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Hi again, Just rendered this Peach-face Love bird and am having trouble with him. He is 2.5 x3.5 aceo card. So please C&C welcome. Oh yeah, my scanner seems to pick up on everything that I can't see with a naked eye. When looking at him, he appears to be smooth, on the pick I've scanned he looks rough, haven't a clue.
05-05-2007, 09:11 AM
Hi Yvette. As far as the bird is concerned, it may be related to the photo you're working from. Everything seems to be the same value as far as light and shade are concerned. A straight on flash photo will take all the shadows out. If that's the case, you're going to have to determine a light source, to give this fellow some form. Re: the scan, I noticed a long time ago that, depending on your resolution setting (if you have one), the scanner will really pick up the texture of the paper. That's what the roughness looks like to me. You can soften your result if you can lower the resolution. If Dave Clemons looks at this, he usually has some really good suggestions.
05-05-2007, 12:47 PM
I agree with Ralph about the values. The bird is fairly flat right now, but a few form shadows could round him right up. ;) I really like the bright blue under the wing.
About the scanner - if you have image manipulation software, there should be a few tools that can help with this. You could try a very slight blur overall, or just select the background area and blur that. Another option is to try a digital camera, which tend to be friendlier to images. Finally, for web display purposes, you could save the JPG file two or three times - since JPG is a "lossy" format, each time you save it will blur it a small amount. You don't want to go too far and definitely don't want to do this to the original file, but it works farily well for shrinking file size and showing less of the gritty detail.
Hi Ralph and Meg, Thanks for your suggestions. I rescaned this bird at 72 res. I also darkened all of his shadows. I think that I have a light hand when it comes to shadows. I'll have to keep an eye on it.
Is their any more suggestions that may help this poor little guy out? I tried out my camera but I didn't like the way he turned out. I'll have to try to save jpg several times to see what happens.
I love working in gouache. I just want to get the hang of this. I know it takes time.
I really appreciate your help.
05-07-2007, 11:13 AM
Yvette, I like your painting. This bird looks like my own little peach-faced lovebird, Beaker. The eye is especially well done. I like the little bit of the turquoise rump feathers that are just peeking out from under the wings, too.
I would suggest adding some shadow under the tail in the vent area. This part of the bird would definitely be in shadow based upon your placement of the shadow along its right breast and tummy area. And you might want to lighten up the part of the (bird's) left foot that is just visible. They are a pale, fleshy beige color and the toenails are light, too.
All in all, I think it's a nicely done painting and I enjoyed looking at it very much. Thanks for sharing it with us.
05-07-2007, 08:43 PM
I wanted to commend you for doing such a good job on such a small surface! I think the bird looks better, and I agree with Beverly about the shadow under his tail.
As for the scan, I'm not sure what the surface of the ACEO is like, but it just might be a bad one for scanning. Rougher papers like cold press watercolor are tough, since the scanner sees different "heights" in the bumps of the paper. Ralph and I and others have mostly been using smoother surfaces, which scan better.
One other suggestion - don't show the art much larger than the original. If we were looking at a 2.5x3.5" jpg file, I bet we wouldn't see so much of the paper variations. Of course, people like to see detail, so it's a compromise!
Hi Beverly & Meg,
I didn't notice the tail until you mentioned it. I'm so busy trying to figure out how to work with gouache that I over looked it. Thanks for telling me. I love this bird, I use to own two love birds, neons ago. I got his pic for the the image forum, which is great.
By the way, what kind of paper do all of you work with? Just wondering since I don't know what I am doing and probably never will. Another thing I was wondering, has anyone ever heared of Permanent gouache by winsor & Newton? Is it any good?
Got to run and put that tail in shadow and I want to say thank-you for all of your help on this painting, I really have appreciated all your input.
05-08-2007, 05:41 PM
You're welcome, Yvette. Today's scanners are capable of picking up tremendous detail. Even my very first scanner that I got several years ago just stunned me with its ability to even show the actual fibers of the paper that my drawing or painting was done on. Sometimes too much detail can be a bad thing.
If you know you will be scanning your images, you probably want to work on smoother paper. I prefer a type of watercolor paper that is in between cold pressed and hot pressed. It's called soft pressed. It's smooth enough to take detail very well, but it has just the slightest amount of texture that makes it work well with dry brushing, scumbling, and other methods of painting and texturing. It scans well. I think the maker of the soft pressed paper is Fabriano. I'll have to dig some out and check the watermark on it.
You can also work on illustration board. Standard illustration board is not archival because it has some wood fiber in it, but there is some 100 percent cotton rag illustration board that is archival. Illustration board is pretty much an ideal surface for working with gouache. It's very durable and it won't buckle. It also comes in cold pressed and hot pressed textures.
You could try some museum board, which is a 100 percent cotton rag product and definitely archival. But it has no sizing on it at all so you will have to get used to its working qualities. I'd rather work with watercolor paper than museum board. Another problem with the museum board is that it is rather fragile and can be easily damaged. The dried surface of a gouache painting is rather delicate, as well, so I don't like adding more handling concerns by using museum board for my painting surface. I'd rather use it for matting, as it was intended.
Thanks for the info on the different type of watercolor paper. I'm going to check into the one you mention soft pressed. I did find a hand made watercolor paper from France that is 140lb and on side is smooth and the other with tooth. I'm going to try the side that is smooth.
Another thing that I am trying to figure out is should gouache be used like watercolor applying it in that technique. My husband thinks I should get a book on watercolor but I don't know if it would help me. One thing I did learn is that you can not render fur and then place a glaze over it. It melts the under layer.
As far as my scanner I think that scanning at a low dpi has helped some. Its amazing that when I look at my aco cards I don't see the detail and it all looks rather smooth until the beastly scanner does its thing. I'm not steady enough to take pictures with my camera.
I'll be putting more art on since I really want to learn as much as I can. I need all the help I can get.
Thanks for the info,
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