Simple SOFTWARE to compose ART? Suggestions anyone?

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by victoria, Mar 9, 2008.

  1. victoria

    victoria New Member

    I just posted to 4everkid about what could be used to create compositions... Sorry, 4EK, I think I totally misphrased my question to you in your post about your wonderful painting.

    I am wondering what software program wouuld be easy to learn for someone with brainfog who has never used any of these types of programs, let alone the full photoshop, that would allow me to

    -compose ideas for paintings from different scanned in elements from my photos or drawings.........

    -and maybe multi-layer one image on top of another, on top of another, as needed?

    Like it sounds like you did, 4everkid, to compose your painting - I was just confused as to what you used to bring the different elements together...

    I remember doing it the old fashioned way with transparencies and/or tracing papers to be able to superimpose images, but it certainly makes sense to be able to recompose ad infinitum on the computer...

    Does that make sense? Help, help, help....

    my daughter's BF just took a bunch of courses including computer work to update himself, but is SO way ahead of me with all that, that I don't think jumping into photoshop would likely be very smart for me. Presupposing I could even do one thing with it.

    Plus, don't think I'd necessarily need ALL that photoshop can do these days! - I'm still interested in the final action of actually painting!

    Thanks all for any and all suggestions...
    all the best,

    [This Message was Edited on 03/09/2008]
  2. 4everkid

    4everkid New Member

    Although I have never done it myself, Photoshop would be perfect for what you describe. You can make an image transparent with it, and lay things on top of each other. If you want to overlap things, you can bring certain elements to the front or back.

    Like I said, my version is a simpler, older version of photoshop. But if mine can do it, I imagine the full version could do that and much more.

    Don't be too intimidated by it. Scan or download a photo into the program and mess around with it. Mine has an undo button. So I can try some effect, then undo it and try the next one. (You have to undo before you make another move though) Just click all the buttons, try all the different things and get familiar with it.

    Then if you turn your great picture into some monstrosity, when you close the program, it asks if you want to save the changes you made. You can choose "no" and the file you started with will be back to square one.

    It's not as hard as you think it might be. I jumped in head first with a major project. My mom had a family picture of my parents, me and my brother from the early 70's. My parents looked great, but my bro and myself were embarrassingly goofy. I was sporting a freshly cut shag, and wearing a neon, psychedelic mini-dress. Even my dear sweet mother said she wished me and my brother could be removed. So I took that task on myself - a "nerdectomy."

    I scanned the photo and opened it in Photodeluxe. I erased me and my brother, moved my mom higher and closer to my dad, "cloned" her dress and his suit/tie where our goofy heads were before, and it turned out great! It's like we never existed! This would have cost 300 bucks to have a photographer do, and I did it for free!

    ("Cloning" is where you copy something from one spot to another. So with my moms dress, I put the little clone thingy over a part of her dress that looked the right shade, and moved the cursor around over the blank part I wanted to make look like more dress.)

    Photoshop is pretty expensive to buy I think. If you know someone with it, borrow their disc and download it to your computer. I don't know if you can find older versions on sale, but you could check into that too.

    Hopefully someone else here can be of more help.
  3. 4everkid

    4everkid New Member

    I just ran across something you could check out.

    I have a little program in my browser that surfs the web according to my interests called StumbleUpon. I stumbled onto this page - "Popular Desktop Apps And Their Online Alternatives." was listed as an online alternative to Photoshop.

    It mentions layering as one of it's features. It looks like its free. It does have a place to sign up.

    It might be something to try before making an investment in photoshop.
  4. victoria

    victoria New Member

    that's more or less what my daughter's BF has been tellling me (about photoshop), I'm just doubting my abilities with brain fog tho...

    Right now my daughter is a student at the local university, so I could at least get the student discount thru her. I can't use his copy as he has a mac anyway.

    Anyone with any other ideas? There are so many programs, it gets confusing really. I'm always intrigued by the magazines for photoshop etc on the newstands at B&N and Borders...


    [This Message was Edited on 03/09/2008]
  5. victoria

    victoria New Member

    we were posting at the same time!

    But - Thanks again! I will look that up tomorrow, sounds promising!

    Have a good night... the change to daylight savings has really messed me up!

    all the best,

  6. tansy

    tansy New Member

    and the latest version is more weighty and extensive than most people need.

    i used photoshop some years ago for an exhibition of photographs. i had taken the images on film then scanned them; at that time photoshop was the only programme that could provide all the elements i needed to produce images suitable for an exhibition.

    my photoshop software was part of an adobe student package with illustrator and in design. it was very versatile but took many steep learning curves just to master the basics.

    their amateur version called elements is much cheaper and more user friendly. i don't know what the latest version of paintshop pro is like but that used to be a cheaper more user friendly software package. layers can be used in both these programmes.

    my son's housemate showed me some amazing graphic work today he's just completed using a serif programme; his description of how easy it was to use (he understands my cognitive impairments) made me feel that when i can get back to computer imaging the serif programme would be a good place to start again.

    for art work, and fine photography work, a graphics tablet makes working with them easier; they're not expensive these days.

    there's lots of hardware like this on the secondhand market if you are still using xp or an earlier operating system. the software for many scanners and printers cannot be used with vista so it's relatively cheap to buy good quality products atm.

    victoria i hope you find an easy to use software option soon. I was encouraged years ago to try out art on the computer and printing my photographic images. it is physically easier; and when you need to take a break you just save your work. good luck

    tc, tansy
    [This Message was Edited on 03/12/2008]
  7. victoria

    victoria New Member

    I'm saving all suggestions to look into when I'm up to cognitively challenging myself...


  8. tansy

    tansy New Member

    today and it's much easier to use and learn from than Photoshop. It even has layers that are very useful for art work.

    tc, Tansy
    [This Message was Edited on 03/27/2008]
  9. victoria

    victoria New Member

    thanks for letting me know! Still haven't gotten a chance to try some things out... adding this to my file!

    all the best,

  10. tansy

    tansy New Member

    Hi Victoria

    Corel's Painter software is specifically designed for art work. There's info on the web about this software and I'll try to get some local feedback on it's ease of use and whether it's still popular with artists.

    I recall this programme being used by illustrators some years ago.

    tc, Tansy
  11. victoria

    victoria New Member

    Thanks for remembering to tell me!

  12. tansy

    tansy New Member

    Your topic has piqued my interest since I still cannot use a camera but have lots of images I can work with.

    I have so many serious issues (UK) going on right now I will need to go back to playing in a while for a break. Imaging software is great for just playing around and that's the best way to learn how to use imaging software.

    If you want to try Painter you can donwload a 30 day free trial from the Corel website. When I get some feedback on this software I'll post it here for you.

    When I first starting to venture into digital darkroom work I had lots of helpful suggestions and advice regarding hardware and software. It paid off: I did not make any expensive mistakes.

    tc, Tansy
  13. Khalyal

    Khalyal New Member

    Is Jasc's Paintshop Pro. I love that program and although it's not the cheapest, you can get an older version to play with on Ebay for very little money. Jasc also usually runs free trial promo's too, it might be worth trying.
  14. victoria

    victoria New Member

    I'm saving all of it... Please let me know what also works for you Tansy, I was impressed with your photos/images!

    I've a feeling it will be a while before I actually try anything now, as we are re-putting our house up for sale, which means extra time will be used up by again re-organizing, and this time packing up a lot of stuff, as we are thinking of renting our house if it doesn't sell at an auction coming up in May...

    If we do sell it or rent it to someone, we're likely moving to Mexico, a long-time dream!

    If we pull this off, of course 1 of the few things I'd be taking is my computer, LOL! And I'm also realizing/thinking that, with this in tow, I almost don't have to really take many of my art books with me, there is SO much online nowadays... and can copy off images using my camera & storing online/computer, for much of my stuff.

    altho I do prefer sitting on a couch looking at/ reading hard copy and images...

    old fashioned at heart in some ways!