AWAKE Session 1 Experiment 2 – Fantail

Fantail – Click to Embiggen

After my first experiment with the Swan I wanted to have another go, and found this fantail image I shot a few years ago in our Botanic Gardens and thought it had potential.

Spent some time searching in my textures and backgrounds and found this one that already had some faint flourishes and text and grunge applied so started with that.

Put the fantail image in, masked and painted it in with some rough spongy brushes which gave a nice textural effect.

In the class example the image was framed and part of the frame was removed so that it spilled out of the frame.Β  Because of the shape of this image I was going to struggle with that concept so decided to leave it unframed, instead I planned to add a fancy brush flourish at the top.

However when I went into my brushes and started clicking on them to see what they look like – its hard to see what they really look like from the brush palette tiny images.Β  Then a big swirly flourish popped up, and they do it at their full size and I went OOOH!Β  I can work with that πŸ™‚

Fluffed around with the colours, ended up sampling different colours from within the fantail image and went with this green.

Added in a Typography layer and fluffed around with finding a font that fitted, again sampled colours out of the fantails chest feathers to get this colour that was harmonious with the background.

Finally added some butterfly brushes in the corners for some added interest and balance, using the same colour as the text, and then blended in that layer at a lower opacity.

I had more fun with this image, constantly aware of the “Less is More” concept and trying to keep it subtle.

All comments and feedback welcome – I can’t improve otherwise!


About lensaddiction

Mad keen photographer figuring it out as she goes!
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39 Responses to AWAKE Session 1 Experiment 2 – Fantail

  1. loisajay says:

    I love this! It’s almost like the bird saw the opening and just swooped in! Perfect, Stacey.

  2. kirsten says:

    Oh, I love this!! I feel like the bird loved your canvas so much it stopped by for a visit. Great job! I have to get started with the Awake Class…soon! Now that I’ve got my project all set up for my Australia trip, I should have some time to work on more classes.

    • lensaddiction says:

      When are you coming to Australia? I was talking to Leanne Cole saying all the local Aus/NZ bloggers should have a meetup and she mentioned something about June next year maybe. I would certainly make an attempt to come to that!

      • kirsten says:

        I’m actually coming for the month of June. I will be touring the Melbourne area with Leanne for the first two weeks and then in Sydney for the second two weeks. I’ve never been Overseas before so I’m very excited and a titch nervous!

      • lensaddiction says:

        Well its a long way to Australia from the US which is where I assume you are coming from, and the seasons will be reversed too. Im sure you will have a wonderful time – maybe thats why Leanne mentioned the possibility of a meetup in Sydney then to cooincide with your visit?

      • kirsten says:

        We chose June because it will be such a nice change from the summer heat here in FL! When Leanne and I last spoke she mentioned that a group of people were meeting up in June. I was excited to hear it might happen while I was over there :-). I also have friends who live in Sydney and they have been after me to come for a visit!

      • lensaddiction says:

        Sounds like a plan πŸ™‚

  3. Joanne says:

    How beautiful – love this!

  4. i love this, so soft and subtle, yet striking at the same time, well done. I do envy your classes

  5. leecleland says:

    You are doing some wonderful work, love the swirly thing and yes this is subtle and striking.

    • lensaddiction says:

      Thanks Lee, the swirly thing was the final touch it needed. If you are looking for brushes etc I have found LOADS via DeviantArt and most of them just give them away with no limitations on commercial use. I always check first.

      • leecleland says:

        Thanks for that Stacey, I’ve noted that name but have only just as of last night finished downloading all the stuff from both courses now that I’ve got heaps more G’s per month. Still drooling over the French Ephemera stuff πŸ™‚

      • lensaddiction says:

        Some of that stuff is very cool but Im not sure how I will use it. If you like that then check out the Design Cuts people, they had a deal for the PA people a few weeks ago where you got TRUCKLOADS of stuff for US $29 and it had tons of French Ephemera as well – I like the hand writing, I like to use that.

      • leecleland says:

        Ahha I saw that and am already thinking of getting it, I hadn’t considered it before because my bandwidth limits, I admit there’s lots in there that I really think I could use more so than some of the stuff already got

      • lensaddiction says:

        I will take some screen shots of the stuff I got from my file directory and send it to you (ping me your email address) so I can show you some of the stuff you might like.

        Initially I was a bit disappointed cos there is lots of stuff i think I will never use but there is some stuff that I have started to use and who knows where Awake might take me – the old world map textures and brushes are a highlight for me πŸ™‚

      • leecleland says:

        Not sure (actually have no idea) how to ping so here it is lee at

      • lensaddiction says:

        Cheers – sorry I thought I had it on my About page, turns out not so I have updated it.

      • leecleland says:


      • lensaddiction says:

        email on its way, hope its not too big, several screen shots for you included

      • lensaddiction says:

        You also download it in about 10 sections as well so could be manageable that way.

      • leecleland says:

        Sounds even better

  6. I just love, love this image today. Absolutely gorgeous photo of the fantail and I love what you did with the flourish too. Very cool work.

    • lensaddiction says:

      Thanks Raewyn, fantails are so hard to get good shots of, so I was really happy with this one πŸ™‚

      • Oh, I know all about that. They tease me by flying around my head. This is so beautiful.

      • lensaddiction says:

        If you scratch up the leaf litter to release the bugs then they will fly around you to get them. Same for NZ Robins, they go down into the leaf litter and scratch through it. I spent probably an hour at Zelandia a couple of years ago utterly entranced at how fearless the robins were, they come and perch on your toes or your camera quite happily.

        Our NZ birds aren’t all brightly coloured like they have overseas but I have learned to enjoy their more subtle charms πŸ™‚

  7. Robyn G says:

    Stacey, this is fabulous and quite inspirational.. Really lovely!

  8. Oh what a gorgeous little bird πŸ™‚ Really like the textures in the treatment and the swooping shape around the bird.

  9. wonderful background texture effect in both swan and fantail. Great experiment Stacey!

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