GONG XI FA CAI! XIN NIAN KUAI LE! HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR!
Today I’m sharing with you my workflow for creating 2 Chinese New Year horse motif greeting cards. I remember admiring the way Chinese calligraphers painted horses using only brush and ink. I loved those horses with their long, flowing black manes, impossibly long legs and beautiful stances. This would have been in a previous Year of the Horse, so the Western year would have been 1978, and I would have been 8 years old. I saw those horses on Chinese New Year red packets (filled with money, yes!!), on wall scrolls, on greeting cards, on paper decorations.
Fast forward 3 twelve-year cycles, and the year is now 2014. It’s the time of the Horse again. I wanted to create a horse-themed e-greeting card or printable for my social circles, something that my friends could share freely with their own circles. You don’t have to be Chinese to join in the celebrations, you know. Think of it like Christmas, everyone is welcome to enjoy the celebrations…only, the Chinese will be enjoying a whole fortnight of it, not just a day.
I searched through Dover Pictura http://www.doverpictura.com online and was overjoyed when I discovered my beloved horses of old hiding in one of the e-books. So I purchased the page, put the images through Photoshop on my Mac to convert them from TIF to PNG, then transferred them to my Samsung Galaxy S4. (TIF files don’t show up in the photo gallery on my S4, for some reason, hence the need to convert to PNG).
I chose 2 images to work on. I then cast about for some suitable apps or filters to process my horses with. First, I used PicsArt’s “screen” blending mode to give my original horse image some colour, by blending it with a colourfield background I’d created using Impressionist Fingerpaint.
Here is the original image:
And here it is after the PicsArt treatment:
It still lacked oomph…then I had the mad notion to run this through PicsArt again, this time blending it with an image I’d Percolated.
Wow, this one really zings! I love it! Now what? I decided to have a look at Pixlr Express, as last year over the Christmas period they had had some special, limited time only, borders and stickers. Maybe they had something Chinese I could use? My gut instinct proved right, as Pixlr Express does indeed have Seasonal borders and stickers with a Chinese New Year theme. Yay!
This is what I did with the image:
Isn’t it lovely? I felt it needed a bit of background colour, just a subtle tinge, nothing that would detract from the simple beauty of the image.
I used Photoshop Touch this time, to blend another colourfield background created using Impressionist Fingerpaint, with the above image. This is the result:
And, using the same workflow, I created this with the 2nd horse image…from this:
Dear friends, you are most welcome to use these 2 completed images and share with your friends. I only ask that you attribute it back to me, AlyZen Moonshadow, as a shout out. May you all have a Happy and Prosperous New Year of the Horse!
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