One Four Challenge – January Week 3…

If you’ve been reading my blog this past week you know that some stuff happened and then there was a bit of a snafu with my data… needless to say I have been working really hard to get back to some kind of normal.

I created this image in the middle of those two events, and I have to say it was rather relaxing.  When I was in college, I would do paint-by-numbers during finals week.  It drove my roommate insane.  For me, it was a timeout, a relaxing period where I could let my brain rest.  I could also enjoy watching my little painting slowly come together.  I felt that same kind of pressure release while creating this image, luckily I didn’t lose my image during the data snafu.

Get ready to channel your inner child!  For my image this week, which I lovingly named Finger Paint, I literally used my index finger on the touchpad to smudge the pixels around.  It was very much like finger painting only without the mess. 🙂

I tried to expand on last week’s idea.  My husband found some tutorials on making your photo look like the images in the movie A Scanner Darkly. Wow! That’s a lot of work!  But amazing.

So, short of literally tracing my image and then making color blocks by hand in Inkscape or Illustrator… I chose a more ‘let the program do most of the work’ direction and created my image in GIMP*.  No, my image looks nothing like A Scanner Darkly…that turned out to be more of an inspiration (which will be more evident in the tutorial).  But, I was able to get some of my lines more visible up in the trees, something I was having a bit of trouble with last week.

Without further ado, my image…


Finger Paint

Kind thoughts and comments are welcome!

I have joined a month-long photo post-processing challenge called One Four Challenge, hosted by Robyn at Captivate Me. “This challenge is about processing 1 image in 4 different ways over 4 weeks.” Every Monday Robyn posts a new version of her photo and challenges us to do the same each week.

I actually made several versions of the black line-art layer… I had two versions I liked, and my husband had two versions that he liked… the one above we both liked… the following two are the runners-up…


I wanted to get this out today to try to get back to some kind of a ‘normal’ schedule… Please come back tomorrow for the tutorial (or a visual thought process of how I achieved this latest version).  It is a bit involved, but I assure you it was fun and relaxing. 😀

EDIT: You can find the GIMP Tutorial here.

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Until next time…

* GIMP is Open Source software that is available for all platforms (Linux, Mac, and Windows), it is a photo editor that does many (if not all) of the things you can do in Photoshop.  You can download it for free here.  The GIMP online manual can be found here.

20 thoughts on “One Four Challenge – January Week 3…

  1. Hi Nic, I posted on your linked post about Academic commercial use, FYI its OK, Adobe changed the rules back with release of CS5 and I hear you about the data corruption, I managed to wipe my backup data when reinstalling win7 yesterday 😦

        • Oh man, that really sucks. I just read your post, so glad you didn’t loose your images! Ugh that would have been awful! My backup woes were my fault… I made a backup just before my husband reinstalled my Linux partition… but then when my rpm database was corrupted and he suggested we do it again, I ran my script rather than just backing up the few items I had created in the two days… my script (rsync) has –delete in it, which means that when rsync looked at one set of data and saw it wasn’t there, it deleted the other set of data! Ooops… luckily I make two sets of backups when I backup and realized my mistake before I ran it on the second drive… so I was able to cobble together the two sets of data by hand to repair the damage I had done. I took my time just to be sure. I’m fairly certain I have it all… but it was quite a scare. I really hate reinstalls for exactly that reason!

  2. A great Jo done .. I’ve also looked at your tutorial which I came upon in the reader. Thanks for the link to down load it … I think I like week two a tad better though this week three version is very interesting!

  3. I love what you did here Nic and more the reason behind it. Made me smile and feel relaxed too 😃
    Gee Im sorry youve had such a rough week – I havent read what happened yet – ah a backup.. – wishing you a resolution soon.

    • Thanks, Robyn! I really needed the relaxing experiment… if only it had been the backup snafu, that was actually after I made this image. The real pressure cooker was when I realized I had to take down all my images from my store because of the software license (and I’d have to redo the post-processing on all of them if I wanted to sell them)… the details are here… skipping to the end, nearly two weeks later, with the help of returning to morning yoga, I have come to terms with the fact that I can’t fix this overnight and it will take time to learn the new software and to modify my workflow. The finger painting really helped with the frustration I’ve been feeling lately. Oddly making the tutorials not only helps me relax, but it solidifies what I’ve learned doing the experiment, and teaches me more to create the screenshots and other images I include to explain what I’m trying to say. So this challenge has been really helpful in keeping me on track to learn the new software. 🙂

      • Will read your loooong post 😜
        Oh dear.. You are very wise to choose how youre going to play this battle Nic – these things can and do take over.
        Good luck resolving it all in time xx
        I do understand and agree about the clarity writing a tutorial brings.

        • Thanks, Robyn… it is a long road back to where I was in my workflow (basically starting over in new software), but I do think it is the direction I want to go. I had intended to get back to GIMP, but I was going do it a bit more slowly than this… oh well, both feet in! The tutorials have been great, both in teaching me new things and relearning things I knew before, but also keeping me wanting to learn more because I’m working on a specific project/outcome/goal. 😀

  4. This is a really interesting edit. I love all the soft edges and muted shades. I also particularly like your runner up – the darker lines of shadow on the trunks really make the trees stand out. 🙂

    • Thanks afairymind, oddly when my husband saw the post he changed his mind to my runner up as his runner up. And I changed my mind to his runner up as my runner up… so I guess really we like all three. 😀

  5. Good for you that your image was unharmed, Nic. 🙂 Creating this version must have been a pretty fun process! I like the contrast of the smudged colors and the defining blacks. I’m pretty sure this style has a name in the world of illustration… Good job, and I’m looking forward to the tutorial!

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