Site back up + new ‘vector-type’ art technique

Now THAT was the most frustrating thing I have experienced in a long time.

My photography website- cowbelly.com, has been down all week, due to an issue with my account information with my webhost.

I will spare this blog reader from all of the horrible details, but basically the problem had to do with my web host’s information not matching my bank’s information on my business account. After no less than 4 phone calls between my bank and web host (enom.com) I am still at a loss as to what the problem is. And NOW, after attempting to process a transaction twice that should have gone through (that my bank approved), I have $150 in pending transactions from my web host, effectively freezing that money until they decide to lift them. Yet another phone call is in order to my web host, grrrrrr.

Let’s just say this has been, a bit, um, crazy-making.

I am happy to say that my trusty paypal business account bailed me out, as, happily, all of THAT information apparently matches what enom has on file.

Update: After no less than 6 phone calls back and forth between my bank and webhost, my site is finally back online and the $150 in funds have been released back. I feel relieved but exhausted by the ordeal and could go for many stiff drinks on a beach somewhere…. 😛

The other good news is that I have finally found the solution to my web needs, that, happily, doesn’t involve enom. I will be building an entirely new website for cowbelly.com, which will include domain registration and monthly hosting, from a company that produces a product that is nothing short of stunning.

I don’t want to say too much about it but keep the site bookmarked and in the next couple of months it will be getting a MAJOR overhaul. I can’t wait.

Also on the brighter side of things, I have been working on a new art technique from time to time over the last few months.

I realized that while doing all of the custom commissioned designs for clients, I still need to keep my creative edge, which means experimenting and trying to improve on what I am doing.

I have always wanted my art to have a very graphic quality, in fact was sincerely complimented the other day when a fellow photographer and artist assumed I use Illustrator for all of my art. I actually use Photoshop cs2 for all of my design needs. I WISH I knew how to use Illustrator and in fact have Illustrator cs on my mac, but, being the horrible student I am don’t want to take the time to study the program.

I have always held graphic designers in such high esteem. I drool over so much graphic design work I see out there and get so inspired by it.

Even though it’s not illustrator, photoshop does share some tools with it’s more graphic-minded cousin.

Take the pen tool for example.

I have been wanting my art to have a more vector feel for a long time, and finally started playing around with the freeform pen tool.

The first two art pieces below were hand-drawn with the pen tool; each little shape and color were selected as I went along. I love the results but only wish I could get the process down below the billion hours it took me to do. If I actually knew what I was doing it probably wouldn’t take as long, but I don’t know that for sure- it still might.

In any case, take a look at the two new pieces using my new freeform pen tool technique.

Then the 3rd piece using photoshop’s posterize adjustment + cutout filter (ok, it’s not quite that simple, the process is a bit more complicated than that, but those are the two main ‘effects’ used on the dog). The cutout filter is a great vector type effect that rarely works the way I want it to on photos. I wanted something smoother and less angular, but still ‘vectorized’.

Hence the first two proofs.

Check ’em out:

“Copa Smiling Pink”

In general I like it, but I need to work some more on the eyes. The first set were too glassy looking; actually too realistic for this process. I am getting the lighting on the corneas down, which is probably the most challenging part of the process, as I want them to have character, but not look too ‘real’.

“Before” photo:

This is the first (and my favorite) one I did:

“Malibu Pink new technique”

Malibu ‘before’:

And lastly, a the piece designed using the cutout filter as one of the central parts of the process:

“Belle Pink” (sensing a them here? my favorite color is pink, lol)

And Belle ‘before’:

Hope you enjoy these new creations and I will keep posting them as I finish.

At some point I may even attempt to PAINT one of these in acrylic. I would love to have a big painted square canvas of Malibu Pink on my walls. 🙂

Jamie Cowbelly

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6 thoughts on “Site back up + new ‘vector-type’ art technique

  1. I have been learning photoshop for the last one month. Recently our tutor taught us how to make a template in photoshop. But as far as working with pen tool is concern, it’s very much difficult to draw images and use this tool independently. It’s very much similar ot the shape tool in coral draw. After gone through your clarification i’ll try it with much enthusiasm.

  2. Oh my gosh Copa TOTALLY looks like paint by numbers! Becca you may be onto something! I should see if I can get these made as paint by numbers canvas kits- the new modern ones you see of flowers with bunches of little paint pots. They can then sell them at places like Urban Outfitters or kid stores. What a fabulous idea!!

    I’d just need to figure out how to get the # of colors down to a reasonable number. 🙂

    Oh yeah, and figure out who to contact to make it happen…. (the easy part, ha ha ha…)

    Thanks Becca!!

  3. These are just so GREAT! The first one looks like paint by number in a fun, good retro way. Very good work. Yea cut-out is cool …I like to use it and then draw on top of it.
    Funny you mention pink … I have been on a strong pink kick for a week now, I will abandon it soon and then revisit some day when I get a craving for it again. Pink … never my first crayon to pull out of the box, but when I want it I can’t get enough of it. Linda O’Neil is great with pinks.
    Becca

    sorry for your tech-web woes (arrg)

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