Make Beautiful Poppies: A Digital Art Tutorial

An iPhoneography App and Digital Art Tutorial by David Hayes

Earlier this summer, the photo streams I follow were filled with images of poppies. Poppies close up, fields of poppies, poppies and more poppies. Of course I had to try my hand at putting together my interpretation of this theme. Problem was that I didn’t have a gorgeous field of poppies to work with in my neck of the woods. However, there was a house along the way my dog and I would walk that did have a small poppy bed in their front yard! So one bright spring day during our walk, I grabbed a quick shot of this flowerbed. (With my puppy, all shots have to be quick!)

 

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Let’s face it…not the most appealing of images! Yet I was not deterred as knew I had a perfect background in my files and a great extraction and layering tools at my disposal!

 

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Opening the source image in the app PS Touch, I first opened this set of tools and went for Crop.

 

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Using the selectors, I went for a roughly square crop focusing on what I considered the best section of the image.

 

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Next up, extracting the poppy field! I went for the Magic Wand tool to select areas that I wanted to cut out of the composition. The app’s Contiguous tool will also come in handy, as it will let me select large chunks at a time!

 

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I first turned the Contiguous off and tapped on a section of the road behind the poppy bed. As you can see in the screen shot, not only does Magic Wand select the roadway but also the sidewalk!

 

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Clicking on the Pencil/Pen icon, I then click on Cut…that cut out all the selected area. Fantastic! That means more than half of this process is done.

I continued in the fashion of using Magic Wand to select and the Cut tool to remove more of the image.

 

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Once I was down to just a few areas remaining, I switched over to the Eraser tool and used it to clean up the remainder of the background…leaving me a field of poppies!

 

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Time to bring in my background. (I had created this earlier using a blank field in the app Distressed FX.) Once the background had loaded into PS Touch, I selected its layer and pulled it down so that it would show behind my poppy field.

 

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I needed to scale down the poppy field to better “fit” the background so I activated the Move tool and adjusted the poppies size and position.

 

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In this screen shot you can see the final position. Now it was time to do a little blending of the two layers so I clicked on the layers icon to bring up the blending tools.

 

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After taking a look at all the blend possibilities, I picked Multiply at 100% opacity.

 

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I then saved this part of my composition to my Camera Roll and moved on to the next app, Repix.

 

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First up in Repix is its “Dust” filter that I used to lightly “paint” dust into the background area above the poppies. (This filter has two settings: one for white dust and the other for black dust. This is the one I used.)

 

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One of my favorite filters in this app is “Hatching” so of course I had to see what it would do for my image.

 

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As with “Dust,” I worked across the background putting down hatch marks to give the image a painterly feel. Here’s a zoomed in look at these marks.

 

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

Okay! All done here…saved to my Camera Roll…and one last stop!

 

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This time…Snapseed. I wanted to brighten up the poppies on the left and right edges of the image and I knew that the “Selective Adjust” tool would do the trick!

 

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I first put a selection point on the right side (A) and used the Brightness slider to bring it out more. I then moved over to the left side (B) and did likewise.

 

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A quick stop using “Tune Image” to do a little Brightness and Contrast fine tuning…

 

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Then off to “Frames” for a final touch!

 

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Frame 23 was my choice this time.

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Not quite done!! When you use one of Snapseed’s frames it will also give you either a white or black “matte” as well. Sometimes I like this…but not this time!

 

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Easily taken care of in “Crop”…

 

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Which I did in an instant!!

 

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

 

Here’s the final image, “Poppies!” I certainly had a good time taking what I first considered a “trash” shot and turning it into something I’d want to share!!

David Hayes is a photographer, mixed-media artist, painter and explorer of life. Visit his blog at clearerreflections.com.

Photo Craft_160For more digital photography tips and techniques check out Photo Craft by Susan Tuttle and Christy Hydeck.

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