Tonight I have been playing with Paint.net, a free piece of software which is basically your Photoshop substitute. I first downloaded it a couple of weeks ago as it seemed like the best free candidate for planning out my Avatar mosaic.
When planning the mosaic, I discovered the ‘magic wand’ tool – which allows you to select areas of similar colour and tone. This is particularly useful for picking out outlines or sections of an image for the purposes of changing its colour or cutting it out.
Having played with it for a while, I found that it was a really handy tool for reducing photos down to two or three colours, which I think is a really great effect. One of the photos I’ve been working on I have drawn a grid over. I think this effect will look really cool done in oil paints so I may give it a go and see how it works out.
I know that I totally haven’t uncovered the full capabilities of Paint.net yet. I am finding that I get bored reading people’s tutorials though, so guess I’ll just have to devote another evening to having a fiddle with it to see what else it can do!