Bits and pieces from Daily Creative Challenges and general practice sessions.
Daily Creative Challenge - November
Creating the cover image is probably the best work I did! The image is from Adobe Stock; I added the text and torn paper, which has some Dodge and Burn to make it look crumpled. Not forgetting the Drop Shadow (I love a good drop shadow) which also gets a bit of warping to add to that "just dropped onto the table" feel.
Challenge #1
Photo Polish
Clean-up your photos using content-aware tools and adjustment layers.
An extra challenge here as this is a webcam shot on the one day in the last six months I looked halfway decent! Cropped and seen as a social media profile, I think I'd about pass muster.
Method: Select Subject to isolate me from the background before using Camera Raw Filters to enhance colour. I also used a Portrait Preset, rather than fiddle with the settings myself. That's really to stop me from endlessly changing the settings and never posting the result!
Challenge #2
Automatic Masking
Use automatic masking to create selections.
We had the leaves, text and an array of flowers all on different layers. The Object Selection Tool made this incredibly easy for the flowers, which are all on one layer. Much less fiddling to get super masks around objects with the Object Finder!
Method: Use the Object Selection Tool to isolate the flowers to use. Rather than place the flowers on top of the leaves and text I drew selections around various leaves to hide parts of the petals. I also did the same for the text, so that parts of letters were hidden behind leaves.
Challenge #3
Change an image using gradients and adjustment layers.
For this challenge I combined using masks and gradient map adjustment layers. This photo of me (used in Challenge #1) isn't the best, so first I took it into Illustrator and vectorised it.
Method: I selected part of the image by using the Magic Wand Tool - hair, glasses, lips and most of the shirt. Adding the first Gradient Map adjustment layer I used the selection as a mask. A second Gradient Map adjustment layer used the same mask, inverted, with a different gradient. For a final touch I added an overlay, one of my favourites that I created over 12 years ago.
Daily Creative Challenge - November
Yes, all I managed of the November Illustrator Daily Creative Challenge was this cover image.
The quote from AndrewHochradel (@hochdotco) was the inspiration for his two portraits. One vector, and one to look like pixels. This turned out well!
This movie poster is from April's Illustrator Daily Creative Challenge.
Other Work Without A Home
At The Bar(re) - Illustrator

This piece didn't turn out as I'd envisaged in my head, which nearly always happens! However, it provided lots of Illustrator practice for April 2021.

The barristers' wigs are quite good, ahem!
Applemint Tea - Illustrator

In June Tanja Hildebrandt did two Hackathon Livestreams, branding for a new tea company. (On Behance: Part One and Part Two.)

The audience challenge was to create a repeating pattern for tea packaging. Good Illustrator practice again. I used the same motif as a plant in the second image. Can you spot the intentional mistake in the second image? I'll pretend it's intentional anyway, but that cushion should be behind the round front of the chair arm.

Note to self: always go back and check your work before posting.
Nice To Be Negative - Illustrator

The only time negativity is truly acceptable is when it's a Covid test 😆 Here I was thankful my husband had avoided the sudden rush of Covid through his workplace in August - and he did it again between Christmas and New Year. Perhaps he's Superman?
Space & Light - Photoshop

Playing with the Summer 2021 brushes by Kyle Webster.
Plastered! - Photoshop

Playing with the Autumn 2021 brushes from Kyle Webster. Inspired by a photo from Stuart Fickling (Behance profile) I think this is one of my favourite pieces from 2021.

Thanks to Kyle's magnificent brushes I am finally managing to paint!
As I like this piece so much I added a quote from Agatha Christie, something to live by in 2022?
And finally...
Thank you to every single one of you who have appreciated my projects, left me comments or joined my Livestreams in 2021. Thank you for your company, your encouragement, your advice and your time.
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