Once a month, Fotolia makes a PSD file created by one of the world's top digital artists available as a free download. The project, currently in its second year, is called TEN. May's image comes courtesy of London-based designer and illustrator Mike Harrison.
We caught up with him to find out more ...
Computer Arts: How did you get involved with TEN?
Mike Harrison: It’s really great to be part of the TEN project. For me to be able to represent the UK out of all the possible artists in this country is an honor. I’m a big believer in giving something back to the community and sharing tips and tricks, and that’s just one thing that this project allows me to do.
CA: Tell us about the image ...
MH: I wanted to do something based on a powerful animal, one that would allow me create a good energy and complexity. So, using a bull as my main theme, I wanted to create a high energy illustration loosely based on bullfighting, but adding a playful aspect to it by using certain colours and elements.
CA: How much does living in London inform the way you work?
MH: I love living in London. It’s a great place to live. There’s always something going on or something interesting to look at. I wouldn’t say my work is influenced by the capital as such, but I would say that it has given me a more open-minded approach to my work, as well as a boosted confidence in it and my abilities as an artist.
CA: Do you have any tips or tricks you'd like to share with our readers?
MH: When working with stock images of people it’s always worth doing some basic retouching that will enhance the image, giving it a more finished and dramatic look. You can do this by using a number of adjustment layers such as hue and saturation, brightness and contrast, levels and curves. The main effect to achieve is a higher overall contrast and an enhancement of the lights and darks in the image. You can do this fairly simply by using one curves layer for the lights and one for the darks, and then gradually brush onto each of the masks to build up the effect.
Harrison's artwork will be available free for 24 hours in PSD format on Friday 10 May. Visit: www.tenbyfotolia.com