Looking out my kitchen window, I saw a little sparrow in my forsythia hedge eating the flowers off the branches. I’ve been enjoying the birds in my yard for a long time now, but I had never noticed that’s what the sparrows were doing before! I couldn’t resist doing a quick little watercolor sketch of that little guy with a mouthful.
These last two weeks have been spent trying to update my Photoshop skills (though it’s questionable if I can really call what I have “skills”). I’ve used Ps Elements for quite awhile and have always just done the basics that my daughter was patient enough to teach me years ago. Basically, after I do an art piece I’ll use the computer to scan it, crop, maybe alter it digitally, things like that. Or make cards and send them off to be printed online. And I have lots of photographs in files that I will print or use in collage work.
It seems, though, that my Ps Elements was kind of dated and Ps Creative Cloud is the new way to go. I read a bit about it, heard about Adobe Bridge, read about camera raw, smart objects…sort of understood it all, so decided to take a trial spin. I thought if I applied myself I could learn some of the essentials, and it shouldn’t be that different from what I have with Elements. I just had to remember to be patient. I’m a visual learner; I never read the manuals, I need to be shown how things operate. I had to update to OS X Yosemite for the Mac in order to download the new version of Ps. I had been trying to avoid that after reading some negative comments, but I did it anyway. I’ve noticed a few differences, but it shouldn’t take long to get used to them. So, after downloading the Creative Cloud version of Ps and Adobe Bridge, I took a look. A lot of new things there, but okay. I decided to follow some step-by-step tutorials on www.puglypixel.com which are very good. I was encouraged, things didn’t seem so bad. My one concern was trying to remember everything, so I started taking notes. Well, as I look at my pages two weeks later, I’m hard-pressed to understand a lot of what I wrote down.
Another good website for help with Photoshop CC is www.lynda.com. You have to subscribe and right now I’m doing the trial, but it looks very worthwhile to get a subscription to unlimited tutorials. They cover more topics than Photoshop, too. And, of course, the Adobe Help Page had lots of pointers and good info.
I do cheat once in awhile and go back to Ps Elements to get some things done for the sake of speed. When I try to do something on my own without following a tutorial it can get frustrating, but I am learning. (If things get too maddening, I’ll just take a walk around the block to get away from it for awhile). I have to remember it’s a learning experience.
Here are two examples of what I’ve been playing around with.
These last few weeks I’ve been asked to make some invitations and notecards. First there was my niece’s baby shower. She’s expecting twin boys and is decorating the babies’ room with an elephant theme in khaki and light blue, so I used that to design this invitation and thank you card for her.
Another project was to make notecards for a tennis player friend to give her girls, who also play tennis.
I made lots of sketches and decided on these as samples to show her. We ended up using numbers one, three and four to personalize for the three girls. They were printed on a cream-colored card stock with matching envelopes.
Next up is a wedding invitation suite for a couple who will be married in July. More on that in a future post!