All content copyright 2011, 2012, and 2013 by Keith Russell.

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23 July 2010

Photo-retouching in the Age of PhotoShop...

For several years, back in the late '80s, I did quite a bit of freelance work for a local commercial photography studio, retouching photos that needed (for whatever reason) a bit of "help", with my airbrush. Of course, within a few years, everyone was "correcting" their own photos, via the computer and programs like PhotoShop.

Still, every now and then, someone has a photo that needs some work that cannot be done with a computer! If a photo has been signed, or someone has written a dedication on the back of the photo, etc., scanning the photo into a computer, retouching it with software, then printing it out only produces a corrected copy. But, only the original--not the copy--has the actual signature, dedication, etc.

I was recently asked to retouch an old photograph by a guy I met at work. He's spent quite a bit of time re-touching it "by hand", but the client doesn't have the budget to pay for much more of his time. I believe I can bring it to a reasonable amount of "finish", using the airbrush, and much faster than it could be done by hand. (We'll see.) If my client likes the results, I'm hoping to be asked to do more work of this type in the future.

12 July 2010

Another new spider (in progress), and other stuff...

It's been a couple weeks since my last entry, and a busy couple of weeks its been!

I finished another one of the Faces, and I'm planning to finish at least two more by the end of the week. Over the last week or so, I started feeling a little bored with the newer ones--the ones I'm still working on--thinking that maybe the most recent ones weren't as interesting as some of the earlier ones.

I need to keep focused on that fact that most of the people who are going to be seeing them, won't know which ones were painted first, next, or last; everyone will have their favourites, no matter how good they all are.

I just need to finish them, and stop worrying about how "great", "good" (or "less than great") any of them might seem to me.

I started working on a new spider painting last week (pictured). This is being painted in oils on oak panel, about 12 x 28 inches. I have two more panels built, the same size, for two other spider paintings...coming soon.

I picked up a little extra freelance work this week as well; I taught three beginning airbrush students this afternoon, and I'll be working on a photo-retouching project over the weekend and into next week.

03 July 2010

Another three day weekend!

It was a really long week; I worked nearly forty hours in four days, and that after camping last Saturday to Sunday. We met with several friends for dinner Wednesday night, and visited a couple close friends last night--but I did spend some "quality time" in the studio Thursday night (working on the final egg-tempera layer of the "Mische Technique" painting).

We're going out tonight, and have been invited to a party tomorrow afternoon, so I'm planning a full day (and night) in the studio, Monday.

There never seems to be enough time! (And I'm sure I'm not the only artist who has ever said that!)

I've decided to stop looking for a gallery at the moment, and concentrate on getting the Face pieces finished. Maybe that's what I should have been doing all along, but I have felt like I'd be more inclined to push myself, if I had a show (with accompanying deadline) already lined up.

Honestly, considering the "commercial" distractions (plus moving in April!) I've been pretty good at staying focused in the studio, and working on these paintings. Actually, I think I'm getting better at it, and am more productive now, than I was a year ago.

There are numerous paintings and sculptures I intend to make, far more than I can complete in a reasonable amount of time. Being more organized (and staying that way!) will become more and more crucial.