Monday, October 21, 2013


I went to Nature in Art last week to meet Shelly Perkins who is a Digital Painter and was the artist in residence. After all the publicity given to David Hockney’s use of an iPad I was surprised to find that Shelly’s computer set up is simple – she currently uses a standard desktop PC and a scanner.

She starts her project by making a set of pencil or ink drawings. These may be of leaves, flowers, insects, or other wildlife. Then she prepares watercolour studies for background features or animals and birds that will be important elements in her composition. These studies are her working drawings which she imports onto separate layers in Photoshop. Using the software she is able to transform her layers by resizing or applying transforms - rotations or reflections. Colour can be added or modified as well. Interestingly she often adds colour onscreen with a standard mouse.

The final step is to merge the layers and save the file for printing. Two examples of her work are given below. Visit Shelly's website to see the full range of her digital creativity.
Yarrow Spread Flat
The Ugly Duckling

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