This one nearly killed me.
It looked so easy. The photo of the sculpture was fine and the outlines were well delineated. It shouldn’t take me but a few moments with Pixelmator’s Quick Selection tool and a brief glance through my library of photographed vistas, a quick cut and paste and voila!
No such luck. The lighting on the sculpture made it seem like it was glowing in the diffuse lighting of most Seattle-area landscapes. Several of them were tried, and though I’m still not completely happy with this one, it was the best of the lot.
It ended up that I had to add several layers of shadow to the sculpture to make it appear to blend in to the walkway pier next to the bench. Shadows can be blended together and highlights can be brought out of seemingly nowhere. Depending on their placement, one can achieve almost three-dimensional effects out of two-dimensional layers. Incorrect placement stands out like a Layer Mask.
Sometimes hours and hours of work needs to be thrown out because it can’t be salvaged. That’s okay. Keep the lessons learned and move on. Even if the lesson is, “Let’s never try to edit around individual blackberry bush leaves on a sunlit trail.” Lessons are important and if we don’t learn from them, we have to keep retaking the class, so it’s better to pay attention the first time through.