Messy wrinkle folds from cgtextures.com source photo
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Background started with liquify warp tool. This design will be stretched to fit 10 x 25 canvas, then duplicated several times and merged.
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Here the lengthened strips have been duplicated (alt key) and merged together. Colors will be changed as work progresses in order to find a complementary background color.
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One of the pods from source is chopped, then enlarged with scale tool and placed in front of background just created. Burn tool is used to shape it and create shadows on left side.
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Here are the sections of the source photo from which various petals for sunflowers will be created.
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Petals just created are circled around one of the source pods which will be the seed portion of the sunflowers. Petals are shaped using smudge tool, scale (edit/tranform) tools, then rotated to fit where needed. All the petals should not be the same size and shape, but varied to look more realistic.
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Sunflowers are being added. They will be scaled to smaller sizes as they go up. All the larger flowers should always be at the bottom of the arrangement. The background is now a purplish color by sing a gradient layer. It is a contrasting color, but I will change this to blues later in order to take more attention away from the background.
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Here are the steps to creating sunflower leaves using brush tools then smudge and eraser tools.
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The next step here is to place all the sunflowers and begin adding leaves, mostly around the bottom, but also in slightly smaller sizes as you go up into the arrangement. Really small sunflowers at the top will help to balance out the large ones at the bottom. Some buds will also be added.
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The folded fabric is added at the bottom, and first color tried is the green, but will also be tried in different colors before settling on the final dark brown. I used it to take the eye into the pods used in the centers of the flowers. The dark blue is now tried for background. It will have craquel filter added to it for a nice background texture.
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Container is changed to a blue which will tie into the background and also contrast against the fabric around it. Very small versions of the pods in the source photo are used to create little accents throughout the design. They are used in several shades by using hue/sat tool, stems are lengthened with smudge tool, and they are carefully set to look like they go in between the flowers and leaves. Important to use the burn and dodge tools for good lighting on them.
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Finally, with brush tool, twig-like pieces are added at top to further lighten up the arrangement and give it some flow and rhythm. Each one has to be lighted with the burn and dodge tools. The last step is to merge all the layers, then add Gold and also Dk Brown filters over all. They are reduced in opacity to 20%.