Monday, August 10, 2009

Cactus Monday - Chainfruit Sketch

"A painting is never finished - it simply stops in interesting places."

~ Paul Gardner
Chainfruit sketch - with horizontal background gradient,
watercolor filter and craquelure
texture added

Reference photo

Scanned pen sketch

Photoshop paint added

Diagonal gradient added

Here's my first cactus sketch attempt. I really want to get in the habit of sketching daily, but for some reason I avoid it. I managed to make one sketch from a photo and spent the rest of the week trying to figure out how to do a smooth gradient background in Photoshop CS2. For some reason, the gradient looks choppy or banded. I tried to smooth it out by blurring, adding noise and textures to it.

As I recall, when tried working with real watercolor paints years ago, I never quite mastered "step one" which is a graded wash. But maybe it's time to play around with wet watercolors again and see what happens. Perhaps getting a smooth gradient isn't all that important after all.

I like what Teri says in her Cactus Monday post today titled,
Trial and Error:

"You never know until you try something.
So try something new today."

Happy Cactus Monday! Head on over to Teri's Painted Daisies for more cactus posts and art inspiration.

More photos of chainfruit cacti today on my Sabino Canyon Blog.

Photoshop Update: Stapelaid suggested adding more color points in a custom gradient to make it smoother, and it helps. :)


Lynn Cohen said...

amazing wonderful painting of cacti in bloom!!!! bravo!!!!!!!!!!! and i like the top photo best without the add ons from photoshop. your art sings by itself without help!!!

stapeliad said...

Your cactus sketch is very nicely done!

For smoother gradients in Photoshop add more color points in a custom gradient.


Cathy S. said...

Wow just amazing! a beautiful drawing. Happy Cactus Monday!


Margaret Ann said...

Wonderfully observed...This is really pretty! HCM! :)

Angelika said...

These are so nice.

marianne said...

Wow, great!!!! The painting looks better than the original!
How good you must be with this programm! Incredible!

Icy BC said...

It's beautiful, and resemble the original one very much. I like it!

betchai said...

Diane, you are so full of talent. I love what you did, i did not know you can fill it your sketch with photoshop paint, now, i am learning.

Gaelyn said...

Diane, I love this. Your finished sketch is amazing. Did you really use PhotoShop to paint this? I should try that as when I mix watercolors I always make mud.

Unknown said...

Diane, You should sketch more and more. You are really good at it. I think it does not even need the PhotoShop enhancements. The pencil sketch stands alone and is an outstanding interpretation of the photo. I marked it as a favorite on Flickr. Lovely, lovely. Keep up good work.

Teri said...

DIANE!!! how exciting!!! You are sketching!!! I am so excited for you. Just a wonderful job on this!! WOW! I can't stop smiling.

a big HCM for trying something new and excelling at it!!!

Julie said...

I am just like you...I WANT to sketch, but I end up avoiding it. What to do. I am vowing to try harder!!! This is very lovely!!! You done good!!! LOL!

Loree said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I hope you continue to enjoy it. I love your photos.

Cherry said...

wonderful creations, Dianne! gotta learn how to do it. :)

Prospero said...

Very nice, Diane. Perhaps this blog will encourage you to do more sketching since you have an obvious talent for drawing.

maricar said...

hello Dianne! ;)

Maricar here, thank you for following my blog ;)

i love your sketch, it's simply beautiful, i would love to try it someday, i am more into cross stitching, but maybe i can give it a try :)

thanks again Dianne

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

When I see these wonderful painting everyone does, I wish I had just a little bit of talent in that direction. It seems like a wonderful way to spend ones time.

Stephanie said...

You made me recalled that I have a book on water colouring. Since stopped schooling I have never painted anything. So, I bought that book to start painting again. But it didn't happen. Nowadays drawing using Photoshop is as fun. Good luck and have fun yeah!

Kathie Brown said...

Ah, I should have known you were an artist also! Nice work!