

 Yet another layer of shading is added on top.

And the final finished feather as all the pieces are layered together. I think these are pretty good, are quite suitable for the project, and certainly exceed my expectations.



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