look, no hands

I’m copying Alice’s work and having a bash at some photoshop tutorials. You MUST go and look at Alice’s work – it’s freakin’ sweet. Mine is a little dodgier:
If you can’t see all the image, best to click through to the permalink.
It’s not really finished. Basically, it took me hours to get to the point where I had the figure on the textured background. I’m not all that happy with that part – there’s not enough texture on the figure (mostly because I gave up on the layering). The text is shitty, but that’s because I gave up before I got to the bit in the tutorial about adding layers of ‘paper’.
I’m really enjoying it, but I have to follow the instructions _exactly_ because I don’t know very much about photoshop at all. I’m just a baby with layers, buggered if I know anything about masks or any of the fancy shit. So, really, I don’t actually know anything, I’ve just been copying. But I’m going to have another go to see if I can actually _learn_ as I go.
I quite like the colours (this whole image is probably the result of too much Deadwood this week), but I _really_ like the colours on Alice’s latest effort.
My eyes are kind of square, too.
Ok, here are my sources (and most of them I just found via Alice or the original tutorial):
The basic picture of the woman is from facebook, and it’s a picture of Michelle from Sugar Blue Burlesque.
Then I added a hare’s head from stock.xchng.
The background paper was also from stock.xchng.
The sunray thing was from deviantart.com.
There’s a bit of nice wallpaper in there (as in the stuff you put on walls) fromlovelamp.
There’re some brushes (now, there’s something I’d never used before) from brusheezy.
I think the font is from dafont.
I’m going to have a bash at some more of these photoshop tutorials. I wish I was a bit more visually creative, or that I had something specific to design for. I just couldn’t think of anything to write on this one (it’s pretty dumb, I know).
I’m also a bit concerned about putting animal heads on women’s bodies. Especially on burlesque bodies. There’s something weird there. And I’m not entirely comfortable with burlesque as it is – my politics suggest that there’s really nothing all that ok about stripping and women dancing erotically for (predominantly) male audiences. I mean, just ’cause it’s old timey stripping, don’t mean it _isn’t_ stripping and _doesn’t_ carry all the accompanying problems that stripping carries generally.
… part of me is also thinking about the Dietrich film ‘Blonde Venus’ and all that feminist film stuff about female bodies as ‘pieces’ cut up by the male gaze. I also worry about animal headed women not being able to ‘return’ the male gaze.
But there you go. I dare say my using that picture of a woman I know without permission is also problematic.
I have a couple of ideas for animal headed men, but I think I’m kind of over them. We’ll see, though. I think I’d like to go for a more modern look as well – I’m a bit over that dirty look. But it is useful to know how to do it, now.
But what _I’d_ really like to know how to do, is add those ‘pieces of paper’ with the text on them. I also discovered that I’d forgotten how to do shaped text (as in following a free form line). Sigh.
…and, my foot is still bung. It’s about three weeks, now, and I’m only up to 10 minute walks. They make my foot hurt and hurt, though. But yesterday I rode my bike and it didn’t hurt my foot. Ace. I still have a bit of a cold from MLX, but I’m absolutely dying of cabin fever and lack of exercise. I MUST do some sort of exercise before I go nuts. I also plan to get into yoga again after christmas. My house-bound-ness has made me very dull, I’m afraid, so nothing more from me. There’s more Deadwood to watch. :)

up pop

I am very into pop ups (aka paper engineering). I have been making lots and lots of tiny little prototypes to help me learn the basic techniques and to get a handle on designing pop ups. I have made a few fancier ones, but I really like using small bits of card to make basic two page ‘books’. I’ll try to take some photos, but don’t hold your breath.
Any how, it’s freakin’ GREAT.
I started with the first book by Carol Barton, which is just the loveliest thing. It includes a heap of basic ‘test’ cards that you make as you ‘read’ through the book.
Then I moved on to the Pop-up Book by Paul Jackson, which isn’t so great. In fact, it’s daunting for complete beginners, and I’ve only just started getting a handle on it now, after doing a few of my own and working my way through the Barton book. Thing is, they look really simple, but (as the Jackson book points out) it’s not too useful just ‘thinking’ your way through them. You really have to make them to understand how they work. Even then, there are some which I really don’t understand – I look at them and think ‘how does that work?’ Which is part of their appeal.
I’m only doing basic techniques so far – I’m having so much fun I haven’t even begun to work on the more complicated combinations. And I’m not really all that interested in the serious paper engineering stuff – no rubber bands or pull tabs for me just yet.
If you’re interested, they have some nice books here. I can’t imagine a whole book of popups – they’re so intricate and time consuming, so labour intensive, meticulous… I like just doing one-off, one-idea visual ‘jokes’ or ‘puns’. Just a card that opens up with a little pop up inside. The smaller the better – they take less time to cut out, they’re a good way to test a technique, and you waste fewer materials.
…speaking of materials…
I’d really like a folder. Most of them are bone, but I’m not that picky. I just use the handle of my scissors now, but something specific would be good. I really need it more for scoring, as I just don’t have anything useful for that. I’m also planning on upgrading from my $2 cutting mat to a real self-healing mat soon. And perhaps something better than my cheapy scalpel as well. I certainly need proper paper scissors with sharp points. Of all those things, the one I’ll probably end up getting is the scissors – sewing has taught me the value of nice scissors. I have good cooking shears, lovely embroidery scissors in a pretty case, arse-kicker sewing scissors, and now it’s time to get serious with badass paper scissors.
And of course, card. I just can’t get enough of it. I’m still looking for just the right weight. 250gm is too heavy. 80 is too light. I need perhaps 150 or 100. But it’s good experimenting with them all, just to see why different weights are good for different jobs.