rossana_teideRecently I went on an excursion with a friend of mine at Mount Teide (Tenerife, Canary Islands) and we took some pictures.
Now I was watching them and I decided to do a quick photo retouching, combining two of the pictures we took.
To do that I used Adobe Photoshop.

As you can see, I added a picture on my friend’s screen. This is not really difficult: I added the picture using the vanishing point solution to keep the perspective (Filter – Vanishing Point), but I think using the transform menu (Edit – Transform – Perspective) would do the job as well.roddana_teide_edited

Then adding a mask I brushed away the parts of the picture that were covered by the hand. With a bit of color correction to give some consistency you could consider the job done, but the really tricky part in this work is giving some authentic reflections on the screen.

As you can see in the first picture, there is too much light to see what the screen shows, so we see just a black screen with the reflection of her hand and the landscape. Although showing clearly her picture in the screen is bound for this effect, it should be a mistake not to add some reflections. How to do it? Very easy.

I copied the original image on a new layer and I put it on the top, then I lowered its opacity to a 30%. The majority of the picture has not been affected by it, the only change has been on the screen that I had previously modified, so it kept the original reflection!




Lately I had fun with Photoshop turning my sister into a siren. As this picture turned unexpectedly to be quiet popular among her friends and I am currently avoiding with all my heart to start preparing my luggage (tomorrow I fly back to London) I think this is the right time for a post.

i took the guy out of the picture using a mask and the Clone Tool. Then I added a fish tail that I colored and put in perspective using the Wrap mode (Edit – Transform).

What people didn’t understand is how I kept the bubbles over the tail, and it’s actually pretty simple when you know how to do it.

After modifying the original picture make a copy and put its layer on the top, then decrease its opacity.
To blend together everything, once you are done decrease the opacity of the tail too, and the effect is done!


hornet black and whitehornet colours

Photoshop allows you to colour your drawings reaching fantastic effects, but – I was thinking – what if you have to colour a black and white jpg?

I have found on the internet this drawing of Hornet from Heroes from the North, played by Marie-Claude Bourbonnais. I don’t know the author, but if you do, I’d gladly credit him.

To get rid of the white, I changed the blending mode of the layer to MULTIPLY and I put it on the top.

Below, every layer holds a specific part of the drawing (background, shirt, skin, eyes, glasses and hair).
Each layer has 2 clipping masks, one for the shadows and one for the lights.

I used a hard brush for the flats and a very soft one for the shadows and lights.

At the end, I corrected the colours with a VIBRANCE and a HUE/SATURATION adjustment layer.

This is a pretty fast process and I like the result. Do you?



Today I had to make a presentation using an image of an explosion with colors that I didn’t like, so I decided to play with the colors to make it more appealing.

On the left you find the original picture and on the right side the final result.

Original ExplosionPhotoshopped explosion

To do that I created a new layer, filled it with black, changed the blending mode to OVERLAY and lowered the opacity until I found the tone I wanted (you don’t need much, try first with 10%).
Then I created a new ADJUSTMENT LAYER and increased the VIBRANCE and SATURATION.

It is a really simple effect, but I find the result very powerful, and if I hadn’t do it myself I would wonder how the heck did the Author do it 🙂


I recently lost myself exploring the Live Trace options and the new Bristle Brush in Adobe Illustrator: two fantastic tools that I wanted to combine together.
This is the result: a portrait of Jennifer Aniston that looks like an oil painting. Thoughts?
Jennifer Aniston

To do that I traced twice a picture of Jennifer Aniston with the Live Trace tool.
The first time I did it in colors, the second time in black and white and I took out the white leaving transparent instead. This made the edges of the picture stronger.
In the next layers I painted the picture using a variety of Bristle Brushes, the first time doing the flats, on the next layer taking care of the lights, then the shadows, the details and the hair.

I didn’t expect a so realistic effect. I like it. And you?


Monti Minaccia FacebookIt can be tricky to explain to a non-Italian what a Technical Government is, but basically in November 20011 our Government acknowledged that things were so messy in my Country and Politician had no clue on what to do, so they asked someone who was supposed to be smarter to clean up what they did, so that they could come back and mess up again.

That person is Mario Monti, chief of our Government of Technicians.

But he started liking to be there, and after a year he decided to run for the elections, although he doesn’t know much about gaining the trust of the people.
Because even if he has been considered great by our politicians for doing their dirty job, many Italians (yours faithful included) didn’t like him at all because he just raised taxes and did whatever Germany asked him to.

So when he opened his account on Facebook he was initially flabbergasted by the tens of thousands people who liked his page, just lately understanding that the most of them did it to tell what they thought about him.
In a few days he skipped from enthusiasm to hanger and threats to prosecute anyone who will offend in on Facebook, and I immediately thought his status deserved a drawing of me suggesting all the readers to tell him GENTLY to @@@@ off.

To realize this drawing in Adobe Illustrator I first sketched myself using a customized PAINTBRUSH TOOL, then in another layer below that one I colored the illustration using the BLOB BRUSH TOOL.
For the shadowing I duplicated the color layer putting the shadow layer between the other two and  I darkened all the tints. Then with the ERASER TOOL I took out the portions I didn’t want, leaving the shadows.

I like this technique very much.

For the monitor, I made a PRINT SCREEN of Monti’s page and then I applied over the JPG a clipping mask the shape of the monitor.


I would like to thank Sharon Milne and Kate McInnes of Vector Tuts Plus for having published my tutorial on a broken mirror effect.
This is a very helpful site for learning Illustrator and I am glad I found this such creative community. I am looking forward to collaborating together again in the future.


You can read my tutorial by clicking here or on the image.