Final Lab Synopsis
This is a sef-portrait of the future, how I would like to be and to feel in say, 10 years time. Inner peace, softness, harmony, balance, energy and a tiny bit of wisdom :)
The essence of peacefullness for me is the sea shore. That is the place where I feel whole, and quiet just watching and listening to the rythm of the water. So it had to be one of the most present element, that is why I chose it as a background.
The only parts of myself that I do not dislike are my eyes. I also believe that the eye is the window of the soul. So the eye had to be the central part of this piece.
The hand represents healing. I recently discovered reiki, and I have now been initiated to reiki level 1, so I can heal myself and I hope that one day I will be able to heal others.
The flower (scanned) is a symbol of non-violent fight. It is also a powerful remedy as in flower essence, usually used in conjonction with homeopathy and I have been using both for a year now. A flower also blossoms, and I still have to do a lot of that :)
The rose quartz (scanned) is the stone for self-love and it shines.
The polished glass (scanned) were collected on many beaches along the years. I like the way broken glass, which is rubbish and harmfull to start with, can be made by the caresse of the sea into something soft and smooth and shiny.
The pebble (scanned) was given to me by a child more then 15 years ago. It is always with me, and from time to time, I like to hold it in my hand and stroke it. It comforts me and make me think of my inner child.
To me the essence of softness is the skin of a baby, but I could not really scan that :). So I chose the next best thing which was a scarf (scanned).
I also used a picture of bamboo in the sunlight when the sun if just about to dissapear. It is the light under which everything and everyone look beautiful and warm.
And the last element is the picture of a shining star from the Hubble website. It represents the tiny bit of wisdom I hope to be able to give to my grandchildren one day.
I tried to use layer masks as you suggested and sometimes it worked and sometimes it did not, but it opened a world of possibilities...which I hope to explore in Photoshop level 2!
Here is a summary of how I constructed this piece.
I started with the sea and the eye; the eye was selected and feathered and blend in using a layer mask and gradient. I also changed the colour of the eye using variation and treated the eye and the pupil and iris separetely using inverse selection.
Then I added the hand. I wanted to scan it but it looked awful so I took a picture instead. I managed to put it under the iris by using a layer mask and a brush.
The picture of the bamboo was blended into the iris with a layer mask again and gradient, I also changed the colours with variation and added an overlay blending mode.
I added twice the same flower but free transformed differently and with different colours and worked on the opacity to blend them in.
The polished glass were scanned inside a plastic bag. I made a feathered selection and used a layer mask and gradient. I then added an overlay and pin light blending mode and changed the colours.
The rose quartz was difficult to scan, I had to use a pink fabric to make it more visible. I used a vivid light blending mode and changed the colours.
The fabric was scanned and worked on seperately before it was selected and blended it in. The fabric was colourful and had lines. So I used the liquify filter to make it all wavy and wobly. I then slected many parts and blended them in. I wanted to soften the outer edge of the eye.
The star has a blueish inner glow layer style to emphasize and soften the light that was already in the pupil but was to harsh.
I used the texture and the colour of the pebble under the word peace to give it more depth.
I used the emboss and drop shadow layer styles on the lettering.
The final result is quite different from what I had imagined to start with but better. There is a lot of trying things out, doing and redoing and undoing, and letting go ideas or things that did not work or did not fit (the hardest thing :)). Having the contraints of using scanned objects was really annoying to start with but a blessing at the end because it forces you to think further and more laterally. I really enjoyed the course. I discovered a new way of expressing myself so many many thanks for your guidance :).