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Someday Days Cover Art

By litka
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10 Comments
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12x16" 30x40cm acrylic on hardboard /cover modified in gimp

The "painting of the week" proved to be just what I needed to get painting again. This week, however, I did two paintings, neither of which are good enough to post, as such. The painting above is one of them, along with the modifications in gimp to make it useable for it's intended use as the cover illustration for the first dozen pieces of my romance in an undetermined number of pieces.

I'm terrible at producing art on demand -- even my demand, so being an illustrator and needing to producing a pre-defined result is a challenge. For the cover I opted for a vaguely English university-ish scene, dreaming spires and all, since the story is set in Oxford and Cambridge. I'm a landscape painter, so I don't do people. Or perhaps, I'm a landscape painter because I can't do people. Anyway, people were out and to make the landscape a little easier, I opted to go with a fictional scene that would allow me to play to my strengths rather than try to find and paint a real scene, which would have likely involved a lot of detailed work, which isn't what I do. This then, is a mishmash of some scenes I came across (on google street view) in Oxford. The original is too mushy and boring, but by adding the black lines from gimp's "cartoon" filter you get a bit more interest and an old fashioned look, ideal for the old fashioned hardcover book look I decided to go with. The good thing is that for ebooks, most people only see the thumbnail, so the standard for art isn't all that demanding.
Image details
Image size
1500x624px 371.87 KB
Make
OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
Model
E-PL1
Shutter Speed
1/250 second
Aperture
F/9.0
Focal Length
30 mm
ISO Speed
200
Date Taken
Apr 3, 2015, 10:15:49 AM
Published:
Comments10
anonymous's avatar
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TriciaS's avatar
I love both of them!!!The modified one is beautifully clear and accentuated so well!!!!It will make a super cover!!!!!
delph-ambi's avatar
Fascinating transformation. The filtered version is superb as a thumbnail; the 'real' version better full size, and the one I'd hang on my wall. Very interesting to compare.
litka's avatar
You can vary the effect, and it also depends on the pixel count of the photo as well, fun to play around with as does change the look of the work -- makes a boring picture less boring. Probably wouldn't look good full sized though. 
jablar's avatar
I would say that I like the original version more, it's so loose and nice.
Anyway, I don't think you need to "tune" it with software - maybe just adding of more dark areas + some more texture in the foreground could help.
Those black edges did by gimp flatter the whole picture, it's visible especially on the tower. You can also use blur tool for far objects, to support the air perspective....
I hope my comment gives some sense... :) 

Thanks for sharing and your thoughts...
litka's avatar
Thanks for your ideas. I think perhaps I might try putting in my own lines for the structures -- buildings and such. My loose style works for foliage and such, but doesn't work well for buildings. I liked the effect of the "cartoon" filter, though it probably does make the colors flatter as well.  But then, I rarely do this, since as tempting as it is to make a painting better with the computer, I need to confine my digital work to making the paintings simply look like they are -- basically correcting the colors --for  this gallery anyways. For illustrations, I feel free to alter them as I did here. And it is fun to play around with them in gimp as well...  Thanks again for you comments.
CJ-Judd's avatar
Hello Charles, I admire humility and honesty in a man, so many artists are so full of themselves with massive egos... anyway, Looking at your painting I find no flaws at all, and give it full deserved compliments. I do agree with you that art on demand is a challenge. Some artists can do that, but if you look closer you see they are graphic artists or commercial artists with much technology and computer software behind them, I'm not detracting anything from such people, they are far more professional and inventive than I ever will be.  Your other "worked" version looks perfect to me for an illustration. Twice this week I spent about one hour on DA looking for worthy artists to connect with, and found nothing at all, very time consuming, very good to be falling back on good artists like yourself, good to know they;re out there. 
CJ-Judd's avatar
I understand your point of view. Looking forward to seeing your next upload.  Take care.
litka's avatar
Trust me, it's not humility. Masterpieces are masterpieces because they're rare. All the rest are "some are better than others". I'm just comfortable with that fact and the fact that perhaps 1 in a 100 of people interested in art like my work. It's were I want to be, in fact, because most people like what they're familiar with, so it you're doing something different, you probably aren't going to be doing things that are popular. I want to do things that are different.  I think DA is more a place for young forward facing artist rather than traditional old school painters. Still there are enough of us here to make in worthwhile. And well, I've had an entirely pleasant experience on DA. I've a blog where I post all my paintings, the good and the not so good, but otherwise it's been DA for six or more years. I like the way the computer enhanced version turned out. Good enough -- my golden standard.
litka's avatar
anonymous's avatar
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