I thought just briefly today I’d mention a few of the photo editing/digital art websites I use. I do have Photoshop and Corel, but they cost and, frankly, I find them quite clunky compared to the new offerings that are popping up on-line.
So if you want free editing and to experiment, go for what’s on offer on-line. I’ve found these sites are faster and have quite exciting gizmos which can really make a difference to digital art.
Each of these programmes has different goodies to offer, so I’d suggest you pick out a fairly simple photo, upload it and just stooge around the various offerings on each site to see the many ways you can alter photos or art and create completely new images.
I started off with PicMonkey (http://picmonkey.com) when I did an on-line course last year on surreal art using selfies. With PicMonkey you can either use your own photo or you can create a blank canvas (under “Design” at the top, choose your own colour, and go from there. If you go to the “Textures” and choose “Your own”, you can superimpose your own photo over the canvas or your own photo. There are various gizmos which enable you to change the way your texture looks. You can also poke around among the other effects available under “Textures” and also under “Overlays”. Be aware that, with the “overlay” function you get a sharp photo of whatever you use among your own overlays. You can however alter their appearance, fade the photo, and also use the “eraser” function if you want to get rid of extraneous material on your photo and focus on a central image. You can also use the “brush” function to restore anything you’ve inadvertently deleted if your hand’s a bit shaky or twitchy.
Then I tracked down BeFunky (http://www.befunky.com) which has similar functions but is slightly different. So have a poke around those too. The only thing you can’t do on this site is layer another photo or image onto your original work.
After a while of working with the two above sites, I came across Pixlr.com and originally it was solely an on-line site. It has now made a programme available for download and it has added all sorts of really useful gizmos for jazzing up photos, a real improvement on when I first started using this programme.
The other site is use is Fotor (http://www.fotor.com) which has all sorts of editing programmes and gizmos, but the one I really like is under “effects” and it’s called “Magic Brush”. With that, you can click on an effect such as bubbles, drag your mouse over your image, and voila! bubbles appear all over the place. There are also hearts, dandelions and pixie dust. Great fun.
It’s really a matter of experimenting with what each site has to offer. I’ve learned heaps over the past year or so, even now finding new offerings I didn’t know existed on these sites. So don’t be afraid to experiment – if you do something you don’t like, each site has a “reverse” button so you can delete whatever you’re not happy with.
Good luck, have fun, and remember – it’s not about being perfect, it’s about playing around, experimenting and enjoying yourself.
Here’s an example of the image I created with a “selfie” photo. I used a photo of my mum, my auntie and my gran, then superimposed my own image over to link the generations: