As we paint the figure, the background starts to look a little stark. Adding a floorboard to the junction of the floor and wall gives some weight to the bottom of the image and helps balance the composition. We can create the floorboard using rectangular selections.
1. Create a new layer.
2. Drag a long narrow rectangular selection the width of the painting using the Rectangular Selection tool. The height of the selection is up you.
3. Using a dark color from one of the corners of the painting, fill in the selection with a number of loose strokes.
4. Create another layer for the small tops of the floorboard.
5. Using the Rectangular Selection tool, again drag a short selection the width of the painting.
6. Paint this selection with a lighter color selected from the wall.
7. With the selection still active, pick the Layer Adjuster tool. Hold down the Alt key and click-drag a copy of the colored selection slightly above the first.
When we use the Layer Adjuster tool on an active selection, a Layer Floating Object is created. This is not a new layer but a nondestructive copy of the original layer. It's easy to tell we have created one by looking at the Layers palette. There will be an offset preview located under the original layer, and it will be labeled Layer Floating Object.
8. Move around the Layer Floating Object as much as needed. When it is positioned correctly, use the Layer Commands and drop the Floater onto the layer directly above.
9. Merge the two Floorboard layers (Figure 5.13).
Figure 5.13 Floorboards are added to the painting, giving balance and improving the composition.
The floorboard looks a little barren. In fact, the whole left side of the painting is a bit empty, so we will add a small wooden decoration to the floorboard using the same technique we used to draw the floorboards.
1. Create a new layer to add decoration to the floorboard.
2. Draw a roughly square selection on the new layer using the Rectangle Selection tool. Hold down the Shift key to constrain the selection to a square if you want.
3. Paint the selected area with the same color as the larger part of the floorboard.
4. Using the Selection Adjuster tool, scale down the active selection and center it over the just-painted square shape.
5. Paint the second square with the same color used on the thin portions of the floorboards.
6. Using the Oval Selection tool, select a circle on top of the last square.
7. Paint the circle with the same darker color used earlier. Continue the process until you have drawn and painted four additional circles (Figure 5.14).
Figure 5.14 A small decoration has been painted over the floorboard. It will be finished as the painting progresses.
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