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Friday 30 March 2012

Singapore Botanic Gardens

One of the highlights of our trip to Singapore was a visit to the Singapore Botanic Gardens.  In the centre of the gardens there is an orchid garden which I just loved.  An orchid is the national flower of Singapore.

The theme for Photo Art Friday was paths so I thought I would use the overhanging pathways in the gardens plus the orchids to create a collage:

However, this next collage which I put together using one of the statues in the garden is my favourite:

Thursday 29 March 2012

Singapore - Patterns of Trade Exhibition

I have come back from my holiday in Singapore and Thailand absolutely bubbling with inspiration.  Just what I needed to get me going again.  I took 700+ pictures with my point-and-click and my husband took over 1000 with the DSLR.  Happy Days!

When I was in Singapore the Asian Civilisations Museum was holding an exhibition called Patterns of Trade: Indian Textiles for Export, 1400-1900. How lucky was that??

I was allowed to take pictures as long as I didn't use a flash and I took loads of pictures of the wonderful patterns to use as inspiration.  There was a video playing showing the way the Indians use the large wooden printing blocks and the level of accuracy with the repeating prints is astonishing.  Found the history of printing fascinating too.  The exhibition is on until June.

Wednesday 28 March 2012

Soap Carving in Thailand

The beauty about going on holiday to a location which is entirely different to one's own is that you learn and see things which you wouldn't normally.

An art form which I had never seen before and which is practiced in Thailand is soap carving.  I bought this exquisite flower carved from soap which was presented in a beautifully painted lacquer container from a Thai lady who showed me how she carved the soap.
As soon as I got home I couldn't resist extracting the flower and seeing what I could do with it.  From one art form to another:

Big in Thailand is also fruit and vegtable carving:
Check this out:

I also discovered after some digging around that the Thais are not the only people to carve soap:

Tuesday 27 March 2012

Phone Apps - Conclusion

I have to say that out of all the phone apps, Sketchbook Mobile was the best and one that I might use in the future if I want to fill in a spare moment.

However, phone apps are so fiddly to use and they do take some time to master, that I think if you are in a coffee shop with time to spare pull out a piece of paper and just start doodling and then scan it in later or photograph it.  Sometimes there's nothing to beat just drawing with a pencil.  My doodles are all more artistic and free flowing/thinking when draw with a pencil rather than trying to churn out something on a phone.

Here is a collage from pictures taken in Thailand to represent the tao of drawing!

Monday 26 March 2012

Phone Drawing App No. 4

I've been away on holiday for 2 weeks and I was hoping to add blog posts while I was away but in the end internet access was sporadic and mostly not available from my own computer so I gave up in the end.

I added another drawing app to my phone just before I left so that I could try it out on the flight.  It's called Pocket Sketchbook and this was the free version.  It didn't have layers so, although I was able to load a photograph, I had to alter the photograph itself.  I found the drawing options quite limiting and the drawings I finally came up with weren't very good.  We visited Singapore and I tried to create a simple skyscraper silhouette for manipulation.  I also coloured over a lily that I had on the phone.

This the skyscraper:

The only thing I managed to come up with was a pattern.  Nothing else I seemed to do to it looked like anything special.

This is what I did to the lily:

However, I did so much manipulation to it, not sure the changes on the phone meant much and it would have been far easier to do on the PC.

Thursday 8 March 2012

Back to Vintage

I'm always trying to see if I can digitally mimic art done by hand and my intention was to try and mimic stamped cards.  However, as so often happens, I make a discovery in the process and end up doing something completely different.  So in the process of using some vintage images, this is what I got.  Again, not sure which one I like best:

Monday 5 March 2012

Completion of the Ginger Cat

I took the picture of the ginger cat and combined it with the original photograph (with the cut-out filter applied to it).  I then tried blending a couple of textures and came up with 2 that I liked the best.  The first one looks like an old postcard and the second one, a picture from an old book.

Sunday 4 March 2012

Phone Drawing App No.3

Well, this is really the same as my post about drawing app No. 2 but it's the bought app and not the free app.  I am slowly getting used to Autodesk Sketchbook Mobile and I can tell you it's pretty addictive.  I struggle with the size of the drawing but when I zoom in I lose the perspective so I decided to trace over one of my photographs - I saw this being done on a youtube video.  This is much easier and I think there is quite I lot I can do with this.  Below is the result.  I am going to take it into PSE and see what I can do with it.
Here are some tips:

  1. I find it easier to use a stylus and when I do it works better if the stylus is upright.
  2. Make use of the layers.  It's quite easy to make a mistake and if all the colours are on different layers then it's easier to correct.
  3. Really try and work out what everything does before you go ahead and attempt a drawing.

Phone Drawing App No. 2

The next app I tried on the Android is the free version of DScribble.  To be honest, I thought it was too limited.  Also, you couldn't save it on the phone - it had to be uploaded to the internet visible to everybody. This would be no use if I was on a flight. Besides, I could do a lot more and the same in Sketchbook.  I did a lot of very basic scribbles knowing that I would use them for brushes:
I came up with this pattern in Photoshop Elements after I converted the scribbles to brushes and patterns.  Not sure what I will do with what I made but who knows.

I quite liked the 'barbed wire' squiggle and will probably incorporate this into future art. What I have to remember is the whole point of putting something on my phone is that I can create when I am on the go and just the simplest of doodles can have a great outcome.

Friday 2 March 2012

Phone Drawing App No. 1

Sitting in a coffee shop or just waiting somewhere, I feel that I should be doing something and now that I have acquired an Android phone, I feel that I should put it to good use.  I have seen some of the wonderful stuff that artists have done on their phones and decided to have a go at finding a drawing application that might add to the photo manipulation that I do.  I started off with the free version of Autodesk Sketchbook Mobile which is one of the best known.

Although I thought the software was reasonably easy to get around, boy, how do those artists managed to produce the stuff they do??  I might as well have been 8 years old because that was the quality of the stuff I was able to produce.  Okay, so it was going to have to be simple doodles!  I was not very impressed with anything I was able to produce.  However, I took two of my doodles:

And produced this in Photoshop Elements with a lot of blending and camouflage!

Things can only get better - I hope!