Charlie O’Brien is a retired Canadian radio announcer/presenter who has always loved photography. He has also done a range of graphic work including website design. Most recently he has focused on digital photoartistry utilizing Photoshop and Illustrator. His work has been featured in several issues of “Living The Photoartistic Life” digital magazine.
When not at the computer screen he can be found knocking out  a tune on piano or guitar. His personal work can be found at Below Charlie talks about his experimentation with some of the Astute Graphics plug-ins.

"This was a simple ‘finger exercise’ to get inside some AG plug-ins and take them for quick spin. It was started in Illustrator and finished in Photoshop – though it could easily have stayed in Adobe Illustrator.

Using VectorScribe's Dynamic Shapes Tool, a couple quick stars were drawn out.

Using a graphic style from Buckshot some rough grunge was added to the stars,

then using Stylism a bit of inner glow was added.

The stars were cloned and grouped in a cluster. That cluster group was cloned several more times and set aside.

With Dynamic Shapes several larger stars were drawn out and coloured with light pastel hues – opacity 40%. Some of the corners were softened with VectorScribe Dynamic Corners for variety.

The coloured stars and black and white star clusters were arranged in various combinations, moving objects to the back or to the front for balance until a final grouping was done. Then a small star was drawn with Dynamic Shapes to be used as a seed for ColliderScribe's Space Fill Tool.

Just few more odd star clusters were made to fill out the outer sections. They also had a grunge style applied and outer glow with Stylism.

This final group grouping was copied and pasted into Photoshop as pixels.

It was duplicated, one layer selected with Transform (Ctrl/Cmd-T) and flipped horizontally and put in a folder. Using Transform tool the whole folder was selected and with Ctrl/Cmd key pressed perspective was pulled in on lower handles to form the heart shape more.

A background shape from Ed Verosky added and set to difference blend mode at 42%. A colour lookup table layer (Late Sunset) added and clipped to the shape layer – normal blend 100%.

Final touches included 2 texture layers (2 Little Owls) both at multiply – one at 28%, one at 23%, with an added mask to brush out some texture. The white background had a Color Fill adjustment layer of gray added using Hard Light blend mode 100%.



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