GIF ^ of How I “recycle” photographs as backgrounds for my art! :)
(a reminder that I do not draw them! I mean you cannot think I am this good who do you think I am I’m just a mortal human)
First of all, I normally use images that are not copyrighted, if that’s the correct word. I look for them by searching some keywords in Google Image search (in this case, I googled “scottish highlands”), then clicking “Tools” below the search bar, going to “Usage rights,” and selecting “Labeled for reuse with modification” so that I know I’m 100% allowed to freely use any of the images that come up!
I usually blur images out, and since I don’t have Photoshop, I do that on GIMP, a basic free editing software. I select the Gaussian Blur filter and adjust how intense I want it to be :) (Also, the further a plane is, the more I blur it. So grass at the bottom of the frame is blurred the least, and the furthest mountains–the most)
The rest is done on Paint Tool SAI. I just play around with different colors, opacity levels, and layer modes to see what’d look nice!
It’s a fun process and it’s my preferred technique to compensate for my lack of enjoyment of and skill in actually drawing backgrounds myself! ^^ With all these filters added, the photograph turns into a completely different piece of art itself!