BrushStroke 2 Tutorial - Part 2 of 2 and GiveAway

In the previous two posts, we have reviewed and discussed in a tutorial how to achieve the most from using the new version of BrushStroke 2. Now we will focus on achieving different modes and time of day by using the Adjustment layer category dealing with temperature.  The last example in this post features how the Tone layer category can completely alter the look of an image.

When one clicks on Temperature, the programs default setting is 50% percent and with just a five percent in one direction or the other begins to alter the light value to either warm or cold. This is evident in the following example of a still-life with books.

Temperature Plus 5% 

Temperature Minus 5% 

The warmer version clearly feels like there is a late afternoon sunlight coming through the window and the second version gives the appearance that outside is a cloudy day, possible even raining. This makes Temperature a very powerful influencer on the over-all results how the converted photograph.

The next image taken in San Francisco Chinatown through a window, of a place which was mostly dark and a little grungy, were only a couple of neon light tubes illuminated the facilities, made it feel cold. By decreasing the percentage to 30, the image may have appeared just right when I was took the picture, yet by increasing 10 to 40% percent, I did achieve a balance more appropriate.

Temperature setting at 40% 

In the alternative version I went to the other extreme and tried 70% percent, but just like the cooler version at 30% was too much and so was seventy percent. Call it poetic licence or artistic interpretation, a warmer setting with an increase to sixty percent made the scene more pleasant and this is my preferred version.

Temperature setting at 60% 

In the next series of images, I will illustrate what just 10% percent incremental adjustments can effect how ones artwork will feel. While eighty percent may feel as an extreme, it can represent Arizona or New Mexico where temperatures can easily rich over 100° degrees, but for a more harmonious and artistic representation, 70% percent certainly is more balanced.

Temperature setting at 80% 

Temperature setting at 70% 

Temperature setting at 60% 

Temperature setting at 50% - program default

With a properly exposed photograph a setting of 50% percent will mostly be right, as we see in the converted image above. There is balance and harmony between the colors and their strengths to each other, yet there still comes artistic interpretation which changes everything.

Temperature setting at 40% 

Once certain can consider that even at 40% percent warmth, this image looks normal and that a setting of 30% percent (next image) truly begins to alter the art work from realistic to probable. 

Temperature setting at 30% 

In my earlier tutorial, I spoke of Density being another one of my favorite controls that is available in the Adjustment layer category, as it develops a little more drama by creating depth through darkening the colors. While I like the 40% percent version in this series, I decided to go with the neutral adjustment and apply some Density for a more dramatic look. Another purpose for readjusting the Density was to intensify the red cloth hanging in the campers window.

Temperature setting at 50% with Density increased to 90%

Personally I am drawn between two versions, the 40% percent with a more intense blue sky or a more grungier look for a place right by the railroad tracks that had the Density increased to 90% percent.

In our next example I will not be using Temperature to adjust the over-all appearance and feel of the converted photograph, rather the focus is on the Tone layer category. A category where the filters can have a variety of results from converting ones painting into a watercolor, a Conté drawing or simply re-adjust all the colors. 

Of course it all depends on the type of subject matter is depicted in ones photograph. In the following example I am using torn fliers found on telephone poles in the city of Berkeley. A subject matter I have been documenting since 2005, because of their abstract nature.

What I am hopping to have illustrated here and with my other images in this post, is that one most not settle for just the first best results, rather go through most, if not all filters to discover what pleases one’s artistic senses. We must also think about how to best utilize other programs in the preparations of a photograph before importing it into BrushStroke 2, including exporting an image treated in BrushStroke 2 into yet another program for final adjustments. 

As we can see from these seven examples were just a different tone filter has been applied, we are able to achieve results that in shifting the color values as did the Temperature adjust meant filter. 

BrushStroke 2 image and combined with matching photograph in ImageBlender

In our last example I re-used one of the previous abstract images of the telephone pole fliers and introduce it into ImageBlender, along with the original photograph. The settings in ImageBlender were 50% percent and the layer set at Multiple. 

The goal was not to end with a realistic painting, for that the painting setting in ImageBlender would have had to be more towards the painted version and not the photograph. The intent was to maintain the look of a photograph but achieved a much richer tones within each piece of paper without using programs like Stackables or Afilter or even VSCOcam, because those programs simply overlay their filter over the entire image. By using a photograph treated in BrushStroke 2 and then introduced to ImageBlender, with proper setting will result in a photograph with more subtle coloration, producing more interest. 

Final results of blended BrushStroke image with photograph

Remember, any software program has limitations but we should not be confined by any of those limitations, rather we need to explore what other possibilities there are within these confines. 

Shifting perspective for a moment, I like BrushStroke 2 because it offers me the opportunity as a painter to see other possible executions for approaching a blank canvas and the palettes various color combinations in achieving the look I prefer to paint. 

Give BrushStroke 2 a try and see how far your imagination will take you.

All photographs taken with an iPhone 4S by
©2014 Egmont van Dyck - All Rights Reserved

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