The relief shading exercise for this week provided lots of good practice in developing “the touch.” To much or too little shading, the wrong size brush, mismatched coloring…all these factors can lead to a relief shading project a second grader would giggle at. I tried printing the map out first and shading with the pencil, which was fun, but not as precise as I wanted the map to be as I struggled to get my markings the same shade as what was already given. After many eraser markers, several flattened pencils and some harassing remarks from my sister (“I don’t know why you complain about school…all you have to do for homework is color”) I gave up on the pencil and moved to the color picker of Photoshop. I’ve never used the airbrush tool much…it’s not as controlled as some other tools and I’ve always found it harder to use. I wondered how to approach relief shading with Photoshop. Lay down a base color first then add detail, or vice versa? After trying each way I still can’t say if either way is right, but I thought the detail was easier to add first. I did the ridges of the mountains with a finer brush and in darker gray. As I went up in brush size, I went down a shade or two of gray, using the color picker to select something close to what was in the original image. I wound up (after clicking the “undo” button more then I ever have before) with something I was happy with…mountains that looked relatively mountainous. When the pencil was easier, and considerably less time consuming, the mouse spells relief.