Saturday, February 26, 2011

KittyCat Masquerade

I've spent the last few weeks practicing my Photoshop skills and playing with new functions; like "Warp" on the Edit menu just to see some of the creative ways I can alter images.  I'm all about using an image to its maximum capabilities and have learned how to recolor them in a multitude of ways and now I'm learning to transform their shapes to give me even greater diversity in how they can be used to create art.

I have 3 kitties that are total show-offs, so I combined that with 
my love of paper dolls and antique "toy theaters" to create
this fun scene in Photoshop.

KittyCat Masquerade

I had a lot of fun altering colors and shapes of some really cool 
PaperWhimsy images in my digital collection to get to this final scene.
Most especially the "Warp" feature to create: the skirt, bodice & stage floor.

..."Warp" is my new best friend - giggles.

So Here is how I did it!

First I started off with some great images from 
PaperWhimsy and a Victorian paper scrap Kitty.

These are the images I used in this project

Victorian Paper Scrap Kitty
 I love the fact that this 100+ year old cat image is living another life in the digital age.

All of the PaperWhimsy images I used came from their 
"Hybrid Images - Digital Artist" line of products

This was used as the stage backdrop and its floor
I altered the color of this image in Photoshop for the backdrop and I also
duplicated it in another layer, "smooshed" it and added 
"warp" to create the floor of the stage. 

The bodice of the cat's dress was also made using 
this image and the "warp" function.

This image was used as the stage to frame my Glitter Kitty.
I altered the color and removed the tassel embellishment in Photoshop. 
I also split the image in half to make it easier to form my stage curtains.

 I used the lower red masque.
Yes, I altered the color a bit to better match my scene.

 I used the middle section of stars.
Once as you see them here and then a duplicate
layer "smooshed" to create the swirl on the floor.

I used this texture as the basis of my color scheme and
it was used as a "coloring layer" on the bodice, skirt and mask.

 The "Warp" function was used in Photoshop
to give this image the shape of a skirt.

The middle round flower was used to 
create the decoration on the skirt waist band.
I altered the flowers color and used a slightly larger flower
in the center on a top layer in Photoshop.

 I used the center tree multiple time to create 
the star shape behind the cat on stage.

Now that I have listed my supplies, here is a bit more detail on how 
I made my alterations in Photoshop to create this scene.

Using "Warp" to Create the Skirt.
The Skirt was created by placing the  
into  Photoshop and then selecting Edit - Transform - Warp

A grid appears over the element and by moving the various points around
I was able to narrow the top to make a waist and then bring in the
bottom a bit to give a skirt shape to the map image. 

Once I get the image where I want it I click the check mark at the top 
of the page and move on to my next function.

 Adding Texture and Pattern to my Image
I then wanted my skirt to take on the color and texture of my  
I chose to do this by adding that image to my Pattern selector in Photoshop.
This was done by "opening" the pattern in Photoshop 
then selecting: Edit - Define Pattern 

(I have created a PaperWhimsy Pattens Pallet in my Photoshop storehouse
so I can use these patterns and textures at will to change the look 
of other items with a few clicks of the mouse.) 

Now that the patten is in my Photoshop pattern selector 
I can easily add it as a "color" layer to my map skirt.

I did this by creating a duplicate layer of my skirt.
Selecting the FX function on the layers pallet
Selecting - Pattern Overlay
Selecting - "Color" in the Blend Mode
Selecting - PaperWhimsy - Texture 7 

(I had to move the pattern around till I got to a section of color I liked)

I wanted a bit more texture so while still in this screen I
Selected - Bevel and Emboss
Selected - Texture
 This did not effect color it just added more of the same texture to the image
and gave me the option of adjusting the scale or depth of that texture.

Repeating the techniques for the skirt; I created a bodice with
Then once I pieced in my kitty, I used the "Warp" function to
"fit" the bodice shape to the kitty image.

The Kitty was created from parts and pieces of the original image, 
each altered and rotated as needed to repose it as seen here.

I added embellishments, softened some edges and corners, 
added drop shadows where needed; till she was ready to go on stage.

The background layer behind the kitty is also by 
I created a plain pale rose background then added the Damask Pattern 
as another layer under the Pale Rose.  I then reduced the opacity of the Pale Rose
top layer so a bit the damask pattern would show through. 

 Corner Rounding Trick

Select the image or layer you want rounded - make it the Active layer on your layers pallet.
Select the Rounded Rectangle Tool
Make sure the "Path" is active - a top toolbar icon
Set the Radius to create the size of curve you want - I used 30px
Then draw the area you want
Select Layer - Vector Mask - Current path

(if this function does not work, make sure the layer you are working 
with is not locked. If it is locked double click on the layer name 
(this will rename it and unlock it) then try again.

To Set the Stage
I started to create a backdrop for my Masquerade Kitty by playing around with
Then I merged all 4 layers into one layer.

I duplicated that layer, then using the Freeform function on the Edit menu 
I made the duplicate layer smaller and rotated it to form a star shape.

I then added in my Kitty, dropped in some other elements and made 
adjustments as needed to build the stage for her.

to create the main backdrop and stage floor.
The color was changed in Photoshop using a Gradient Overlay 
in the FX section of the layers pallet 

Then I created a duplicate layer of the background, which 
I smooshed and used "warp" to create the stage floor.
The "smooshing" factor compresses the image making it appear to lay flatter.
The "warp" allows me to create perspective by fanning out the front, 
so the floor appears to be farther away where it meets the backdrop.

Smooshing is done by using the Edit - Free Transform function 
Then pressing down or pulling down using your mouse.  
This causes the image to "smoosh" down, causing a flattening effect

The image to the Right is what the PaperWhimsy - Elements: Stars 02 PNG
elements look like before being "smooshed"
I used the regular stars on the upper portion of the Kitty and 
the altered version to create a star swirl on the floor.

Put them all together and I have my very own Show Cat

It is so much fun to take an object and alter it into something else.  
I've done this for years with my rubber stamps; finding new ways to interpret 
an image and create something outside of the box with it.  

The great thing about Photoshop is that I can expound on that many times over 
using features like "warp" -  which lets me take advantage of altering
my images and getting so much more bang for my buck on my digital purchases. 

I need to keep practicing what I've learned in Photoshop so I don't forget
how to do these functions, so you will probably be seeing more of 
these types of collages for some time.


How I was Inspired

Recently I've been making digital image purchases and gleaning inspiration 
from PaperWhimsy's "Inspire" pages portion of their website.

I love curtains and stages since they remind me of antique toy theaters, 
and the line of PaperWhimsy images has made it so easy for me to create 
a bit of that nostalgic "two pence coloured" theater look of my own.
(See my previous post about vintage toy theaters by clicking HERE)

I've especially enjoyed seeing the collage creations 
Rande Hanson has come up with for PaperWhimsy,
since so many of them put a smile on my face

Here is one of Rande's  recent Staged Lady Scenes

Many thanks to PaperWhimsy and Rande Hanson for sparking my interest 
with great images and fun collages.

For great digital images to stage your own scene by PaperWhimsy
click HERE
For Inspirational ideas from Paper Whimsy 
click HERE
For the PaperWhimsy Blog
click HERE
And for even more Inspiration see blog by Gale of PaperWhimsy
click HERE
I love the July 27th "Dumpster Art" posting

Check them all out - I know you'll be glad you did!

I hope this inspires you to create some fun digital scenes of your own.
Please feel free to leave me a comment and a link to your creations,
since I'd love to see what others are creating

Grins and Giggles,

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