Friday, April 25, 2014

My Photoshop Update

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett

Two weeks ago I wrote about wanting to learn Photoshop. If you missed it, you can read the post, but for some reason the pictures are gone.  : (  

Anyway, it's been a very L-O-N-G and frustrating road, but I have made some progress. I want to be able to make fun graphics for my books, etc.  Here's one of the first ones I made.

Not a lot going on there, but I was thrilled to be able to do that much.

My first big triumph was for the release of Booktown #7, Not The Killing Type, coming out on audio.

Mr. L drew the headphones for me, and I managed to size the cover and add the type.  (Another tiny triumph.)

But I wanted to do more. I've been watching the tutorials on Youtube and some of them are good and some not. Too many times they gloss over the instructions (I am not a plant and I do not suck things up through osmosis). The fact that you use different keys for PC or Mac is a HUGE factor. (I'm typing this on my PC, but I do photoshop on a Mac.) Still, somehow I've managed to pull off a few triumphs.

This was my first.  You might not know it, but there are NINE layers in this graphic for the anthology that fellow Chick Deb Baker and I are involved in. (It's a fund-raiser for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. All author proceeds have been donated to the CFF.- Over $6,500 donated so far!!! If you're interested, you can get it from Kindle, iBooks, Nook, Kobo, and Smashwords --  just 99¢ for four great novels!) It took me about 90 minutes to pull it off.  I'm getting a lot faster.  I can do one in less than an hour these days.

It's now less than 77 days until the new Booktown mysteries come out, and I'll change the number and use it again on Facebook.

This one is my favorite so far. How did I manage to get Amanda's arm OUTSIDE the gray border?  I have no idea.  I tried to do it again with another graphic, but couldn't do it. (So much of this is still hit and miss.) I had to resize and isolate the astronaut from the original background. Oy, that lasso tool is not the easiest thing in the world to control. I think I need a much bigger mousepad for tracing.

And here's what will debut today on Facebook today (you guys who read this blog early get the sneak preview).

Can you tell I love chunky borders?

I find that if I don't try to do at least one graphic a day, I tend to lose what I've learned.  (I guess I have a leaky brain.) There are so many things you can do with Photoshop and I have barely scratched the surface. I can see I've got lots of fun and frustration ahead of me.

What kind of messages would you like to see on infographics?


Aurian said...

The cozy chicks kitchen picture has been missing for a while on the blog as well, or is that just me?
Well done Lorraine, I stay far away from stuff like this, but I do admire anyone who can work with it.

Cozy Chicks said...

Thanks for letting us know about the cookbook picture. It's now fixed.

Diane said...

I think you are doing a great job. I'm lucky if I can write something on a photo and find it later.

Dr. Mary Kennedy said...

Lorraine--wow!! I am impressed, this is fantastic. I don't know how you learned Photoshop so quickly, but the results are terrific.

dollycas aka Lori said...

I am impressed. I really want to learn Photoshop too and you give me hope!!!

Grandma Cootie said...

I like all of these! And congrats, this is so much harder than it looks for those of us who were not born 'artsy.' I like to make greeting cards and it's hard work.

Lorraine Bartlett said...

Here's the site where I found some pretty good tutorials. This is for the version I'm using, but they have newer versions, too.

Lorraine Bartlett said...

When it goes well, it's fun. When it doesn't go well ... let's just say the air turns a vivid shade of blue.