Friday, May 13, 2011

Prairie Rorschach II: Foam Figure Flying

Another foam figure from the bridge by the old willow on Wascana Creek.

Another test of perception – but this time, you can judge mine, and my photo-cheating skills, as well.

Foam figure on Wascana Creek
Happy foam figure © SB 
What I see here is a happy creature, yodelling as it floats downstream, wings and tail fins flaring.

It’s a fascinating shape, and I wanted to cut it from the water so I could play with it. Of course, tracing requires excellent fine-motor skills, which it could be argued that I do not have. (Perhaps it's patience I lack, although given the time I've spent so far on this exercise, I doubt it...)

I'm fascinated by how the editing changes the creature’s character.

No longer a blithe spirit, there is something greedily disturbing about the foam's air- and water-skimming clones.  

foam figures photoshopped into flying creatures over Wascana
Dragons over Wascana Creek © SB  


This technique is based on Steve Caplin’s “Art and Design in Photoshop: How to Simulate Just about Anything from Great Works of Art to Urban Graffiti,” after the style of a Henry Moore abstract.

My result, however, owes little to Moore’s rounded, minimalist style or Caplin's expertise, and much to my love of detail and lack of skill – and perhaps, my youth spent reading comic books and science fiction.

In any case, Caplin says isolated objects work best in realistic settings; that's why I chose this picture of the bridge and the old willow for the dragon fly-bys.

And yes, I know – flight may not be realistic for water creatures spawned from foam.

So what about my new friend as a statue in the park? I think it would be great in a fire-hued bronze, with perhaps one bit erased in the name of public decency, recognizing the unlikelihood of city committees sanctioning appendages of nude male aliens in this city's parks...

statue created by digital manipulation of foam figures
New statue in Les Sherman Park. © SB

I need to work on edges. Perspective. Shadows. Subtle effects.


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