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PhotoShop CS2 - Art History (continued)

Next we want to create a transparent new layer above the Median layer and fill it with a medium dark background color. I sampled #6E3232. from the curtain. Reduce the opacity of this layer to 80% - 85% so you can see a little of the underlying median layer. Create a new layer above this background color layer and name it "Base 1". It remains transparent and will be our first paint layer.

Base 1 beginning strokes.

With the Base 1 layer active choose the Art History tool. Go to the presets palette and choose the "Joe's AH Wide Trans Marker 125" brush. Take time to look at the AH settings and the brush settings. Now begin on the right side of the curtain and make broad strokes down the folds. Don't hold the brush in one spot or it will build up too fast. Be sure to overlap strokes but not too many times. Try to maintain some sense of transparency (it will fade fast).

Work around the figures at first, then into them following the shape of their bodies. Don't worry about covering everything at this point because we are going to make another base layer over this one. In fact it is all about layering color information one skin at a time.

Note: All of my presets for AH have color variability built in. This is completely adjustable so if you think this is a bit much, tone it back a little. (See the brush settings palette next to the Presets palette for this).

Base 1 layer and Base 2 layer. Adjust the opacity to suit your taste.

Now add a new "Base 2" layer above Base 1. Choose the "Joe's Oil Transparent 125" from the AH presets palette. Lightly go over the image again painting on the Base 2 layer. Don't worry about overlapping on the figure edges. We want to make these 2 layers have a lot of overlap to add to the soft transparent nature we are after.

When you complete this Base 2 layer take a minute to experiment with the opacities of these 2 layers for interesting effects and added transparency. For this tut, all my layers will stay in normal mode, but you can imagine the possibilities with experimentation there.

Notice at right that you can just make out the bodies and the arms. Keep it loose!

Mid layer at full opacity
Mid layer at 50% opacity. Starting to take shape isn't it?

The Mid Layer

Create a new layer above Base 2 and name it "Mid". If we think of this as a layer that will add a little tiny bit of definition, then all will be well. When you start to add any of the detail you need to be able to view the snapshot your painting for accuracy. Before progressing hide Base 1 and Base 2 so you can see the median layer better. Now choose the "Joe's AH Trans Palette Knife 40" from the AH presets. You still have the median snapshot to paint from, so just paint in some of the highlighted areas that you see and keep this loose also. For this layer, I only chose to accent the figures not the background curtain.



Reduce the opacity of the Mid layer to 50%. The figures are beginning to come alive, well, I mean, I guess I have a great imagination because I am already liking it right (?).

I think it is important to understand this point here because what I am after is a look that is defined by a minimum number of details. To me this is what defines the type of art that I enjoy most. The beauty in art is the participation in the viewing. Your mind fills in the details.

OK, it is coming together.

Layers and Snapshots (save this as a psd file at this time).

Layers and Snapshots

So here we have the snapshot and layers palette. You can see that to this point we have only used the median snapshot as our source for the image. That is about to change.

So let us move on to the detail layers.

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