Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Fun with PhotoPaint

Not much new on the Tang Soo Do front for me the past week or so. My leg is continuing to get better, but is still feeling kind of weak and as a result I'm having trouble with some of the new kicking techniques I'm learning. Hook kicks, in particular, are proving challenging. But that'll correct itself with time, assuming I don't screw up and overdo it before the muscles have finished healing. Just need to be patient.

Anyhow, about a week or so ago I grabbed an image from Lisa Snellings' blog. The image was a detail of a larger sculpture she had done, and something about the scattered puppet head shapes, repeating yet arranged haphazardly and semi-randomly, just grabbed me. Like so much of her work, the image evoked simultaneous feelings of whimsy and danger -- very suggestive, very unsettling. Initially I used the image -- untouched -- as a desktop background, but after a bit of looking at it I decided to try to learn some new techniques with PhotoPaint, using it as a source image.

So anyway, here's Lisa's original source image:

And here are a few of the more interesting/satisfactory resulting pieces that I came up with.


Pretty simple reworking of the entire image, but I liked the feeling of confusion and isolation that the increased contrast and intensity, along with the radial blurring effect, brought to the one puppet face.

This was one of several attempts to use an isolated portion of the source image in a variety of ways. The image this evoked as I worked on it was of mad King Lear, alone in the storm. Texture, smudging, blur, noise, and motion distortion added to bump up the eerie. Note that this one works far better when viewed full-screen -- when it's shruken down you can't really see the blurring, noise, and distress on the image.....


This one started as tinkering, but in the end (in my head at least) it became a movie poster for a Dario Argento horror film that does not yet exist....

The idea here was to keep distorting and adding effects to the original image (in this case, one of the "blank faced" puppet heads) to a point where it lost all of its 3D figural qualities and became something else. I didn't realize I had created a highly stylized number "69" until I was done playing with the symmetry. Wasn't really intending to be juvenile, but well, sometimes it''s unavoidable....


Another triptych, this time going for a smooth flattened texture -- I think the resulting image looks sort of like Play-Doh. And the obvious, cliche "speak/hear/see no evil" imagery. This one was intersting because I actually felt bad for the middle puppet head when I was working on the image, and decided to "dehumanize" (removed features, made the "screaming mouth" smaller) all of their faces so that the image wouldn't be too disturbing. In retrospect, I'm not sure if this was a good idea....

Anyhow, if you like any of these please feel free to grab a copy for yourself. And if you want to do some of your own experiments with the source image, please show me what you come up with and I'll post a follow-up entry with other treatments of the image. And of course if you choose to post your treatments elsewhere, please be sure to give Lisa Snellings a plug and a link -- her work is beyond brilliant, and she deserves all the attention we can give her!

Mood: Pleasantly chill
Now Playing: UNKLE, "Never Never Land"

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