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We are talking about Safety Nets. There are various ways to build a Safety Net into your work. What I am going to talk about now is Layer Painting. And Layer Painting is just a technique for painting instead of on a single canvas, you paint on layers, and the more layers you use, the greater the Safety Net. And I'll just do a quick sample here, I am going to be using from the oil pastels category, just the oil pastel 30 brush. And I am going to create a new layer, which in the Layers palette I can do quickly by clicking on the third icon from the left, the New Layer icon.
So I have created a new layer and I am just going to do a little bit of sketching here. And we'll just do some imaginary expressionist or leaves and flowers. So as I go through this, each time I am going to like change color or do a major different item, I am going to change to a new layer, or create a new layer to paint on. So now we'll go in here and let's say it's going to be some kind of flower and again this is just very quick. Maybe a couple of shades in here.
I'll create another layer and you can see here each time I decided to do something a little different, I am switching to a different layer. Here we'll do another one, maybe this should be more of a brown. Maybe it's some imaginary flower, so I don't know my etymology that whether there are these things sticking out of there. OK so we have got several different layers here and it appears very much is if it's a single flat image, however I could turn off and on these various layers in order to have them isolated.
So that if I decide to change something, if I want to go back I could say wrong kind of flower, I really don't want that. So I can go in here and I'll just select all delete and decide to paint some other flower on that layer. Something a little different then I did the first time. If we get into the situation like this, you can use your Eraser tool to target that layer and there is a couple of ways to do that. If I switch to my layer selector tool, and make sure that this is always turned on, we talked about in the layers chapter, even if I am in a brush, I could click on this and select that layer, so now it's selected.
Get my Eraser, erase that, and then click on the layer I want to work on and I am back at it. But I am still in my brush tool. So at this point I could go in and I am Eraser there, so you want to make sure you switch away from the eraser. That does happens, sometimes you'll forget that you have switch tools but again the multiple Undo in Painter gives you that safety, that if that mistake is made you can correct it. So now here I have gone back and change that layer which would have been difficult to do had it all been on a flat image.
So by working in layers you have a big safety net to allow you to do work without fear of being able to change it. Now I have got a pre-prepared image I am going to show you and it's in the exercise files, chapter 13 here, Layered Art. I am starting it so that you don't see everything and first here we are going to go through I am going to expand my layers palette out by finding that little cursor change right here at the bottom when you get down here it will change to this little up down, or that lets me pull this out.
So I am going to start to turn these layers on, and you can see how I build this image up through a number of layer elements. So I'll turn on the sky that's the first thing I did. Then I painted some clouds. Now the nice thing is this is an element that I can adjust too. So not only I am doing this for the Safety Net but there is the ability to recompose as you work. Then I want to have some sunlight off to one side of the image, I'll move this over just a little bit.
Then I just put in a basic foreground that I knew I was going to work with. I also then brought in a photographic element from an image that I have done. Let's keep going up here, then I wanted to do more work in the foreground here, didn't want just this green, so I used the Image hose to just spray on some weeds basically to have in the foreground area. Then I went and painted on this layer on top of all of what I have already done. So this is just a paint layer, where it's been picking up all the color underneath, smearing it around using a brush that's not applying color.
Then I went in and added some detailed strokes throughout the image and that's the basic image. It's done. But you could see how it's all in layers and like I was saying particularly with these clouds, I could decide where I want some of these compositional elements to change. Others you can't because that certainly would not look correct and if I picked up the paint layer, you can see out of context it's look rather but when it's in the right place this whole thing, if you didn't see the layer, you would think that this was simply a flat painting and yet I had a lot of flexibility by building it up in layers and this is how I work all the time.
I don't work flat anymore I love the ability to change things like that paint layers. If I decided that paint layer which is terrible, well everything I have done up to then is still what I want to do. I could delete the paint and start over again. So that totally gives me a Safety Net to try painting in one way and if I don't like it, I just undo it and paint it again. Now if you are a traditional painter you are probably in the process of picking your job of the floor right now, because that's not something you can do in a traditional medium and that's one of the great benefits of digital, is that all of a sudden we are in this Alice in Wonderland World there things are possible that you couldn't do before.
This enlarged safety net offers up a great deal of experimentation and freedom to try things out that you wouldn't otherwise do. I highly advice you to investigate this concept of layer painting as a major Safety Net.
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