Tools of the Trade: Photoshop CS2, Stock, brushes, VUE, PaintShop, AutoFX, Wacon tablet.
Likes to use: I love nude art and I love to make angels and fairies. We have a lot of special stock here in DA but some of them are more than special for me (and some are not stock) like ~gerhardt ~flaviacabral ^Elandria `lockstock `tracie76 etc.
I like to make my own backgrounds. My husband is an amateur photographer and works with me. Therefore I love sxc.hu and brushes (some of them made by myself, others from DA like `spiritsighs or from Renderosity).
Examples of her work:
`MelGamas tips and tricks:
1.- The model:
Most times I start with the model that inspires me. I look at the image and imagine something that can occur in that moment. It depends on my mood (if Im happy or not) but I try to express peace or hope in my compositions. When I make my choice about the model, I save the image in a psd file with 3000 x 4000 pixels and 300 DPI. Probably the image is too small and I need to resize and prepare it.
The model is in my base and I need to resize it in most cases. Using the smudge brush with 10% I paint the body and the face carefully. Probably the eyes and lips will look terrible and youll need to remake them again. You can use the dodge tool with 15% exposure to give the eyes more brightness and the burn tool with 15% exposure for the shadows to make the contour and lines of the lips. In a new layer you need to re-paint the skin (with light and dark areas) using the soft brush with 5% flow. Merge these layers and cut the image carefully with hard brush. I put the image with big zoom to make it perfect and if necessary you can use the smudge in the borders to give them a soft touch. You can give the model some makeup to make her even more beautiful than she is. The hair is great to make at the end using the tablet and the smudge tool at 100% (natural brushes).
Pay attemption to what you need and the light that you need. Dont put too many things together. Whats the most important part in your image? If you answer me that is your model (the personage) you need to reflect exactly this. Many things will distract the eye from the main subject. Try to make your own background you start with one or two images and suddenly youre using a lot of them to make your own background.
Its really fun to use soft light, overlay or some other mode in your layers. You can create a lot of different images with this.
The most difficult step IMHO. You need to pay attention to the light of your model and the light of your background. To put together 2 or more images looks so easy but most people dont care about matching the light. If you have a sun in your left you need that your model have more light in the same position.
6.- Rules of Third
Photo-manipulation is to make something seem real that is not real. So you need to use some rules of photography as well, for example the Rules of Third.
Quoting from John Longecker:
Mentally divide your screen into thirds using two vertical and two horizontal lines to create nine smaller rectangles and four points where the lines intersect. It has been repeatedly shown that by placing objects over these intersections, a pleasing and balanced arrangement often results, whether the composition is horizontal or vertical. When an image's center of interest is placed at one of these intersections, balance in the picture can often be achieved by placing a secondary object (known as a "counterpoint") at the opposing intersection.
Of course you need to use your mind to get better and sometimes breaking the rules is fun!
The details make the difference! You can use some brushes to give life to your composition. In my special case I seldom put textures in my art. I love them but I love to see the details and the textures hide them.
Having put together all elements that you need, its time to see what you want to do about the colors. Maybe youll need to change the models colors a little or desaturate. I love to copy everything, merge it down so I have one last layer with this. That way, I can play with the color balance and make the image resemble a beautiful dream.
Save your work ALWAYS. The PSD file can prove that you created this image and so you will never need to be worried about copyright.
`MelGamas 3 favourite tutorials:
Eye Tutorial by ~saragath-stock - Another types of eyes, easily created.
Painting Eyes by ~AURORY - painting eyes.
Light by `azurylipfe - I love to work with light and this tutorial is really great.
`MelGama has recently written a tutorial about photomanipulation: Lets go manipulate!
Please keep in mind that these tips and tricks are never meant as the only way to do something they are the way the artist does things. They are meant to guide you or give you ideas what can be done and should be taken as such.
If you have any suggestions for deviants youd like to see sharing their tips and tricks, feel free to write me a note. Just keep in mind that this article is mainly focused on photomanipulators.
Lastly, I would like to thank `MelGama for sharing her tips and tricks
and you for reading them
~ #1 Aegis-Strife
~ #2 Tsheva
~ #3 YagaK
Up next: $fourteenthstar