I don’t appear to have a category for “things that probably could have been done more easily if I’d set out to do it that way from the beginning.” Yet.
This began from a desire to draw a picture of a sleeping cat. I realized I would probably never be happy with such an image if I tried to draw it freehand without reference, at least not without a lot more practice, so I figured I’d look through pictures of my cat for a reference photo. Then I figured, what the hell, I’ll just trace one.
Then it got silly.
After tracing the picture and then dropping the background out, I decided it didn’t look right without color. So I started to color it, only my cat is black, you see. You kind of lose the detail that way. Then I decided to color sample the fur from the original photo (because black cats are really very dark brown), and that looked too flat. So I wound up just pattern cloning the original photo.
This means that what I was left with was, basically, the original picture outlined. I did a little more pattern cloning to, say, remove the playstation controller that was covering up part of one of her paws in the original, and remove her tag from the picture. I did also add a comfy-looking background that was not from the original picture, and was instead a photograph I had taken on another occasion of a different object entirely.
There’s something to be said for a good old-fashioned erase tool.