Sunday, 10 June 2012

Painting in Photoshop: week 4 and a bonus

Here it is - the end of Painting of Photoshop class.
During week four we used different color mixing brushes,Topaz filters and HDR toning. As a bonus we had a project which combined Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop techniques. The amount of information I got from this class is incredable, and there are so many ways to use it in my projects. That is very exciting.

HDR toning and color mixing brushes.

Dori effect.

Using Topaz Adjust filter.
Image provided by Marie.

Abstract - image from deviant art, background from Marie Otero.

Graffiti fish - combination of Illustrator and Photoshop.
Image provided By Marie.

Russian diary: Moscow- the Kremlin and Red Square

The Kremlin of Moscow is directly associated with every major event in Russian history.  The Kremlin sits in the center of the city, on Borovitsky Hill above the Moscow River.  

Since the beginning of its construction in 1156, it has been the center of both temporal and spiritual power. In 1367-68, skilled artists and architects from across Europe were employed to rebuild the Kremlin. They shaped the site into roughly its modern form and appearance. The Kremlin’s tower-studded, walled complex contains an ensemble of monuments of outstanding beauty.

The Arsenal

Assumption Cathedral

Kremlin Guard

Bell tower Ivan the Great

Red Square is closely associated with the Kremlin, lying beneath its east wall. The square used to be a market square adjoining the merchants area in Kitay Gorod (part of Moscow).It has always been a place where occupants of the Kremlin chose to congregate, celebrate and castigate for all the people to see.

At its south end is the famous Cathedral of St Basil the Blessed.

The Cathedral was ordered by Ivan the Terrible to mark the 1552 capture of Kazan from Mongol forces. It was completed in 1560. Nothing is known about the builders, Barma and Postnik Yakovlev, except their names and the dubious legend that Ivan had them blinded so that they could not create anything to compare.

During the Soviet era, Red Square became a focal point for the new state. Military parades take place here since 1919.  Lenin’s Mausoleum is the part of the square complex.
Red Square is closed to traffic and filled with tourists snapping photos and marveling at their surroundings.

Kremlin tower

Marshall Zhukov against Samsung

Red Square getting ready for the Victory day parade

World's famous mummy home

Hmmm... a competitor or a soul mate?

History museum

You may see more pictures here:

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Painting in Photoshop, week 3

This week we used mixer brushes to create painterly effect in landscapes and portraits.
It is amazing how many powerful tools  there are in Photoshop, and it is so great finally to be able to use them.

Astoria, Oregon

Park in Puskin, suburbs of St Petersburg, Russia

I took this  photograph in Moscow, Russia

Friday, 1 June 2012

Russian diary: The Church of Our Savior on the Spilled Blood

This marvelous Russian style church, built on the spot where Emperor Alexander II was mortally wounded in March 1881. The church was built between 1883 and 1907 and was officially called the Resurrection of Christ church (a.k.a. The Church of our Savior in Spilled Blood).

Architecturally, the Cathedral differs from St. Petersburg's other structures. The city's architecture is predominantly Baroque and Neoclassical, but the Savior on Blood harks back to medieval Russian architecture. The church is only a block away from Kazan cathedral which was built in traditions of Classical architecture. It is a western church in a western city, and although the cathedral held Russian Orthodox ceremonies and featured icons, it is still laid out much like a Catholic Cathedral.

Kazan Cathedral

As a result, it becomes a symbol of the liberal European influence, which Alexander III so despised and blamed for his father’s death. Alexander III insisted that his church be line of sight to the Kazan cathedral to remind his citizens of the dangers of liberalization and reform.

The glazed brick and polychrome tiles are trimmed with shining marble.

However, it is the mosaics that are the real treasure. The flamboyant exterior of the building is adorned with icons in a riot of color and becomes more mind boggling the closer you get. Inside there is almost 7,000 sq. meters of Italian marble and over 20
different Russian minerals, that embellish the opulent mosaics based on paintings by Nikolai Bruni, Mikhail Nesterov, and other religious artists of the late 19th century.

Christ and the Apostles are portrayed within the cupola, while the walls and pillars are totally adorned with other Biblical scenes or images of saints.  Mosaics fill the niches, crevices and cornices and no surface is left bare of embellishment.

In the aftermath of the Russian revolution the church was ransacked and looted of the fine wooden icons and religious alter facades.  The Soviet government closed the church in the early 1930s.  During the Second World War when many people starved to death during the siege of Leningrad, the church was used as a temporary morgue for those who died from combat, starvation and illness. It was hit by many German shells, at least one of which went through the roof, but failed to explode saving irreplaceable interior art.
After the war, it was used as a warehouse for vegetables, leading to the sardonic name of Savior on Potatoes.  Later, it was used for many years as a storage space for a local opera company.

In 1968, the church was recognized as a heritage asset. It was reopened in August 1977, after 27 years of restoration (it took more time to restore it, than to build), but has not been consecrated and functions as a Museum of Mosaics. Even before the Revolution ut never functioned as a public place of worship, having been dedicated exclusively to the memory of the assassinated tsar.

The Church is now one of the main tourist attractions in St. Petersburg. Not only does it look like what the rest of the world has become to expect fron the Russian Ortodox church, but does so in a breathtakingly beautiful and picturesque way.