'If you make happiness your goal, then you're not going to get to it… The goal should be an interesting life."

Dorothy Rowe

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Not ‘make hay while the sun shines’…

but ‘play with photo-editing programs while sensible people are asleep’.

I had a mega-insomniac night, so rather than play computer games, which is what I usually do, I played with a photo-editing program.

Long term readers may remember a series of posts I made about various on-line [and downloadable] free programs which I tried out in the days before I had a degree to worry about. I  had great fun and other people seemed to enjoy it too.

If you want to know more, look in August and September 2009 on  the blog. [I notice several mentions of insomnia there too…] As I’ve changed the design of my blog, the lay-out of earlier posts seems to be buggered up. Please forgive me if I don’t go back and sort it!

One of the programs I particularly liked was ‘Sumo Paint’ – not Japanese as you might think, but Finnish – and as you may have realised, I have a bit of a thing about things from Scandinavia.

However, since then I took a course on GIMP with Sharon Boggon, I rather neglected the other programs I looked at. But in the middle of the night I decided to revisit some of them, and started with Sumo. And never left it.

I tried the paint tools, rather than just the filters, which is what I used before.

image The first discovery was the star tools, in the ‘Tools’ menu on the left when you open the program. They change shape depending on the direction in which you move the cursor, and if you check the ‘Shape Trails’ box top right, and keep the line diameter [top left] low, you will get these wonderful Spirograph like shapes. [The non-Spirograph ones have ‘Shape Trails’ unchecked.] There are other shape tools to try as well.

If you change the gradient you use for the stars, to avoid odd colour combinations you also need to change the foreground colour box [bottom left]which determines the line [border] colour. I used the eyedropper tool to select a colour from a star, although you will then need to undo that star and start again if you want them all to have the same colour bimageorder.

This one started with red borders selected from the gradient, but I clicked on a border by accident when I was adding the background, and liked the effect.



imageFor this one I started with a gradient and added the stars on top [I love gradients].

The gradient is ‘Sunset 3’ with saturation decreased and lightness increased, for both background and stars.

You can play around with the gradients to your heart’s content by moving sliders, and if you click on the arrow at the bottom of the gradients drop down menu, you get even more choice.

Of course, I couldn’t just stop there – these programs are a calorie free version of Pringles. image

The ‘Adjustments’ heading allows you to play around with the colour in different ways. This is tweaked using ‘Curves’,





But as a negative, with increased brightness, it’s a bit Japanese.







This is ‘Threshold’, which I think looks better rotated.

And all this is just a start – I haven’t begun to look at what the filters can do with some of these.






So what can an embroiderer do with all this? Search me – although I am tempted to print some of them out on fabric and try adding a bit of stitch – or playing around with them in other ways. This black and white version would be interesting interwoven with plain black or white fabric, – or red.

1 comment:

quirkyartist said...

Oh some gorgeous ones there. I hadn't heard of that program but I DO like what you're doing wiht it. Have you tried any of the free fractal programs? You can while away many an hour with them. Apophysis is the one I used.