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Holly on a red background -- perfect for a greeting card.

This took 10 hours to complete. I finally figured out how masks work in Painter, and I'm starting to get the hang of theis watercolor thing.

Created in Painter 5.

Thanks to ~odstock for the great stock photo of holly berries!
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achipps's avatar
achipps|Hobbyist Digital Artist
Good job.
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DiscardedSilhouette's avatar
Wow it looks so real!
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Innuendo-media's avatar
Innuendo-media|Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thats really good. I love the little splodges of white on the holly... and the red background goes well with the festive theme. This looks incredibly realistic. Keep up the good work :#1:
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oh, this is wonderful:
sorry I'm so late to comment;)

really, impressive work , I wish I had your patience;)

the only thing I ever use masks for is as an eraser that can be easier undone;)
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Kittenpants's avatar
Kittenpants|Professional General Artist
Thank you so much! I'm glad you like it. :love:

Thanks for the use of your stock and the :+fav: ! :boogie:
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I like the background. Looks almost like velvet. The highlights are very nice too, really bright and crisp.

The lower left corner looks a bit bare though. I think maybe if a sprig of holly was actually moving into that area from off the side it would work out a bit better. I think the beerries could use some work too. They really melt into the background and the shiny highlights on the leaves tend to take a lot away from them
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aphreall's avatar
aphreall|Hobbyist General Artist
this is very impressive! i'm sorry if i'm not all that good at doing such a thorough comments as you gave me, but i'll try:)
uhm, really more of a few questions, : how do you get them so clean we have a holly tree outside our house, and if you scrub them that much the berries fall off...:blushes: another is that maybe you either want to darken the red a bit, or make it veer closer to green, depending on the season...
that aside, i'm pretty speachless, and for the record, how do masks work? i've never figured that out yet...
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Kittenpants's avatar
Kittenpants|Professional General Artist
I sorted through about twenty stock photos to find the leaves I wanted. I think the bushes of the pics I used were in a greenhouse or something. They were so very shiny!

Yeah, I'm not all that thrilled with the background, and how it works with the berries... I actually ripped it out and re-did it a couple of times. I'd like to re-do it in black and deep burgundy, but this was supposed to be for a cheery holiday card, and I thought that'd be too dark. I also thought about sort of a neutral steel-blue, with sketchy charcoal shadows. I think I'll play with it more once we get past the holidays.

How masks work in Painter 5. Step one: forget that they're called masks, because that's not what they are, really. A better name would be "stored selections". In art class, when I masked off a section of my work with tape or rubber cement or whatever, it was a permanent thing that would stay there no matter what other goofy thing I did, until such time as I peeled it off, revealing the crisp, pristine space that had not been subjected to whatever madness I had inflicted on the rest of the canvas/paper/Volkswagen. This is the way many art programs treat masks: You create a mask, it stays there until you turn it off. Not so with Painter 5! You click on another layer, you use the wrong tool, and WHAM! Your mask is off and suddenly you're smearing paint over the wrong thing. Guh.

In my copy of Painter, you carefully lasso off the area you want to work with (or inverse to protect it) -- ctrl-lasso to remove sections from your selection, and shift-lasso to add to it. Once you have it exactly the way you want it, go to the Select Menu and choose "save selection" It asks if I want to save as a new selection or copy over an old one. I always choose new because I'm scared of blowing away the wrong one. Now, when you look at the "masks" dialog, you see that you have a new mask. You can double-click it and rename it and fiddle with some controls, but mostly I leave 'em be. So, I continue puttering around with my piece, and sooner or later, I get sidetracked or swap to a pasted layer and my selection is no longer there, but I'd hate to have to lasso off that funky area again just because I can't color within the lines. So I pop down to the masks dialog and select the mask I want to use, then press the button that says "load selection". It then asks me whether I want to replace what's currently selected on my painting, or add to it, or subtract from it, or intersect with it-- basic boolean operations. Most of the time, replace is what I want. When I click, that original selection I made is surrounded by the magical crawling ants once again. :woot: I've noticed that for whatever reason, going through the Select...Save Selection menu is the only way I can consistently get a working mask, the button on the dialog does nothing, and the options from the mask drop-down don't seem to work.

This is how I was able to re-do the background. I had made masks for each leaf and berry and section of stem as I went (yeah, I'm a bit obsessive), so when I wanted to try a new background, I was able to add together all of those masks to make a colossal mask of everything but the background. After laughing maniacally over my newfound power, I realized I still didn't know what to do for the background. I'd promised my editor a card in red and green, but neither red nor green backgrounds looked good. So I messed around with dark splotchy stuff and decided I could always go back later... because I had a mask! BWA HA HA!

Caveat Pictor: This is a version of Painter at least three versions out of date. Other software and other versions of Painter might behave NOTHING like this at all. Beats me.

I am being really verbose tonight. I have no idea why, I'm really not like this all the time. I never make comments this long. I wonder if I have a fever...
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windandfire's avatar
:eyepopping: Excellent job, lovely textures :thumbsup:
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vertMB's avatar
vertMB| Filmographer
That is brill, you should set up a print account so that people can buy that, keep up the good work.
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