When it comes to shading and blending, I have since learned that the best Photoshop tools for variations in a single color are the blending brush and individually selected colors. That being said, the best way to make a flat bit of gray and red look like rounded, polished, painted steel is the burn and dodge tools.


If you’ve been following my blog, you might have noticed that I’m a fan of Shakespeare. I knew I needed a grand throne room – I knew I needed a grand king… where else to look than “The Hollow Crown” trilogy of his historical plays. My little heart goes pitter-pat over Hal in Henry IV part 1 & 2, but Henry V, now that’s some beautiful, machiavellian, English entertainment. It seemed like a fitting source from which to draw the monarch of the noble kingdom by the sea.

“The people fear and quake, but knights so bold, You need not shake.”

The wise, strong, old king said.

“Which great knight will bring me this serpent’s head?”

None stood up, with dread, was each proud knight cold.

The king looked on his timid court dismayed.

Then from down the hall, a clear voice did ring,

“I, Sir Harlow, will go for you my king.”

The vain knights made way for he unafraid.

And bravely forward strode the smallest knight,

Gallant Sir Harlow of the crimson rood.

Bright was his sword, his cloak was cobalt blue.

Yet the haughty knights mocked his stature slight.

The old king raised his hand, saying, “Sir Harlow,

Your courage and your wit I do not doubt,

Yet against this beast, great men fear a rout.

Shall one so small stand and be not laid low?”