Cutting it in Photoshop - Restoration for Chiesa Della Liberia Saviano Italy - part 3 of 1 2 3

by Jane Conner-ziser Published 01/04/2012


Finally the dove! Again I researched paintings from history to see how the Holy Spirit was portrayed as a dove and found several options - doves standing in the sky wearing crowns, doves flying up, flying down with wings spread over the Earth, holding laurel in their feet or beaks - lots of freedom with the dove! I decided to paint the dove flying forward, with wings outstretched, no laurel. In addition, I decided to go with Cipro's approach with the angels and make the dove part shape, part cloud. This was accomplished by adding a few identifying strokes with white, dark brownish grey, bluish grey and orange, then shaping and blending using Blender/Grainy Water.

At this point the painting was nearly complete but was missing one important element - light. I went over the entire painting one more time using the Screen and Multiply blending modes with Layer Masks and finished it up by taking the image back into Photoshop where I added a beam of light thanks to a lovely special effects brush created by Obsidian Dawn.

The printing and installation of this restoration is another story in itself! I knew the painting was going to be large but I had no idea that Gabriele Piero intended to send it to Florence for output onto a canvas 5.5 x 30 METRES (I thought it was going to be 14 FEET - I need to learn more Italian!). The canvas was 18 by just over 42 feet and weighed almost as much as I do. Gabriele's team built a special stretcher bar that could be expanded upon securing the canvas to the ceiling, and accomplished the installation on rather wobbly scaffolding. A small bit of damage was repaired using acrylic paint mixed with gloss.


The installation and Gabriele's team of crazy Italian dreamers can be seen on my Facebook in my photo album Chiesa Della Liberia. Copies of the painting may be purchased through my website where I donate 50% of the profit to Gabriele's church in Saviano.

It was a challenging job, a lot of painting and an amazing experience to participate in the restoration of this treasured painting. Honestly there were no special brushes, no sophisticated tips or techniques - just patience, respect for a small artist who painted the original with devotion and the educated brush strokes of another small artist who wanted to give something back to the people and a community that had enriched her life with their friendship.

I love knowing that the members of the church can have a copy in their homes as Gabriele is selling it, too, and it's pretty overwhelming to see how big the final canvas is - those crazy Napolitanos! I was screaming "NO WAY!!!!" when I saw it! Over the top, delightful and full of life, they have made my life huge and I love them! Grazie Gabriele, grazie all.

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1st Published 01/04/2012
last update 06/11/2019 11:05:18

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