The Paper Boat Creative Blog

behind the scenes of our graphic design, photo retouching and illustration. tips, tricks and tutorials galore!

Here’s a quick tutorial on airbrushing and drawing tips for Photoshop. 

We start with some great line art, thanks to Leo for providing this one.  Then we begin to paint in lots of layers. APPLE+G my friends is GOLD!  When you want to colour a new layer within a certain layer, clipping masks are the way to go.

This way you can be very fast without having to stick inside your lines all the time.

You can view my full sized tutorial on the link provided.

(Source: http)

Behold the Goddesses

Client: The Queens Crown based in Hilversum Netherlands

Low budget + Imagination + Extra Time = 10 pretty alright photos ;) (if i say so myself!)

They commissioned me to create their brand identity, look book and website.  I was really excited by their amazing jewelry range. You will see different themes and texture as you walk from shelf to shelf in their shop.

So with the different themes we agreed that maybe each look could be matching for a particular god or goddess.  We came up with 10: Isis, Lakshmi, Venus, Mother Mary, Queen Nefertiti, Mother Earth, Buddha and the Kabuki were included. Ok Kabuki’s not really a god, more like a ghost, but still.. hey.. looks alright?

This photography set is a mix of hand illustrated and painted backgrounds as well as photographed and retouched models. All photogaphed in one day, painted over one week and retouched over a few more days. 

Hope you like it!

Please visit www.thequeenscrown.nl to see the whole set.

Last November we stuck Steve Wilson to a wall. You can’t see his face and it’s best that way. Just kidding steve, thanks for modelling! 
We did a series of paper shoots with Beatriz Lopez and Beatrice Cockburn as prop stylists.  Nick Ballon did the photography. 
Pity Steve had to remove the rainbow in the end. tsk tsk.

Last November we stuck Steve Wilson to a wall. You can’t see his face and it’s best that way. Just kidding steve, thanks for modelling! 

We did a series of paper shoots with Beatriz Lopez and Beatrice Cockburn as prop stylists.  Nick Ballon did the photography. 

Pity Steve had to remove the rainbow in the end. tsk tsk.

Here’s a photo retouched for Michael Blann in Phil Ashley’s studio, and put in the Stone collection of Getty Images.  We had about 6 different snakes in the studio and they were all pretty small actually, as you can see by the size reference of the hand in one photo.
Snakes do curl up into tight little balls, so getting this effect wasn’t too hard.. or was it?

Here’s a photo retouched for Michael Blann in Phil Ashley’s studio, and put in the Stone collection of Getty Images.  We had about 6 different snakes in the studio and they were all pretty small actually, as you can see by the size reference of the hand in one photo.

Snakes do curl up into tight little balls, so getting this effect wasn’t too hard.. or was it?

We had to work on over 300 rings for 77diamonds, so we had to time ourselves, do a lot of technical measuring - believe me this is just 10% of the work - and had to manage how to pass on the work to other designers efficiently.
So here’s to all the people who love looking at sparkly objects. Behind every sparkly object in the magazines or in ads is probably a few photo retouchers with square eyes ;)

We had to work on over 300 rings for 77diamonds, so we had to time ourselves, do a lot of technical measuring - believe me this is just 10% of the work - and had to manage how to pass on the work to other designers efficiently.

So here’s to all the people who love looking at sparkly objects. Behind every sparkly object in the magazines or in ads is probably a few photo retouchers with square eyes ;)

The Vintage Effect
Here’s an example of another image we worked on for a photographer, Paul Whitfield.  He had some great fashion shots for a magazine, but you know, even the best photographer has to pray to the weather gods for good light.  This particular shot was a bit under exposed and we had to bring up the detail and make it look old at the same time.
Not such a hard job, about 20 minutes of work.
Before digital photography, there was good ol’ film processing where you’d put your work under a few different chemicals and if you put them in there too long or too short, you would get different effects. Sometimes the colours would all blur up a bit, making images look very yellow or magenta.  Anyway, we’re trying to pull that off again on photoshop.
I think the final image looked good. Last thing I would do to it would be to print it, scratch it up, crumple it a few times and then scan it back in again.  Tadahhhhhh

The Vintage Effect

Here’s an example of another image we worked on for a photographer, Paul Whitfield.  He had some great fashion shots for a magazine, but you know, even the best photographer has to pray to the weather gods for good light.  This particular shot was a bit under exposed and we had to bring up the detail and make it look old at the same time.

Not such a hard job, about 20 minutes of work.

Before digital photography, there was good ol’ film processing where you’d put your work under a few different chemicals and if you put them in there too long or too short, you would get different effects. Sometimes the colours would all blur up a bit, making images look very yellow or magenta.  Anyway, we’re trying to pull that off again on photoshop.

I think the final image looked good. Last thing I would do to it would be to print it, scratch it up, crumple it a few times and then scan it back in again.  Tadahhhhhh

Cute Spring Time Photo Retouching
We were doing a shoot with still life photographer Phil Ashley on a series of floral conceptual photographs in preparation for Spring and Summer time.  Because we had so many pretty flowers in the studio, we decided to try out a small trick of merging all the images together. 
He shot about 20 flower and then for about an entire day we pieced together the best shots to come up with this layout.  I think it could be a great image for Mother’s day, or for Easter. 
- you have to fake the light source when the original shot isn’t looking right. all shadow and light should follow the same angle otherwise your image won’t make sense - 
The hard thing was that all the flowers were shot in the same angle, but the final image of course had these flowers twisted or flipped around.  So we had to redraw light and shadow to make it look realistic.  All the shadows you see on the bamboo stem for example are not real at all. 
Hope you likey.

Cute Spring Time Photo Retouching

We were doing a shoot with still life photographer Phil Ashley on a series of floral conceptual photographs in preparation for Spring and Summer time.  Because we had so many pretty flowers in the studio, we decided to try out a small trick of merging all the images together. 

He shot about 20 flower and then for about an entire day we pieced together the best shots to come up with this layout.  I think it could be a great image for Mother’s day, or for Easter. 

- you have to fake the light source when the original shot isn’t looking right. all shadow and light should follow the same angle otherwise your image won’t make sense -

The hard thing was that all the flowers were shot in the same angle, but the final image of course had these flowers twisted or flipped around.  So we had to redraw light and shadow to make it look realistic.  All the shadows you see on the bamboo stem for example are not real at all. 

Hope you likey.

Get the Organic Light Effect
Here’s a picture we art directed and retouched for John Lamb.  The entire photo was taken in a studio with pretty much nothing in the background, just a flat grey colorama.  Sometimes working against grey is best for cutouts.  If you work against coloured backgrounds, the color reflection will hit the model and will mess up the entire look of your photo.
- try different light strobes. bike lights. fluorescent lights. christmas lights - 
We used a number of light strobes to get the very thick wave look for our model Danika.  I think the most beautiful effect we experimented with was using a meter long fluorescent light.  As you might know, the fluorescent light isn’t completely consistent. So at a very slow shutter speed and long exposure you actually see the broken light waves from this light.  The final effect is kinda cool… doesn’t look like a perfect 3d wave, which makes it more realistic.
In case you were wondering, the model and lights are taken separately.
Credits: Photography: John Lamb
Art direction and Retouching: Rebecca van Ommen from The Paper Boat Creative
Model: Danika
Location: London

Get the Organic Light Effect

Here’s a picture we art directed and retouched for John Lamb.  The entire photo was taken in a studio with pretty much nothing in the background, just a flat grey colorama.  Sometimes working against grey is best for cutouts.  If you work against coloured backgrounds, the color reflection will hit the model and will mess up the entire look of your photo.

- try different light strobes. bike lights. fluorescent lights. christmas lights -

We used a number of light strobes to get the very thick wave look for our model Danika.  I think the most beautiful effect we experimented with was using a meter long fluorescent light.  As you might know, the fluorescent light isn’t completely consistent. So at a very slow shutter speed and long exposure you actually see the broken light waves from this light.  The final effect is kinda cool… doesn’t look like a perfect 3d wave, which makes it more realistic.

In case you were wondering, the model and lights are taken separately.

Credits: Photography: John Lamb

Art direction and Retouching: Rebecca van Ommen from The Paper Boat Creative

Model: Danika

Location: London

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Behind the scenes of everyday life in our design studio. Get to know tips on paper craft, graphic design, photography and retouching!

The Paper Boat Creative is here to update you on all the projects we’re working on in house!

The Paper Boat Creative is here to update you on all the projects we’re working on in house!