Sunday, September 1, 2013

Feature piece of the month (September)

Florence - digital how-to

It's been a while since my last 'how-to' post. This is one of my new 8x10 collages and the final effect came after much play and quite by chance. This is the beauty of using photoshop, it allows you to experiment. The results can be unexpected and surprising!
This piece only uses 3 images: 1 portrait, 1 floral pic and 1 floral pattern,
all layered one on top of the other, in photoshop, just like a stack of papers.
Below this, the bottom most layer is kept blank (white).

Starting with my vintage snapshot of this gorgeous glamorous lady, I apply the 'pin light' filter in photoshop, which effectively knocks out the light and mid-tone shades of the pic, leaving a more flattened, contrasty image. I don't want the facial features to disappear so I darken up her beautiful eyes and lips with the 'burn tool'.

The pin light filter also makes the image slightly transparent, which means I can place a new layer underneath this portrait and it will show through.

I try the warm orange florals. They are too strong so I knock them back to 50% transparency which makes them 50% lighter....still not quite what I'm looking for...

I try the blue-brown geometric pattern, this time placing it above the portrait layer.
I apply the 'overlay' filter and get this result.....I like it!!! Still, I feel it's missing something.
After trying a variety of images & textures, I go back to the warm orange florals and re-insert this layer without deleting the blue-brown pattern.

For some reason, I feel it works. Although, you can't quite make out the orange
flowers, this third layer adds some warmth and dimension to the overall piece.
It also re-establishes and continues the geometric pattern into the background,
completing the design.
To me, this piece has a slight Asian feel about it - 40's vintage meets geisha girl!

This print will ship for free if purchased during the month of September.
For details and to view a larger version in my shop click here.

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