All posts by Barbara Hranilovich

Lifelong artist, teacher, learner. Free-lance illustration, graphic design, fine art.

Taking images farther in Photoshop

Last fall I decided to take some old images and rework them in Photoshop. Creating something directly in Photoshop doesn’t appeal to me, but seeing what happens to an image that’s been painted, with all the complexities of surface and color does. Here’s one that was posterized, among other things, and another that I inverted.

Image Image

Then I was doing an image for the holidays…a Father Christmas. I finished the painting, but it was just lacking something for me. I brought it into Photoshop and started adding arbitrary textures, like cement and closeups of leaves and fabrics, tweaking screen levels and cutting away where not needed. I had a terrific time doing it and fell in love with the complexity of the surface. Cement into snow…what fun! This piece has been winning awards, so I might be on to something.


The latest piece was this cardinal. There was so much going on already in the original I had to be pretty descriminating about where to enhance, but put in textures here and there along with a couple of real berry photo images. There’s a richness that’s hard to explain with this system.


This is definitely a direction worth pursuing further. It brings a fresh tool to the studio, but lets me keep what I love about painting. Time flies when I’m working on these…fully engaged and excited. Feeling lucky.


Evolution of an Illustration

I thought it might be interesting to post the various stages of an image while I’m working on it. I hope it is.

This piece was done for the MSU School of Music’s upcoming production of La Boheme. The impetus for style is the historical time-frame for the production and elements were pulled from the set design.

Once the sketch was approved I drew the image on 140# Arches hotpress paper, soaked and stretched it. You can still see the mottling from the water. This is the time to put in a background wash.


At first I want to establish the key values and cool/warm range. We were aiming for a Toulouse L’autrec palette.


Next I wanted to get a feel for how much washy paint I wanted and what flat areas. I also needed to test how to handle outlining. I was looking at old prints, but did not want to copy style, just pull some of the feel.


Since the roses play such a big role, getting their color in place was important and would drive the rest of the piece.


With such a light-touch on the wash, doing the face was scary…no room for error!


This is the finished art I submitted.


It was asked to make the woman prettier and smiling. I could not make the changes on the original art without changing the entire look of the face. It would have had to become opaque to allow coverage of the old features and adjustments. So, I went to PhotoShop. I felt like a plastic surgeon…nip and tuck.

This is the final image which will appear on the poster. I have to admit I prefer the original, but if my client’s happy, I’m happy.



Teaching at Interlochen

I always wanted to go to Interlochen and finally get to, though as a teacher now. I’m thrilled to have been offered the opportunity to teach three courses.

The classes are not till June, but are starting to fill, so if you’re interested, I’d suggest you check it out soon. You can stay right on campus using the lodging code link below. What a fun getaway! It would be great to have some local folks there to play along.

Get details for each class with the corresponding link. Please feel free to let me know if you have any questions.

Children’s Book Illustration:
Yes, I would love people from across the state and beyond to come up for your classes! If they want to stay on campus they can use the lodging codes associated with the program they are attending with the hotel desk to receive A DISCOUNT! To date, you have registrants from Grawn, Brethren, Suttons, Bay, Brighton, Chigago and Maitland, FL. SOme may have summer homes up here, but some may not…

Odyssey of the Mind!

Whenever I hear about Odyssey of the Mind I wish I could be a kid in school again. It showcases the infinite room for creativity in science and engineering. It brings out the best in kids. The energy is up-beat and thrilling as great minds work together to meet their challenges. We’re lucky to have schools in our community who participate in this wonderful program.

PBS is doing a documentary. Check it out.