Warped/liquified hat is duplicated 3 times and edges are matched carefully and merged together.
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Scale tool just side to side, (I usually bring right side of design to middle.) takes design down 50%, then this is duplicated with new copy being moved to fill in open side of canvas.
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Background color is changed with cloud difference and hue/saturation tools. Later a gradient layer will also be added with greens toward the top and oranges at bottom.
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Beginning the container for the arrangement, the liqiuify tool changes the black part of the hat into a container shape. It will be further shaped using the eraser tool and smudge tool.
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Here more work has been done to define the container with smudge and eraser tools.
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Container is scaled smaller here, and a table area is brushed in with brush tool. This will later have wrinkled fabric layer added for table cover.
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White portion of hat is rotated vertically, and a reference photo ot gladiolia flowers (my own) is inserted. Warp (Liquify) tool is being used here to begin shaping flowers from the hat.
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Here is the reference photo used to create the flowers.
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As flowers are finished (using smudge tool as well as burn and dodge tool to set us darks and lights) flowers are moved into canvas with background and container. Stems and buds are created with brush tool, chadowed with the burn tool. These will be duplicated, then rotated to be set into arrangement.
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Leaves are drawn with brush tool, then color filled in. These will be duplicated as needed to create interesting 'lines' to the arrangement.
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As per usual, I feel I need more height for my arrangement. Since gladiolias grow very tall, they just didn't look right in a short canvas. Canvas height is changed then stems, leaves, and flowers are arranged. I will be focusing on a triangular shape over all.
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As I place flowers, I see spaces that need flowers added, so duplicate what I need, often scaling them up or down (better to use larger blooms near bottom for better balance), and often rotating or flipping them.
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I feel the need to use the original marine hat in my piece, so will widen canvas to accomodate it. Also, have found a folded flag and Iwo Jima statue sources which will help to establish a good theme to the whole image.
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At this point I add the gradient layer to background. I keep it rather dark to help highlight white flowers.
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Finally, dark blue and dark brown filters are added at a little under 20% opacity. (This can be changed to your own likeness.)