Thursday, February 09, 2012

Reflections of Antiquity

Reflections of Antiquity (shirley shelton©copyright 2012)
I must admit I love to experiment and try new effects be it in my painting or my photography. Well, a girl needs a challenge and with 'Reflections of Antiquity' I certainly found one!
Sometimes when I'm searching for inspiration (one of those duh moments) I find it helpful to simply put the breaks on and play. Allow the imagination some R and R to experiment and see what happens?

In this case I decided to play with a set of 12 inch wooden African figures which adorn my living room and I wondered how these might turn out via my flat bed scanner? If you've never used your scanner for anything other than documents then start doing so right now...

Much of the alchemy of such a project occurs in Photoshop and after importing the scanned images I began shuffling them, examining the possibilities and looking for a decent composition. After much trial and error I settled on the profiles, both figures facing each other with hands poised studiously beneath their chins.

I then imported a number of different textures, pasted these over the figures and fiddled with filters until I got the effect I wanted.

The pose seemed to evoke a certain Egyptian flavour and to go with this I downloaded some hieroglyphs (what else?) which I again pasted and adjusted using filters which with a bit of tweaking gave the impression of being carved into the stone behind the figures. Cool!

Once I was happy with the tone, levels and general composition I exported the image into Corel Painter. Photoshop can do just about anything but when it comes to brushes Painter is King! It has a formidable array of texture brushes and painterly effects which can really add that extra 'razzle dazzle' to any image.

The watchword here is experimentation. You have nothing to lose by really going for it and trying something new and indeed everything to gain. Using different methods and multiple programmes not only opens your mind up to new and exciting possibilities but I have to say there is a great feeling of satisfaction that comes from drawing together such numerous strands and tying then all successfully together. Great stuff!