So let us recap from last week. We have gotten a photo software program, some pictures, and we have cut or cropped the photos we want. Now it is time to put everything together.
Placing photos and layering them on top of other photos can be challenging. This is where a good photo software program can help. With such a program, you can take a section, and either focus on it to emphasize it, or fade it so it is in the background. I have even seen some examples where the main subject is unfocused; this gives it a ghostly appearance.
Now you have a completed illustration, but you hate it. It looks tacky or put together and unprofessional, and you want to start from scratch; don’t give up on it yet.
If you have a good photo software program, you can use some of the functions of that program to salvage that illustration or improve on it. Try turning your illustration into a black-and-white photo. Perhaps increasing the graininess of the illustration will bring out its essence; try different functions on your photo software to see whether the adjustment will change how your illustration looks.
Some programs will allow you to turn your original photo so it appears as a sketch, drawing or painting. I have used this feature many times, and with a little editing, your photo can look like it came from the Louvre.
(I would recommend keeping a copy of the original photo, this way if you accidentally save a changed version, you still have the original to go back to modify.)
These above functions that I have mentioned had saved many photos that I tried to turn into illustrations. Sometimes the functions of your software can give you an idea of what kind of illustrations you want to do.
An example of mine is the Demon Fly illustration. I combined the photos of the body and head of a housefly, with dragonfly wings, and the pinchers of a scorpion. After combining them, copying and adding an extra eye and adding a large stinger, turning the color photo into a black-and-white sketch, I thought I was finished. I fooled around with my program and noticed a feature that would turn my pictures into “Old Time” photos. After selecting this option, my picture now appeared to look like an old illustration which was penned in by a scientist in his sketchbook.
To achieve the effect I obtained, I used three different photo programs. Two of these programs were free, and the other I bought for less than 20 dollars. Use the different software that you have available to you. I would suggest redoing each illustration using your software in a different order than you did before, experiment and see what the results are.
After I completed my illustrations, I placed them on my website www.warusho.com, If you want to see examples of what I have worked on, please go to the
Mythical Creatures page.
What I have suggested over the last couple blogs is not technically a “How to” guide for creating an illustration. What I have tried to do is to give you some ideas, or concepts that you could try and see if you can create some for yourself. Fool around with your photo software and see what you can come up with. Remember the software works for you, so be creative and see how you can use the software.
The most important things about doing an illustration, is the satisfaction that you did it yourself. I am sure if you hire a professional artist, the results will certainly look more “Professional” but sometimes the look of a home spun picture will work better. Try creating your own illustration and see what you can come up with.
In addition, if you decide to not do illustrations, continue to fool around with your photo manipulating software. Changing photos into sketches or paintings would be a nice gift to send a friend or relative as an attachment in an email.
I missed my salute to the woman in horror at the end of February, so I am doing it now. There has been a grass root campaign to make February the woman in horror month. 2015 is the 6th annual celebration of this event. Woman in Horror Month is the brainchild of Hannah Neurotica (Real name Hannah Forman) and has a website dedicated to it: http://www.womeninhorrormonth.com
Woman in Horror Month salutes woman who have made contributions to the genre of horror. We are not only talking about the victims of maniacs in movies like Janet Leigh in “Psycho”, or even those who fight back like her daughter Jamie Lee Curtis in “Halloween”. This Month celebrates all of them, every woman who has contributed; actors, script writers, directors, authors, illustrators and everyone else who loves and deals with the genre of horror.
For so many years, women were portrayed as simply victims of the horror, now they have a chance to be the heroes and creators of that horror.
I would like to make one personal shout out, Tressa Graves who is the author of several wonderful horror novels, please check her out at www.tressagraves.com.
She has helped me in my path as an author.
Thank you for reading, and leave a comment. Next week, What to do with your illustrations?.