Tag Archives: birds

Workflow : ONENESS

Today I’ll be sharing my workflow or process of how I created one of my Oracle Cards, “Oneness”. This is an ongoing Project.

I used the Live Wallpaper App “Elements of Design” to randomly generate a dynamic wallpaper, which I took several screenshots of, as the app did its job. And then I chose at random one of the screenshots and loaded it into PicsArt.

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In PicsArt, I then cropped the top and bottom of the screenshot. I also flipped and rotated the image.

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I layered another image over this in PicsArt, that of a colourfield background. Then I played around with various blending modes and opacities until I found a result that I liked. I really like the smoky, smudged effect here.
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Now the image needs some motif or object. I searched through the vast catalogue of clipart that PicsArt has, trying out one thing after another (it’s obvious that I don’t have a Master Plan!) Until I found one that just clicked. This was a red bird from the Geometric clipart range in PicsArt.

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Three birds later…here I’ve altered the angles, direction and sizes of the bird clipart so they wouldn’t all look identical. I love how they seem to pick up the vibrant reds and orange colours of the background, and yet somehow retain their own presence.

I wanted the overall image to be more cohesive. I added some sprigs to the beaks of the birds. I wanted the viewer to be able to look at the image and intuitively guess what the meanings could be. Here’s a possible explanation:


This Card signifies the idea of Working together harmoniously towards a common goal and for the greater good. The Three Birds belong to the same Family and are united in their mission. In their beak each Bird carries a sprig of Holly Leaves with Holly Berries. These are sacred symbols and the Birds are bringing them to some far off destination to be used as building blocks for the future. The Birds are in commune with their surroundings, their colours blend in with Mother Nature’s glorious sunset. The number 3 signifies the Holy Trinity, a concept prevalent in humanity’s many religions. The Birds symbolise Oneness, they work together as One. Note there is only one set of concentric rings in the picture, at the bottom right corner. This reinforces the idea of Oneness.

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Next, I brought the image into the App Repix. And added a sprinkling of stars. I also tweaked the colours of the background, to create a little more depth to the overall image. I decided to tone down the vibrance a little, to make the image look more painterly and old, like a vintage Christmas card, perhaps.

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Then it was back to PicsArt to put in the text for “Oneness”.
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And finally, for my own reference, I added my digital signature. Very subtly, of course ;). And so here I present “ONENESS” by AlyZen Moonshadow:

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http://www.alyzenmoonshadow.wix.com/alyzenmoonshadow

Workflow : Bowerbird Boudoir

I’m writing this down so I don’t forget. Again. Last year, I challenged myself to create seamless pattern repeats using only my mobile phone. Some of my experiments worked better than others.
Lately, I’ve entered into a couple of online competitions for designing pattern repeats. And guess what…I’ve only gone and forgotten the formulas that work for me!

So that is why I’m writing this.

Here are the images I’ve used to create “Bowerbird Boudoir”:

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(This is actually a composite of 3 images that I’d created a few days ago)

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(The bird was a clipart from Dover, that I’d blended with a colourfield background. I then cut out the image to use as clipart).

Here is the workflow:

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In Repix, I used the Drips brush to completely obliterate the image. Then I had fun revealing parts of the image whilst leaving other parts concealed.

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I used PicsArt to first do a horizontal mirroring of my image, and then a vertical one. As long as you do at least one mirroring on each axis, your image will be guaranteed to repeat seamlessly. I could have quartered the image and done the “magic corners” thing, but that later entails a lot of smudging and cloning to ensure a seamless join. I much prefer this mirroring method.

I then used Photo Editor to invert the colours. I also tweaked the colours a little, using the Colour Replace (RGB) filter.

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Then, back in PicsArt, I used the clipart bird and placed 2 birds on the image.

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After this, it was a simple matter of setting up a grid of 4 rectangles, and repeating the image. I decided to use 2 images with the birds, and 2 without.

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This pleases me and reminds me of an Art Nouveau illustration.

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Butterfly Inspiration

For this year’s Mother’s Day, my delightful 11-year-old son bought me 3 butterfly-themed plates and a bowl.

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I’d had my eye on those for a while now, and when they went on sale I snapped them up. They’re made by Living Art in Australia.

I was inspired by these designs, so I’ve started a new series of digital mixed media photographic art showcasing solo butterflies against different backgrounds.

Here are some I made earlier. Hope you like them! Copyright AlyZen Moonshadow.

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http://www.alyzenmoonshadow.wix.com/alyzenmoonshadow

10 Things I Like : Real Living Oct 2012

In this second instalment of my current series on Real Living, here are the 10 things I like from the October 2012 issue.

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These light fittings don’t so much say “Lights!” to me, as they scream “Terrariums!” I’ve seen online several adaptations of glass light fittings as beautiful terrariums. One day I hope to come across a glass fitting that would make the perfect terrarium. Why is glass so expensive?

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I just love the simple, graphic lines of these serving bowls and platters. Sometimes less is more, as is the case here. You could do this quite easily yourself, with all-white china and Sharpie markers. Some day I intend to try my hand at creating my own “dot” Aboriginal-inspired art on plain china, just with a black Sharpie marker. Apparently, it you then baked the china for 20-30 minutes in a warm oven, it sets the ink. Though I would think that still doesn’t make it dishwasher-proof.

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You gotta have a bit of kitsch now and then! I always have a thing for birds. I had a Galah cockatoo briefly, called Buddy. But I think he was already ill when I got him, as he soon wasted away to nothing and died :-(. It would have been brilliant to have a parrot or cockatoo perched on my shoulder and following me around the house.

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Someday I might be brave enough to try stencilling words on my living room wall. Or, maybe even go for an all-white decor. This looks quite nautical, with the blue stripes. Maybe a hammock in the corner, and some nautical-inspired accessories too?

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Another great example of repurposing books. And an easy one to do, this. Simply fold the pages of an old book in half, then fan out and use as a business card holder. Or, why not place Artist Trading Cards in between the pages?

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I’ve always had a thing for grungy facades, doors with peeling paint, mildewed walls. I think it gives a building character. One of my favourite things is to explore the ruins of medieval castles ; I just wish Australia had a similar heritage…

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One of my favourite motifs that I use in my mobile photography art is birds. As I’m no good at drawing, I use Dover bird illustrations or line drawings instead. I like to blend my bird images with colourful backgrounds or textures, for added interest. An idea for a future project is to make “map” birds like this one, although mine will be digital, of course.

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Someday, I will have a gorgeous collection of globes just like these! I actually saw some nice globes at TYPO just the other day, there were 3 different sizes. Unfortunately, though, they were full price.

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This is how I make pizza dough. I found my recipe online, but this could be the very same recipe. It’s easy to make, and guess what, I use the same recipe to make bagels and Chinese buns too. The only difference is that for making bagels, you first boil the dough rings before baking. And Chinese buns need an extra spoonful of sugar in the mix, and you can fill the dough with char siew pork mix or Nutella, before being steamed.

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Not Quite Photoshop…but close. PART 15. CHILDREN’S QUILT

Despite being reassured by the developers of the App Litho, the bugs still haven’t been ironed out. I can’t save my processing in Litho, which is a crying shame as it’s the only App I’ve come across that allows me to easily adjust the X and Y axes of an image. Other Android Apps that offer this Offset facility are aPic, Photo Editor Ultimate and IE AustereSoft Image Editor…but these are laggy, buggy, or simply don’t work half the time.

(NB. Since this post was written, Litho appears to be functioning again. Still laggy, but at least it Saves now).

If I need a straightforward split of an image to the 4 “magic corners”, I use Photo Effects. Which works, but unfortunately does not offer any adjustments to be made along the axes.

Photoshop Effects (NOT related to Photoshop, btw) has the same split image function, but it saves at a low resolution.

Here is a screenshot of the Apps I most commonly use for creating pattern repeats.

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For this pattern design, which I call “Children’s Quilt”, I created a colourstrip of 3 different colours to use as the background. I used 3 different images created using the App “Impressionist Fingerpaint”, to create a collaged strip in PicsArt.

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I then processed this through the App “PicsPlay Pro”, which I thought I’d play with to see if its Clipart section was any good. It gave me these 2 cute little birds, and I spiced it up with a little dose of grunge.

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Next, I wanted to see just what offsetting this image would do in the world of repeats. Litho not working as usual, I decided to try the hit-n-miss approach of aPic instead. This involved inputting random numbers in the X and Y axes fields, and then watching the results. (I still haven’t figured out how the numbers work, they don’t relate to pixels or any logical correlation to the image being offset). When I got it to split to a halfway decent mark, I saved the image.

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Now came the interesting part. How could I manipulate this “module” into a repeat pattern that made sense and appealed to the viewer?

I used my trusty workhorse App “PicsArt” and ran the image through a number of permutations. I flipped, rotated, moved and repositioned the repeats until I arrived at this.

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A little more tweaking produced this.

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The yellow bird is now looking at its mirror image in the middle. The 2 blue lines where the blue bird sits serve as markers.

I ran the image through another grid template in PicsArt and got this final image. I love the accidental small rectangles that appeared as a result of the Offset image being placed in a repeat pattern. The colours are bright to attract a child. This would look really good as a child’s quilt or bedroom curtains.

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Not Quite Photoshop…but close. PART 8. NOT ALWAYS SQUARE

Previously, I’d been playing with creating seamless patterns using square grids. This time, I thought I’d try 2 different things – 1) using a really intricate background and 2) using a portrait-style format.

For this experiment, I created a background using a Live Wallpaper App called Elements of Design.  I wanted to challenge myself to see if I could get something deliberately fussy and intricate to become a “module” that I could then daisychain together in multiples seamlessly. Turns out it was simpler than I thought.

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So, here is what I did to this image, using PicsArt. I added 3 cute little birds from the “Tattoo” range of clipart.

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Next, I used the “Mirror” filter in PicsArt and played around with offsetting the image along both X and Y axes and also horizontally and vertically, til I got to a couple of images that I liked, which I saved.

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As you can imagine, one of the images above is an offset of the other. If you were to cut the 1st image in half vertically and rearrange it, you would arrive at the 2nd image. These 2 images are what I call my “modules”, they are the basis of my repeats.

I liked the image where the cute sparrows met in the middle, so I used that to create this next image.

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Then, I used Smoothie to change the hue of the image. I really liked the quasi iridescent pink tones I saw on one pass, so I saved it and then ran that through PicsArt again, to create a seamless repeat. But using not a square grid system this time, but a portrait-style format.

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And again, this time to look like a table runner or a hallway rug.

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And this one.

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I am really pleased with the results. Somehow, using a rectangle instead of a square, has created a pattern with more movement and less predictability.

One of the problems I encountered while creating the base modules, was in getting the mirror images to have the same perfect round shapes as in the originals. This was where my past experience in textiles (in a past life, where I had to ruthlessly cut up and waste fabric just so I could get the joins of a pattern to match, when I singlehandedly and without a sewing machine, made 4 full-length and lined curtains for our bay window) came in handy. A bit of cropping left, right, top and bottom…and Bob’s your uncle. (Nevermind that it took me a number of tries before Bob appeared LOL).

You can see in the 2nd “module” image, that the round shapes down the length of the centre don’t make a perfect circle. I let that be, as it would not matter for what I had in mind for this image. Now, with that 2nd image, I created this repeating design by first “splitting” the image in the app PhotoShopEffects (it’s a misnomer, as it’s nothing like Photoshop, but it does have a handy image splitter that scatters your quartered image to the 4 magic corners!), and the using PicsArt to create a portrait-oriented repeating pattern.

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What I noticed was that, with the 1st “module”, the resulting image has a repeat of 4 spheres. But with the 2nd “module”, after all that mirroring and manipulation, the resulting image only has a repeat of 3 spheres. Go figure!

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Which I then decided to multiply horizontally, to get this.

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Happy days!!

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