I am afraid that I don’t have many interesting things to talk about today. I spent the majority of the day yesterday working on photographs for the pumpkin pattern. I had shown the step-by-step pictures that I had taken earlier in the week and since then have taken more pictures to show the steps to painting the pumpkin faces. The results is quite a few pictures necessary for that one packet.
In order for the pictures to be useful, they need to show the true color of what they are. While that may sound easy, it is really quite the opposite, as many of the subtle shadings and highlights that I added were getting lost between seeing them on the screen and what came out of the printer.
Calibrating what shows on your computer screen to your printer can in itself be an art. I am finding this our more and more as I create these painting patterns. With so many user options and settings, both on the printer and in the Adobe Photoshop software that I use, there is a lot of room for variances and it isn’t always easy to get what you see on the screen to come out of the printer.
I chose to scan in the pumpkins, because it did at least keep the input at a consistent level. Changes in lighting and settings on the camera would only add another layer of variables into the mix, and I didn’t want that. Since I took pictures of the painting as I progressed, naturally the lighting would be different from step to step and I found that the only way of completely avoiding that problem would be to take scans along the way.
I literally spent most of the day merging files and printing, adjusting and printing them over and over until I finally got a result that I deemed acceptable. I also did research read a lot in between prints to learn what I could about calibrating printers and monitors while using the all-powerful Photoshop, which in itself had an endless amount of adjustments that could be used.
While I realize that all this work could be for nothing if someone had very different settings on their own printer, I still needed to be sure that at least when I printed it, it would be as close as it possibly could be to the real objects. I also wanted to be sure that the subtle changes I made when painting each step would be evident both on the screen and also on paper, so the pattern would make sense to those trying to learn from it.
I believe that I accomplished this to the best of my ability. I say it that way because I do realize that as soon as the file is moved to another printer, things may change. But that is just the way it happens to be and I can’t control that. It is one of the downfalls of digital files, and even occurs in many of the painting books that I buy as hard copies. And while I, myself don’t have a high end printer (I have a Canon Pixma 4700) it does do an excellent job and is what I feel is quite adequate to get the point across.
As I look at the final output of the photos, I am pleased with the result. And while it doesn’t seem that I did much to push the pile yesterday, I actually moved a couple of mountains.
All these steps take time. While I wish that I could blink my eyes and have them done, that just isn’t the way it is. I would far rather be painting or working on the scroll saw and seeing the result of my latest idea come to life before my eyes in a couple of hours. But things aren’t always like that.
I am sure later on today when I am holding the finished pattern in my hand, I will feel just as proud of it as I am of the actual product itself. While it may not dazzle people the way that putting something new in my gallery would, I will know that those who buy the pattern and are going to be using it as a learning tool will see and appreciate the amount of work that went into making the pattern itself. Perhaps they won’t even think about it, because things will flow together and be easier to make than they would have ever thought possible. If that is the case, then I will be happy too, as I will know that I have done a good job. And that extra time that I spent would be worth it.
Enjoy your Wednesday.
(photo courtesy of www.cheezeburger.com)
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"