Composite/Collage Process


I started my Composite/Collage project in my Computer Art class by searching for a portrait.  I went to my go to spot on the web for portraits…  They have a lot of good portraits for artists to use.  I chose this one because her freckles kind of reminded me of a starry night and as I’m a big fan of all things sci fi I went with that.

First I masked her from her background, then threw a cool space wallpaper I found threw my number one go to spot for online references, Google.  :)  I rotated and expanded the wallpaper until I got something that flowed with the freckles and the colors felt right.


My next couple Google image searches were for abstract shapes, found this cool one of a close up shot of a slinky, using a quick mask to remove parts of it and coloring it to match the vibe of the whole piece.  I was going for that 40’s-50’s Audrey Hepburn look with the face screen thinga ma jig.  I also placed the portrait layer on Multiply so she was less bright and started showing the stars through her skin.


This metal shapes I arranged to feel like big metallic wings.


I removed portions of the metal wings with a lasso selection (for sharp edges) and placed it on Multiply also.  I used a hexagonal metal pattern I found during my abstract shape search to give her skin an almost suit or armor texture, placing the image on top of the portrait layer and placing it on Multiply and lowering the Opacity.

Using the brush tool with a couple geometric shape custom brushes I selected her skin tone and created a sort of disintegrating effect. to cover up the edge of the portrait image.

Added another abstract image that kinda had a hair and big flowing flower feel to it and then added some abstract brush strokes as well.

Overall I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, there’s a few things here and there I want to touch up, but I’m going to turn it in to my teacher/class for critiques and see what feedback I get first.


“The ability to convert ideas to things is the secret to outward success.”  –Henry Ward Beecher


Pink Goldfish


We were allowed to create anything we wanted for our first project in my Computer Art class.  I decided to go with a surreal photo-manipulation.



“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.”  –Helen Keller

El Finito


Every time I complete one of these Character of the Week challenges (or even when I just attempt them), I end up learning a great deal of things that will aid me in the next time I decided to draw.  Whether it’s how to render a shiny surface, or if I just re-learn a process to ensure it takes less time the next time I do it.  It’s a learning process, as long as I’m still learning I’m fine.


“The first and great commandment is: don’t let them scare you.”  -Elmer Davis

Moving to Color



The Fairy Racer
Moving to Color

Through a series of random events, decisions, and just having the general fortune of having great friends I wound up acquiring a smart phone yesterday.  Having not ever having a smart phone and basically being forced to live within a technological stone-age for so long, it is no surprise that the thing completely engulfed my focus and attention for several hours while I set things up, downloaded apps, and checked my Facebook a couple hundred times.

While this might seem to have nothing to do with today’s work, that just isn’t the case.  Seeing as my mp3 player has some faulty battery issues and will shut down whenever it sees fit (even after just being taken off the charger 30mins prior) I’ve been listening to music out of my computer (whose headphone jack doesn’t work) and I tell you it’s not the same as pumping up your tunes in your ear and zoning out.

But then arrives my new shiny smart phone and suddenly I’m rocking my sound canceling Koss headphones (that look like they belong a helicopter pilot and whose use comes most in handy when sharing a computer lab with other students who do more talking, squeaking, eating, and coughing than actual work) and I’m transported into a world of pure music and hyper focus.  Hours go by and then before I know it, it’s time to start adding color to my completed grey scale image.

P.S. – I <3 Spotify



“We learn from failure, not from success!”  –Bram Stoker

Not Yet, Not Yet



The Fairy Racer
Finishing Grey scale

On my list of things to finish in grey scale are her helmet, visor, left leg, wings, and tummy.  Then I’ll add any minor details/textures.  After that, I’ll be converting her to color… and maybe a background If I have time.



“The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a man’s determination.”  -Unknown

Simplify, Simplify, Simplify


The Fairy Racer
Simplification of Volume Through Value

Man has this character gotten out of control, had to take a step back and super-simplify everything down.  I guess seeing as it’s the couple days from the turn in deadline, it’s no wonder I’m having so many issues and changing a bunch of things…  Seems to be a reoccurring theme.

Something to think on next week



“I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process.”  -Vincent Van Gogh

Racing Gear – Simple Shapes and Values


The Fairy Racer
Racing Gear – Simple Shapes and Values

Having fixed the wings to be more align with the perspective background, I decided to start throwing on her racing gear.  Mostly working zoomed out to about 12.5% and just making simple shapes (like the shoulders) and then filling in the values based off of the general lighting.  After that I’d zoom in to 25% and smooth it out, really focusing on the overall shapes and values.

I simplified the helmet quite a bit, but I’m still not happy with it, but I do like how I added the ladybug head and how that added some interest and symmetry to that area.  Definitely going to have to pay some extra attention to the jawline straps of the helmet, but next time I’ll be putting some emphasis on the shoulders, chest armor, overall values, and visor. 

Until next time.



“We are the cosmos made conscious and life is the means by which the universe understands itself.”  –Brian Cox



The Fairy Racer

Alright, fixed both the arms, simplifying the shape and pulling them in a bit more, which I felt made it look like she was flying faster.  Then I spent some time filling in her facial features and laying down some values (not too much, just enough that when I’m drawing her racing gear I can get a sense of the shapes, curves, and volume of the body.

I forgot to fix her right set of wings, they were slightly out of line with my perspective guides (love those things, actually downloaded a couple perspective brushes *happy face*), right leg too… maybe.

So, next comes the racing gear/armor.  :)



“Greatness is more than potential. It is the execution of that potential. Beyond the raw talent. You need the appropriate training. You need the discipline. You need the inspiration. You need the drive.”  -Eric A. Burns


Fixing the Foundation


The Fairy Racer
Pose + Shading

I wanted to show our Fairy Racer in mid flight and really give the sense that she’s flying fast.  I might add some leaves being blown away on her sides or some grass stalks being blown to the side in her wake.  Something to give an indication of her size and how fast she’s going (two birds, one stone). 

I hit a small bump, while working on the armor design, so I put that aside while I work on the pose.  There’s still some work to be done too., shoulders and arms don’t feel as natural as the rest of her anatomy and of course the face is still barely past the mannequin stage (although I shouldn’t need too much as it will mostly be covered by her helmet).  Once all that’s done I’ll be pushing on to adding her clothing and armor.



 “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”  -Unknown