In the January issue of Vanity Fair, these beautiful watercolor paintings of Michelle Dockery were featured. I love their minimalism, I love their composition, but most of all I love that they are watercolor renditions of photos. The more I looked at them in my copy of VF, the more I wanted to try and re-create the technique used in Photoshop. So, I hooked up my old, yet not often used, Wacom tablet, found a few photos I liked, and got to work.
In the end, since I’m not much of a painter, I liked a mixture of “painting” and real image. I use only 3-4 colors for the entire piece and use my eraser tool just about as much as I use my paintbrush. Below is my two-part tutorial on how to achieve the effect. (With a different photo from the above.) Part 1 highlights how to prep your image. Part 2 shows you the process of painting.
If you don’t have a tablet, don’t despair! The effect can be replicated with your mouse as well, just play play play with the opacity and flow of your brush as you work.
Well, explains a little. The last month has been an unimaginable time of sorrow and kindness and change for myself and my family, and it comes after four months of more of the same. All I can say is the outpouring of love and kindness from those who know us and those who don’t really has been humbling and I am dearly thankful.
Tonight I’m posting a 2 part youtube tutorial drafted almost 5 months ago. I hope its still useful and interesting to watch. And I hope that we’ll get back to our regularly scheduled program shortly.
Originally posted at Rusty Sarcasm, this is one of my favorite design posts. I thought we’d let it join us here.
Book 2 of 4
Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Film to be Released: n/a
Heather Read it On: December 27-28, 2012
SPOILERS!!… not really…but a little
Apparently, the second book in almost every series is the breakup book. Am I just discovering this now? Help me friends – am I going crazy? Did I just fall off the cabbage truck and hit my head? Maybe I should just skip second books all together.
Beautiful Darkness is the second installment in Garcia and Stohl’s series about a mortal boy who falls in love with a magical, caster girl who…can’t make a choice to save her life…or everyone else’s. I hesitate to cover the story plot for serious spoilers, but I think I can give you a general overview of the good points without giving too much away.
Again we see the events of the novel through Ethan Wate, our very mortal teenage boy who is in love and determined to save his caster girlfriend, Lena, at all costs. We venture further into the caster world and learn a great deal more about Ethan himself, his family and friends, and how they all are connected to the world hidden just behind the seams. These are the moments of brilliance. Garcia and Stohl (one of them at least) has a true knack for dialogue and the banter between the ensemble characters is wonderfully entertaining to read. I can’t tell you how many times the sisters make me laugh out loud, literally.
The intertwined love stories are also hidden gems I was so delighted to find included. Throughout the novel we learn more about Ethan’s mother Leila and her connection, not only to the caster world, but also Lena Duchannes’ family and Macon Ravenwood’s.
As someone certainly older than the series’ target audience, I appreciate the depth given to the adult characters and that we are allowed to see the impact of their choices. Lelia’s story is particularly powerful and achingly beautiful – even though we never interact directly with her, we understand her strength of will and character to make the choices she has. It’s the subtleties in her story that make you want to learn more, make you want to keep reading and put the puzzle pieces together.
As in most second books, the main love interest is MIA for a good section of the story, but that gives us time to meet a few new characters and understand better some old ones. And here in lies my largest struggle with book two – do I like Lena? Is it too hard to empathize with her when she is so closed off and far away? Especially since we meet other characters who are just as compelling and just as interesting, if not better conceptualized.
I won’t go into how much I adore Olivia, or how much I enjoyed the merry band of misfits traveling the caster tunnels like the Wizard of Oz. But trust me, there were more than a few times I was rooting for Liv and the sisters and Link and even Lucille over anyone else.
Of course, it’s not a young adult novel without a twist, and the twist that Garcia and Stohl throw at us towards the end is a book-saver. And not just because I was happy for Lena; actually, she was one of the last characters I was thinking about. I was glorying in a storyline that had come full-circle, at the sacrifices that were made on behalf of love, at finally being able to look at a character and know someone’s got their s*^t together. While I will admit I thought about this exact twist earlier on, I didn’t think it possible until I was actually there; working it out just as Ethan was. Looking back, there were soft ball signs it was coming…where was my head when those came up?
Overall, the strengths of the first novel are the strengths in the second. Garcia and Stohl know how to flesh out a body of characters you will come to love, they know how to write witty dialogue, and boy do they know how to unfold an multi-layered storyline. Now if only they knew how to get Lena to open up enough for me to connect with her, I’d be set.
Vocation: Girl with GhostsSometimes we hide in the most public of places - in a book, on the sidewalk, by the sea. It's in those places that we feel the most invisible...and the most connected to those just as alone. In those places we're hiding with the ghosts.