Friday, December 5, 2008

Creative process of "Longing for Spring"

"Longing for Spring"
The inspiration for this faerie creation was Lita and her beautiful forest faerie:
I so fell in love with this work of art that Lita created and was more than thrilled that I had a friend who was officially a faerie! I wanted to join her in that magical realm so I set off with a task of turning myself into a faerie. I started with this image (Thanks to Lita for placing my hair just perfectly during the shoot): I wasn't sure yet of the scene I would place myself into so I just started with the basics: cutting the image out from the background and saving it into a new layer to be worked on. Staying nearly buck naked was not going to be an option so I had to create a dress. Using a hard brush in White, I outlined a dress with the bottom being a bit jagged. That's when the image of icicles came into my minds eye and the idea of a Winter faerie longing for Spring was born. Using white and an icy blue color I painted large areas of the dress...white for the highlighted areas and icy blue for where the shadows would be. I used photoshop brushes to create the top lacy part and icicles along the edge of the lace and the bottom. Using various sized brushes of varied strength, I created the texture in the dress.

Once I finished the dress, I turned my hair blue using the hue/saturation tool and created an elvish ear using the smudge too. Wings, a headpiece, anklet, glitter and snow were all done using brushes.

Now that the faerie was done, I needed a scene to place her in and I knew I wanted to do an icy, cold waterfall. Searching my archives I chose this one, taken at Disney's Animal Kingdom:

More challenging than the dress was turning this into a cold, wintery scene. I started with the Noise filter and covering everything with snow but it didn't fit the landscape at all. Scratching that idea, I decided to make it more "icy" than "snowy". I started by cutting out the river and moving it to a layer where I could work on it independent of the rest of the landscape. I wanted it to appear like a layer of ice was over it. This was done using the colorize tool to choose a color and dodging and burning at a different opacity each time. I then worked on colorizing the rest of the landscape which I made darker than the water thus adding to the feel of a frozen river. I "froze" the waterfall using the surface blur tool and then added icicles on top of it with brushes. Final steps where to add snow to the bottom ledge and the bush behind the faerie, both done with brushes. I then added the faerie to the scene, place right over the pair of ducks so I didn't even have to remove them from the image!

The full, final landscaped shot is this one and here you can see the dodging that was used on top of the leaves to make them look icy:

So I have finally inducted myself into faerie land and it's quite a magical place to be! :)


Lita said...

I'm so glad to have a friend join me in the magical realm :) This inspires me to no end! It makes me really want to get moving on my work. What I love about this most is how surreal it looks. Another magnificent masterpiece! I love living your visions through your art. :)

Alex said...

I have to say this is one of my favorites. I love winter and this really enticed my senses. I could feel the coldness from the photo and felt the emotion in the faerie.Another great work of art:)

Laura said...

Thank you both! I so appreciate the support!

debbie T said...

awesome, so interesting to read how you accomplished this. It's even more beautiful knowing how creative you were!!!

Laura said...

Thanks Debbie! It means alot that you took the time to visit my blog! I hope you have a wonderful holiday!