I’m working on a portrait of a dog at the moment, his name is “Oli”. He’s really cute and has an adorable stripe down his back like a skunk!
I decided on a nice composition to show off Oli’s stripe but still need to figure out what background color might work best for my client. I already had a 16×20 canvas primed with a dark plum color so I finished that off as the first background, from there I went to Photoshop where the fun really begins!
Opening the image in Photoshop I use the magnetic lasso tool to select the outline of the dog. I then choose Select / Invert from the menu to select the background. I turn that selection into a new layer and make a few copies of that layer for color modifications.
By turning off/on the new layers above the original image, I can alter the colors in each layer and overlay them on the original. To alter the color in the first layer above the original image I click on the layer to select it and then make it visible (little eyeball to the left of the layer description). I select Image / Adjustments / Color Balance and move the sliders until I have a color I like. I save that new painting / background combination to a jpg file and modify the next layer.
In the end I have three new backgrounds that I like and I can email these files to the client to help her decide what background she likes best!
*** UPDATE *** After consulting with Oli’s Mom we’ve decided on the yellow/gold background and we’re adding his favorite toy – an adorable sock monkey!