Thursday, 16 June 2016


Following on from the previous post about using found material in art and illustration, I remembered that I had done quite a bit of work around a photo taken in Shanghai of the shadow of a tree on cobblestones:

DSC00541.JPG orig

On return to England, I used the Posterise filter in Photoshop to stylize and emphasize its features and also adjusted the hue:

DSC00541 smaller

Quite a few weeks later I returned to the idea, beginning by going with the original brown/sepia tones and sketching a very simple autumnal tree over the photo, which I’d printed onto cheap printer paper so that it could be torn around more softly to become part of the image more easily:
DSC02283 DSC02286
In the following, I have inverted the photo and added it again to the lower half of the drawing:
DSC02284 DSC02285
Continuing on the facing page in my sketchbook, I created a mirror image of the lower half, flipped it and pasted to replace the top half; I then used fineliners on the photo/image – to emphasize and create patterns in the tree trunk and branches and also to make something more of the ‘join’ section:
DSC02301 DSC02299
More of this fineliner ’embellishment’ was added in and around the whole illustration, but not on the cobbles themselves; unfortunately I was getting so carried away by this stage that I forgot to take sufficient photos, but here are three:
 DSC02297 DSC02300 DSC02303

A final experiment was to fill in the right hand surround with black, then adjust the hue of the whole double sketchbook page in Photoshop, giving the scene a wintry rather than autumnal feel:
JPG 2MB posterize+BG 23.5.14 copyI
It was fun, exciting and productive to explore using a photograph, this photograph of a found pattern, in this way and it showed me many more possibilities.
However I have found this exercise very useful, especially as I had to revisit it after several months – as I did not write it up at the time. It’s very easy to forget and lose what can be actually significant moments, ideas and occurrences as you forge ahead. I appreciated the reminder that I can generate and develop ideas which, unless I forget again, can be utilised at a later date.

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