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photoshop Sketchbook Pages Still Life Watercolor

FIGuratively Speaking

Figs on Photoshop Manual, Pencil and watercolor, 6x9
Figs on Photoshop Manual, Pencil and watercolor, 6x9

These organic figs were disappointingly tasteless and so they became still life subjects instead of eating objects. I’ve been using the heavy Photoshop manual (seen under the figs)  as a weight on top of the the Fabriano Venezia sketchbook when I scan it. My new copy of Photoshop CS4 doesn’t come with a manual, although there is one online that can be downloaded and saved.

I’m one of those weird people who actually read manuals. When I get a new application I always read the manual first, to find out what the program can do and then I refer to it when I need to figure out how to do one of those things.

I don’t like reading on the computer but I refuse to pay another $55 for a manual that should have been included in the first place. In the meantime, the old manual makes a very nice paperweight or doorstop (or still life holder). 824 pages! And I read/skimmed the whole thing when I got it.

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Animals Drawing photoshop Sketchbook Pages Watercolor

Happy Bird-Day to Me

Happy Bird-Day to Me, pencil, ink & wc 9x12
Happy Bird-Day to Me, pencil, ink & wc 9x12

This morning I made my annual birthday pilgrimage to Fat Apples for a Baked Apple Pancake along with dear friends and family. Then I sketched this little family of California Towhees [update: not robins!] who are living in the small tree outside my bedroom window.

Mom and Pop Towhee take turns guarding the nest,  feeding the babies and shopping for groceries. When one returns with a juicy white worm to feed the babies, the other flies away to gather the next round of grub (literally?). The robins enter the tree from the house side where the branches are more open, which gives me a great view from my bedroom window (except that it’s too shadey in the tree to see their features clearly).

My cats sit on the bed and watch the constant activity all day: the best Kittie TV ever. Sometimes I join them and have been amazed how hard these little birds are working to keep their babies fed.

Fabriano Venezia Sketchbook & Photoshop CS4

This sketch is in the Fabriano 9×6  sketchbook that has been giving me such pleasure when sketching and such pain when scanning. But now I have a solution. I just got the fantastic, super fast, hugely improved new version of Photoshop CS4. After scanning each page of a spread separately, Photoshop will automatically assemble the pages perfectly together as layers/masks in one file, getting rid of the bad stuff,  while lining them up perfectly. For other adjustments, Auto Levels does a great job now, better than all the manual tweaking I’ve done in the past. And a bit of the Dodge tool cleans up any remaining shadows. The new streamlined user interface and adjustment panel are huge timesavers and make image adjustments so much easier and faster.

It was a bit of a splurge, but at $199 (after the $100 off Adobe offers on on any version of Photoshop CS through August) it was so worth it. A happy birthday to me present!

Apple Pancake
Baked Apple Pancake