I did some illustrations for an event at Fictive Dream, an online fiction magazine specializing in short stories. It’s called “Revisits”. In it, the magazine revisits “the best of the back catalog”, as editor Laura Black says. Every two weeks through August, a different theme will be explored.
Look here for the first post, Love, which also offers an overview of the parameters of the art aspects of this project.
Today, April 24, the theme is Abuse. Here’s the image:
In earlier projects for Fictive Dream, I made a couple of images for each story. I followed that trend with the earlier Love and with this one, Abuse. At this point in the project, I was still feeling my way in getting the look that Laura wanted. We had developed some specifics from our experience with Love; the tree motif was established as was the general layout of the images – sky, ground, tree, and text all had a specific place.
For this image, my first thought was to create one with a bruised feeling to it. I came up with this one, featuring the purple tones and trees pushing each other:
And my next idea was to do one that was less dramatic but still had the bruise colors in it, this time yellows and pale purples, with a battered-looking tree:
When I showed them to Laura, she made a request: could the tree on the yellow one be put into the purple scene?
At this point, I had not done all the digital work to Love that you saw in the previous post; remember, Love was reworked at the end of the string of images for the project. You may imagine – Laura’s words struck fear into my heart – could I do it?
Of course, I could take my scissors, cut out the tree in the yellow image, collage over the trees in the purple image, glue in the tree, and hope the picture would scan well – the standards for the actual physical image did not need to be as high as if I were selling it as a framed piece, thank goodness, because in real life, layers add a lumpy look to collage if you do too much of them, and it distracts from the piece.
Still, I didn’t like the idea. I decided to try the digital route and see if I could get it to work. I used Adobe PhotoShop Elements 15. First, I copied small sections of the ground and sky in the purple scene and used them to cover the trees, taking care to vary my selections and blend them in well.
Then I went to the yellow image and extracted the black trees using the
Quick Selection Tool (located at the top of the tool bar to the left of the screen, in the Select section). With a little work, this tool allowed me to pick out the tree and copy it to the purple image.
Then I added the text and voila! The job was done.
Not only did I have the image Laura wanted, but I felt that I could use this technique, if I had to, for other images. It gave me a measure of comfort – if an image required some tweaking, that did not mean creating an entire new collaged image.
And as you remember, it did come in handy, allowing me to improve the Love image later on.
Thanks for reading! And take a look at the stories: here at Fictive Dream.
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