Friday, January 30, 2009

Trying Out Notan and Orchids at the Conservatory

Using Photoshop Elements "Cutout" Filter
top left: original painting
top center: greyscale
top right: no. of levels=2, edge simplicity=1, edge fidelity=2
bottom left: no. of levels=2, edge simplicity=4, edge fidelity=2
bottom center: no. of levels=2, edge simplicity=1, edge fidelity=2
bottom right: no. of levels=2, edge simplicity=5, edge fidelity=1

After reading Making a Mark's post this morning, I just had to try out this technique in Photoshop. Katherine Tyrrell writes about using the cutout filter in Photoshop Elements to possibly assist with notan and lino-block cutting. The Japanese are the ones who utilized this concept by simplifying shapes into light and dark areas for a two dimensional drawing.Please check out Katherine's site for more a lot more information on doing this and using notan.

Notan can be a powerful tool for the artist to use as a means of simplifying the composition. I first found out about it just a couple of months ago and I am still trying to get my mind around the concept. Thank goodness for technology for assisting the mind and eye with grasping the idea.

I have also been using Photoshop for improving a photo of an orchid that I took while attending the show at the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory this past Sunday. The visit definitely helped with the winter doldrums that seem to be plaguing everyone with this long and very cold winter. There were a wide variety of orchids displayed and the conservatory is always warm. What a great place to spend the day! The only problem was that everyone else in the city thought so, too.

original photograph of orchid - (notice the background line and plant support)
copyright 2009 MaryAnn Cleary

White Orchid I
Orchid with background line and plant support removed.
Color adjusted using the "auto" feature in Photoshop Elements.

copyright 2009 MaryAnn Cleary

Orchid II
photograph further manipulated using a Lucis filter, cropping and the bandage tool
copyright 2009 MaryAnn Cleary

The last photograph was manipulated in Photoshop using and added filter called Lucis. It is an add-on that I found over a year or so ago. The same effect can be made though by utilizing the exposure settings and playing with the contrast and brightness, but Lucis just does faster and easier. It is a fun filter.,

Another wonderful thing that I found out about the Conservatory is that they set aside time every month or so to allow photographers and artists in to setup their tripods and easels for photography or for painting. The next day is on February 8th and is from 8:00 am to 10:00 am. There is a nominal cost of $5, but what a place to escape in the winter and paint for a couple of hours. I definitely will try this in February!!

Back to the easel! I am working on some another figure painting and doing some conte drawing. If it looks ok, I will post it.

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