Photo Editing: Before And After

I’ve been a digital artist since 2009, when I joined the ball-joint doll hobby. In fact, that’s part of why I joined. I wanted to design websites, but use my original photography for the layouts. I haven’t done that in a while, but I have edited a lot of photos!

This is my basic Photoshop process:

  • First, I usually sharpen the image before I resize it.
  • Next, I use the Spot Healing brush (or band-aid tool), to edit out any ugly bits.
  • New layer > fill with #0006ff > Set to Exclusion 15%
  • New layer > fill with #fffccf > Set to Soft Light 20%
  • Duplicate background and drag to top > Enhance > Adjust Color > Remove Color > Set it to Soft Light 100%
  • New layer > fill with #fffccf > Set to Lighten 100% > Flatten Image

For the eyes:

  • Duplicate background (then adjusting the background layer) > Enhance > Adjust Color > Adjust Hue/Saturation > Saturation +25
  • Then go to the top layer, and erase the eyes from the original (top layer) image.

I use Adobe Photoshop Elements 10, because it came with my Wacom Intuos5 tablet. I got the idea to edit my photos from my doll inspirations, like R727. I never asked how Kal edits photos, but I just gave it a whirl, and found some helpful tutorials online. Later on I made them my own, adding and taking away colors as I went along.

Questions for the reader:

1.) Have you ever edited photos?

2.) Know any good tutorials for photo editing?

3.) Do you have a favorite photographer or photography style?

Staying Positive Through the Bumps

The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry!
– Robert Burns

So far, training has been going really well! I’m learning a lot, and it’s a low-stress environment. I’ve met some of the therapists there, and documented some of my experience. I want to share it with my studio, because they offer little field trips to this location for various groups! I haven’t had an opportunity to visit the studio at this location yet, but I’m hoping to before my training is over. I’m off to a good start, and I’ve gotten perfect scores on all of my assignments. Marcus (my son) is making sure I do my homework! 😉

Unfortunately, things have been a little tougher with my college art class. It was a little more advanced than Ibwas ready for, so I’m going to take an English class first. It’s a minor set back, but I’m not discouraged. I just have to start at a different place with going back to school. 🙂 It was still a fun, and an overall positive experience.


Another positive is that I have a little more time now. That’s always nice, as a mom. Spending time with my family, and my art is really important to me, and keeps me from burning out. I even had some time for a couple of face-ups this weekend!

Questions for the reader:

1.) Have you ever needed to make an unexpected or disappointing change?

2.) How did you handle the situation?

Week 1: Back To School

I’ve learned a lot my first week back to college and training, but the most important thing I’ve learned so far, has been that I’m on the right path. Things just seem to line up when you’re following your core values, and I’ve never been more comfortable. Sure, the week was full of nerves and the inevitable hiccups along the way, but I’m happy, and what I’m doing is only reaffirming that.

My first day back to college was the 9th. I was all set to go, or at least I thought so! 😛 I had the wrong book, so my day actually started with a trip to my school to get the right book. It wasn’t as bad as I was told to expect. I got my book with little issue. I got a perfect score on my first quiz, so I think I’m off to a good start! This week I need to study my materials on essay writing. I’ll have to turn in a lot of papers!

My first assignment touched on a lot of things, but was focused primarily on what art is, and what the role of an artist is. I was tickled that “aesthetics” that philosophical word that so alluded me, was literally the first thing I studied. I’m enjoying this class a lot. I find it challenging, but not overwhelming. Thankfully, the same can be said of my peer support training!

I’m really enjoying my Peer Support Training with PSA! I’ve already taken an opportunity to tour the Northwest Studio so I can share the experience with my studio, and anyone who wants to visit for field trips. Even though I’m not peer support yet, I can still take action, and help others.

Peer support occurs when people provide knowledge, experience, emotional, social or practical help to each other. It commonly refers to an initiative consisting of trained supporters (although it can be provided by peers without training), and can take a number of forms such as peer mentoring, listening, or counseling. – Wiki

I have never been more sure that I’m on the right path. This career is so in line with my own personal goals, and core beliefs, even on occasion when I need to fight to defend it! It’s unfortunate that so many people see these government programs for the poor or disabled as “entitlements”. I sure hope none of those people ever need some help, should they become disabled. People ask; “Why should I pay for someone else’s care?” Well, I think community (regardless of religion) shows us the benefits! I’m getting educated, so I can help others do the same. We can all become independent! I don’t understand why anyone thinks it’s better to do things alone. I feel sorry for our congress, and the hard lessons we’re going to learn as a country, if we decide not to care for our sick and poor. I will always be an advocate for mental health, as long as I live!

Advocacy is not for everyone, but if you feel so inclined, I invite you to share your story with NAMI; the National Alliance on Mental Illness. I know I did! It might be a small thing, but we can take action to at least let our voices and recoveries be heard! Let’s work together to fight stigma!

Harper has been hiding in my purse every day this week! Just having him with me makes me feel calm. ❤ Even someone brimming with confidence can benefit from an adorable sense of security! Plus I like having him around, should the opportunity for photos come about!