My New Vida Collection

So I received an invitation from Vida the other day to submit some of my artwork/photography to be considered for inclusion in the designs of their clothing line. This was something completely new and foreign to me so I looked into it to see if it was for real. It looks like the real thing to me. Turns out VIDA is a global partnership of creators, pairing designers from around the world with makers in Pakistan in accordance with high ethical standards, to create original, beautiful products.

Your purchase gives back: Using part of the proceeds from the sales of the products, VIDA creates literacy programs for the makers, so that they have opportunities to learn reading, writing and basic math that they would not otherwise have. Making the world a better place by helping the less fortunate help themselves – that’s something I can wholeheartedly get behind and support.

The image below shows some of my current Vida collection of designs. I am adding more when I can find the time so feel free to check back often. Here is my Vida Collection Link: 



I Need Your Help!

I’m reaching out to you, my friends, family, and facebook friends to help me get to Slate Status with Vida so that my collection of designs will be featured on Vida’s social media pages. I only need to sell 10 pieces to get to that level. I can further advance my Vida status and overall visibility by selling 25 pieces, or 50 pieces to get to Steel or Gold.

There are perks for you as a patron of my Collection: Anyone who purchases one of my first 10 pieces will receive a 25 USD Vida Gift Card. Anyone who purchases one of my next 15 pieces will receive a 20 USD Vida gift card. And, anyone who helps me to sell 25 more pieces with a purchase will receive a 15 USD Vida gift card.


I’m really excited to introduce this collection to you. Click on this link to purchase a scarf or clothing item now. Your generous support will be greatly appreciated!





Meet Adobe Spark


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I just created a new promo using a new app from adobe called Adobe Spark. It felt a little strange to me to be referring to myself in the third person, but if you don’t have another willing person available, or simply can’t afford to hire someone who can do the copywriting for you (my situation), you will have to do it yourself.


Anyway, Adobe is currently offering a free 30 day trial of the app on their Creative Cloud site. Might be fun to take it for a spin just to see what you can do. There are three different ways to create your promo: Spark Post; Spark Page; and Spark Video. The first one is setup for posting on social media like Facebook. The Second is for creating a magazine like web page which can be shared on any device. The third, Spark Video, is for creating videos with sound and photos, using cinematic motion to give it that professional touch.

The one I created (click on the link below) is created from the second publishing option – Spark Page.



Changing the Color Scheme of Your Digital Painting

Changing the Color Scheme of Your Digital Painting


Screen Capture of Topaz Restyle (as a Photoshop Plug – in)

One of the unique and often overlooked benefits of working in the digital painting medium is the expansive array of editing options that are now available to digital artists (and new ones seem to be cropping up every other day). Today I am focusing on a great little gem of software genius called Topaz Restyle. This is a great way to make changes to the existing color scheme of any digital artwork giving you, the artist a huge number of presets to start off with that you can tweak to your heart’s content until you get exactly what you had in mind.

Some of you may ask – why would I ever want to change the color scheme of my painting? Well, maybe the main reason might be to please a potential future patron of your artwork such as an interior designer who likes your art piece or pieces, but they don’t fit the color scheme of the home or office interior she/he is trying to decorate. If your work is digitally created you can tell them up front (as selling point) that you can custom match any color scheme they may be looking for. Maybe then show them some examples to bolster your statement. That could potentially be the key to at least getting your “foot in the door” to a future sale, or even a lifelong devoted patron of your art.

Here are some examples I have just created for the purpose of this article. The first (top) image is the original painting with no changes to the color scheme. The next four are new versions using different color schemes that I created from the Topaz Restyle plug – in for Photoshop.

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Another side benefit I have found with using this software is to just “see what is possible” when I am in the middle of creating a new artwork. Sometimes it can be a great way to get new, fresh ideas for the painting – not just for the color scheme, but for other variables such as contrast, specific hues in specific selected areas of the work, ect. With digital art the possibilities are endless! If you are interested in try Topaz Restyle out they have a 30 day free trial available on their website:

Thanks! I hope that was of some benefit. There will be more to come.



Welcome to FineLight Arts

Hello and welcome to my new (and improved!) blog with which I will be featuring articles and free tutorials among other things of interest to anyone who has a passion for art/digital art/photography – did I leave anything out? I am truly looking forward to making the best of this opportunity to share and (hopefully) inspire all of you aspiring new artists or photographers as well as possibly some of you seasoned pros – who. I hope, will on occasion kindly share some of your own proven tips and wisdom with the rest of us.

Today I would like to share my most recent photo – painting (below) and give a big shout out to the amazing digital artist and teacher Melissa Gallo – who’s superb online video workshops on digital painting have inspired me immensely and greatly contributed to taking my digital painting abilities to the next level. (No, I’m not affiliated with her in any way, other than being one of her many students – I just really like her painting technique and teaching style, and I always believe in giving credit where credit is due). You can click on her name to go directly to her website/blog to see some of her amazing artworks. Another thing I greatly admire is her ability to create a digital artwork completely from scratch – which is a testament to her talents as a traditional painter in her earlier years before she embraced the new digital art medium.

For me, I still need to rely on the use of a photograph as a reference – especially for portrait paintings like the one you are seeing here. The reference photo I used for this painting is one that I sourced online from a freestock website: This site features photographs that have been freely donated for use by artists, web designers, or really anyone who chooses to use them for any purpose including commercial uses. It’s a great resource ( one of many) for artists to find high – quality reference photographs for their artwork – whether it is for practice and experimentation, or for pieces that will be sold in the marketplace. Another good source I would recommend is on Facebook. There are now groups that you can join that provide reference photographs uploaded by individuals who have freely given their permission for their use by artists looking for that perfect, inspiring photograph to work from.

So, that’s it for today. A short and sweet one. I hope you have enjoyed it – and hope you will keep following me for more to come on if not a daily, then at least a weekly basis!

Best to all.


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What is Digital Painting? (A great blog post by Artist Melissa Gallo)

Artist Melissa Gallo explains what digital painting really is…and what it isn’t.

I wanted to share this great blog post by this exceptional digital artist and teacher (who, by the way, started as a traditional artist and illustrator and worked as a pro for years before she discovered and switched to the digital medium). Enjoy!

The Art of Painting (Digitally) From a Reference Photo

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Painting created in Corel Painter 2015


Reference photo (public domain image)

Welcome to the digital revolution, folks!

Is it possible to paint a portrait digitally? Yes. Can it be done so well that it is impossible to tell whether it was

created with traditional paint and brush techniques, or digitally using a good software program and

a Wacom tablet and stylus pen? I believe it can – I am seeing it more and more everyday as I search the web and find

a treasure trove of stunning digital artworks that look so convincingly like hand – painted canvas artwork one would not

know it was actually painted (by hand) digitally unless it was revealed in the description to be so. I have found that many of these are being created by some accomplished and recognized traditional brush and paint artists who have at least partially switched over to the digital medium in recent years.

About this Painting:

I was very fortunate to find this beautiful reference photo in the public domain – it was donated to be used by anyone for any purpose including commercial purposes. I like searching the web for these hidden gems – believe me, the really good ones, the ones that a great deal of artistic potential to be transformed into a painting – are few and far between. I could spend hours trolling images until I finally see one that I think could be a good prospect for a painting.

My general workflow for creating this painting is as follows: I carefully prepare the photo for painting by first bringing it into Photoshop and immediately converting it to a workable non – destructive file format – usually .psd (the Photoshop format). I never work with .jpeg files because each time you save a jpeg file it degrades some due to the compression involved.

Once I have the converted image file I will usually proceed to employ some minor tweaks to the color vibrance, (boosting it about 20 to 40 %); opening up any shadow areas that are too dark; boosting the contrast with a curves or levels adjustment; and any other adjustment that I feel would be necessary to make the image pop. Next, for a portrait like this, I open it into Portrait Pro – a great software program that allows a wide range of enhancements and refinements to the face that might be necessary to help create a painting that “reads” or emotes a reaction to the viewer. For instance, while I liked this photo a lot when I first saw it, I felt that her expression was a little bit lacking – especially in her mouth and lips, so I tweaked them just a bit to show just a hint of a smile (Think: Mona Lisa). This is something that may seem minor, but it can be a game changer all by itself in some cases. I also decided to smooth out her beautiful hair a little bit and opened up the shadow areas too.

After I have finished make those changes in Portrait Pro, I am ready to bring the image into Corel Painter 2015 – probably the most widely known and widely used software program available for creating truly realistic digital paintings. The other part of the equation is the Wacom tablet and stylus (art) pen. This is how “hand – painting” is actually enabled and allows the artist to “paint” onto the digital canvas using the very same kinds of painting strokes that a traditional artist would be using.

Once I have finished the painting stage of the process, I can, and usually do, add a surface texture to the painting which can lend a good bit of realism to the finished piece.

From here I may decide that it could use a few more final refinements in Photoshop before it is ready to be output onto paper or canvas. For instance, I may want to selectively layer over some color textures to specific areas of the work. It amazes me how many varieties of different tweaks and subtle enhancements there are available to use – it’s a little overwhelming at times and I find myself having a hard time knowing when to stop and call it a finished work!