Thursday, September 15, 2016

Immigrant- Digital Collage Step By Step

Immigrant- A digital art piece by Tracey Grumbach

Thanks to everyone for your kind comments and concern over my last post about my husband's car accident. He really is perfectly fine, without a scratch, so besides the loss of the car (it has been declared totaled by the insurance company), everything is good. Truly. So, no need to worry! Thank you!

Today I thought I would give a brief step by step for this creation since I haven't made one of these in a long time. Many of you are interested in how these are created, so I hope this helps.

First, I looked through public domain vintage images and found an old black and white photograph of a girl. I then imported that into photoshop and colorized the photo by choosing colors for her skin, hair, hat, dress, eyes, and lips. I used various brushes and shading techniques to color her in.

Next, I found an old background of a field I had in my files and brought the girl image on top of it in Photoshop. I added a blur layer to the grass because I didn't like how sharp it was, but wanted to keep the sky sharp, so I masked out the sky. Next, I erased the background from the original girl image (she was standing in front of a fence) so that only the girl and hat were left of the original.

Then, I found an old butterfly image (that I have actually used in several of my art pieces) and decided that I would use it as a mask. I opened it in photoshop, layered it on top of the girl's face and masked out the holes for her eyes. I then added a drop shadow to make it look more 3-D and painted in a strap on the side of her face where a strap would be showing. The other side would be hidden behind the wing.

Then, I took an old scrapbooking typewriter letter, brought it into photoshop, layering it on top of the girl's neck. I then added black dots to form a chain for her necklace.

After that, I imported a bird image from a public domain site where other photographers and artists share their images for artistic purposes and layered it on to the girl's shoulder. I erased the original background it was on and added a drop shadow.

I flattened this file and saved it as a high quality .jpg in Dropbox. (I have Dropbox on my computer and on my phone so I can push files back and forth with no effort and no cords!)

On my phone I opened Dropbox and downloaded the jpg file to my Camera Roll. I then used several apps including Distressed FX, Formulas (which I save my editing formulas to that I make in other apps), Image Blender, and Snapseed. In each of these apps I either added textures, layered previous edits, added the birds in flight, and created new edits by changing the mode to multiply, overlay, etc.

Last, I saved it back to Dropbox, opened it on my computer in Photoshop and tweaked the contrast, warmth, and sharpness. I also used the mixer brush to paint a little bit of detail out of places I wanted to be more painterly.

As you can see, this is a lengthy process involving both my computer and my phone. I could have also used my iPad instead of my phone, but my phone was handy at the time.

Let me know if you have any questions about my process; I'd be happy to answer them.

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