Julia Kelleher, owner of Jewel Images in Bend, Ore., says she initially struggled with this composition, entitled He Has Arrived, but decided not to worry so much about the end result and plow ahead with her concept.
The result was a 100 score and a LexJet Sunset Award in the Master Artist category at the PPA Western District print competition held in late August.
“We get so stifled during the creative process because we’re scared the outcome won’t be what we want it to be. Instead, we should be going back to our childhood way of thinking and just have fun with it. Obviously I care what the final product it is, but I finally said to myself, ‘Let’s try it and see what happens,’ which allowed me to be more creative and produce the end result I was looking for,” says Kelleher. “For the longest time I was scared to enter that category because I didn’t think I was technically sound enough to do it. When the pieces started coming together, however, it was technically sound and it looks like everything belongs, rather than just Photoshopped together.”
The composition was created in Photoshop and finished in Corel Painter. Kelleher had to match the lighting from the studio capture of the mother and son featured in the image with the forest and woodland creature scene she created around them.
She used Corel Painter to paint additions to the forest and better blend all the elements into a seamless whole. The time-consuming part was matching the lighting from the original studio shot and adding the correct color tones for each element in the composition, she says.
“It was a matter of layering the animals in, using a lot of blending modes and layer masking to get it just right,” says Kelleher. “Where it really comes together is when you take it out of Photoshop and bring it into Corel Painter: you can make things more seamless and blended, so that really helps give the image its final touch.”