For two solid months, since school started, I’ve not had a moment to delve into Photoshop. This is the first morning that I allowed myself the luxury, despite the fact that class assignments are piled high on the table beside me, screaming for my attention. It feels so good to immerse myself after such a long absence. From morning to night I cram technical data into my brain. My brain cells are undergoing a major transformation. I sometimes wonder if in the shuffle my creativity is beginning to atrophy. Today it was much more difficult to sink into that deep state of concentration, that inner place where everything around me becomes still and free of all troubles. I have to somehow find a balance between the need to learn and absorb all this technical data versus the need to maintain a creative focus. Not as easy as it might seem …
The image is of Valentijn, a little boy who modelled for the children’s book that I recently completed a series of digital art images for a company based in California. The little girl is his sister. They live in Holland.
Such a small world it has become since the advent of internet. I met these children through my friend Martine, who I also met online on a photography site. She saw my work and asked me if I would make a digital art piece of her daughter, Danielle. I love Martine’s photography and Danielle’s face has such a ‘timeless’ quality, which inspires me. So I agreed. That was the beginning of a great friendship.
When I had started the book series, I was having trouble finding the right ‘face’ and personality that suited the little pixie boy character in the book. I hadn’t heard from Martine for several months, but suddenly out of the blue, she emailed me several high resolution, very detailed images of owls and hawks, which she told me to feel free to use within my digital art pieces. When I saw the images, it seemed like complete serendipity!! The birds were perfect for the forest scenes. I emailed her and mentioned I was having trouble finding the right little boy to model for the scenes. I needed one with a mischievous face and tossled hair. She immediately sent me a photo of Valentijn and asked me if he would be suitable. He was completely perfect!
The image above is not part of the book. I made it to say thank you to Valentijn. I combined several different images. You’ll notice that the faces and foot have been changed from the source image below, and the background has been made with at least 20 separate images. Portions of it have been painted directly in Photoshop.
This is the original source image