poppy epic


Aldinga Beach, Australia

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  • Artwork Comments 27

Wall Art


Artist's Description

striving for the epic
(starring Heston Poppy)

Explanation for ‘digital interface’ group:
This is a combination of 4 photos using gimp software.
I fell in love with the poppy as is – it hasn’t been adjusted at all and looks exactly as photographed in midday sun. (Without the stem)
The background was a photo of some rain coming in over the coast, and looked a bit too hazy to be an interesting stand-alone photo. I altered the hue/colouation sliders, playing with ‘hue’ to get sepia brown, and probably saturating it more (hard to remember now!) It also needed adjusting in Curves, where I probably lightened the mid to high tones to get the glow in the clouds, while darkening the lower tones.
The original photo had a hill in the foreground (not this one) which became a nuisance – not working as a silhouette, but a bit of a blob, and too dark and detail-less to be resurrected as an interesting feature by itself. I tried a texture filter, which still didn’t improve matters. In the end, I selected and copied a piece of foreground from another photo, pasting it into a layer over the old hill. Then there was a lot of work making that look natural – this hill was shorter than the last one, so I needed to clone the top of the previous hill away and create more white water and dark tones. I used the clone tool, alternating between 2 layers to select and apply the right colours – and also the airbrush tool, to extend some of the water and ‘rub out’ with dark brown. Using the clone tool by itself didn’t work very well – there wasn’t enough area to get clear samples, and it was hard to get the direction and colours right.
The last addition was the stem of the poppy, which was the hardest to select – I settled for drawing paths around all those spikey edges because it threatened to take even longer if I used ‘fuzzy select’.
Once I had copied the stem over, I had a problem with cutting it to match the top of the hill – it was easier to adjust the layers, so that the stem was behind the poppy layer and the hill layer. To my horror, I realized I didn’t have a saved path for the hill – so had to quickly create another, and disguise any roughness with airbrush and clone work around where the stem and grass met.
I messed with Curves for a bit on the stem, but didn’t change much, as the light on the poppy was fairly high-key and it looked weird if I made the light any darker on the stem – even though that helped the spikey bits blend in better.
And voilla…

All Products Tags

flower poppy scale large epic striving

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