Hi art friends.
When I embarked on the photo graphic novel idea using my dolls as the characters, I envisioned using my 16″ Gene Marshall line of fashion dolls, created by Mel Odem, as the executives. These dolls were inspired by classic Hollywood movies and were intended for adult collectors. Before I found ball jointed dolls, I took tons of photos of them. However, I haven’t photographed them for several years, due to their limited posing ability. These dolls have very limited points of articulation, painted faces and rooted hair. As my collection of ball jointed dolls grew, my interest in these dolls waned and I wondered if I wanted to keep these dolls.
To help me decide, I set up a shoot with two Gene Marshalls and Ivy Jordan, against a 3 panel screen covered with a white sheet using with my Canon Rebel T1i and Lensbaby Composer Pro II with Soft Focus II optic. I limited my shoot to 15 minutes and and took about 20 shots. I got a number of interesting shots which reinvigorated my interest in these dolls. Like my Sybarite Wellington, the Gene Marshall line of dolls have a haughty, high fashion look. My favorite image of the shoot features Ivy Jordan.
In Lightroom, I applied the 2 Lil Owls Tiny Details 1 preset. In Photoshop, I ran the image through Photography BB From Dusk Till Dawn and dropped the resulting image into the Comic Book Maker, single panel page. Soft focus images and images with blurred or partially blurred elements don’t work as well with these combined actions. So I changed plans and aimed for a painted portrait.
After running Photography BB Illustration, I needed to clean up her hair line, which was accomplished by duplicating the image, 9% Gaussian blur and inverted mask to hide the rooting dots along her forehead.
With the image cleaned up, I ran a number of Photography BB actions: Illustration, Beautiful Disaster, Powder Paint, Grunge Art Glow and Masterpiece Art. Each images was edited to remove, enhance or dampen various effects for each action, ran The Move then layered each result onto my main canvas.
The PBB Illustration served as my base layer, with the other PBB layers with inverted masks to revealed desired sections of each, using a soft round brush or Beautiful Disaster pattern brushes.
I wanted the final image to look like a painting on canvas and tried a number of overlays from 2 Lil Owls and Distressed Textures, but none gave me the desired effect. So I created my own using a sheet of primed 9x 12 canvas paper and Neocolor II crayons in Steel Grey, Grey and Light Grey. The Neocolor IIs were activated with a water brush and the colors pushed around. While the canvas was still wet, I dropped rubbing alcohol and sprayed it with water, let it fully dry then scanned it as a png in 300 dpi.
I brought the canvas png into Ivy’s portrait and re-arranged the layers until I got the look I was going for.
I spent about 6 hours on this canvas and am happy with the result. I like the blurred Gene in the background, it gives the canvas a mysterious aspect and I love the look Ivy is giving the viewer. I want to create more custom backgrounds.
As much as I love the 2 Lil Owls and Distressed Textures elements, creating my own elements will help me develop my style further.
Most of this style of photography I’ve seen, it is obvious the subject are dolls or toys but that doesn’t appeal to me. On first glance, I want viewers to see the artistry then realize they are looking at dolls.