Sunday, 31 May 2015

Magazine collage 'For Kicks'

Magazine collage 'For Kicks'

This A3 magazine collage 'For Kicks' is part of an on going collection of childhood, celebrating enjoyment in the 'simple things'. I photographed both my children playing in the leaves last autumn, I particularly loved this image of my son and decided to use it for an autumnal piece. 

When I sketched out the piece I kept mainly to the original image.

Rough Sketch

As I began to collage I made the decision to remove the bench and replace it with the trunk of a tree. I also added subtle hints to suggest the texture of the grass.

Close-up  'For Kicks'

I really wanted to capture the movement of the falling leaves that was missing in the original photograph. I used the same technique I have used in the past to depict waves. I also had to introduce more contrast into these to make them stand out from those behind.

Close-up  'For Kicks'

This piece has been submitted for exhibition, more details soon.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Magazine Collage Commission 'Halford Family'

I was so pleased with how this piece turned out, a slightly more complicated commission as the client had quite a strong idea of what she'd like to achieve but no photograph that matched the desired composition. Between us we managed to create her vision and it was worth all the hard work for the reaction from the client, their family and friends. The most enthusiastic response I have ever had to a project, it was immensely satisfying.

Halford A2 Magazine Collage Commission

The commission was a surprise wedding anniversary gift to the clients husband who loves fell running. They particularly wanted the scene to be set in the Lake District, Langdale. This was our first stumbling block as I can only work from photographs that are owned by the client or have permission to use to avoid copyright issues. The client spent a lot of time obtaining all the images required, including covert trips to take photos of her daughters and herself in the required poses.

I would normally sketch out the composition at this stage but I wasn't entirely confident that I had the correct layout in mind. It was for this reason I decided to make a Photoshop mock up so that we could hash out the details. This enabled us to make sure all the elements were included and ensure proportions and layout were correct.

Client Images

Halford Mock-up
Small details were then addressed such as the wall in the mock up not matching the area and where the other runners would be added. The long hair of the daughters was included from other images, making sure everyone's hair was blowing in the same direction. I then sketched out the composition on a piece of stretched recycled board.

Halford Sketch

I really wanted to capture the texture of the landscape in this piece, representing the long grasses and landmarks as accurately as possible as the location was such and important element.

Halford Close-up

Halford Close-up
I love to capture movement in my collages whenever possible in this case the windswept hair and runners.

Halford Close-up

Halford Close-up
The client left me a wonderful review and recommended my work to friends and family, it was so lovely to know that they genuinely loved their new collage, I couldn't have asked for a better reaction.

"As the person who commissioned the fell race picture of the Lake District I feel a desperate urge to tell the world how fantastic it is. The whole experience from start to finish was great. We took pictures galore that poor Kirstie had to make sense of ("can you make my hair fly in the breeze?", "can you make me look thin" etc!), of the people who were going to figure in it and the landscape, and sent them off to her in fear and trembling. She kept us posted every step of the way, reassuring us about what she planned to do and sending mock ups and sketches. (By us I mean myself and my two daughters - it was a surprise for my husband - a 25th wedding anniversary gift.) Kirstie completed the collage well within the time frame she promised, and also mounted and framed it for us. The picture is beyond what we could have hoped for. Look closely and you can see words in the grass, but look from a distance and the completeness of this through-composed collage just takes your breath away. The Langdale Pikes are portrayed with extraordinary accuracy, the figures are all instantly recognisable, and the sky is just unbelievable. The whole picture is captivating and evocative and my husband's reaction to it was a joy to behold! . I have never commissioned a piece of art before and was very anxious, but my family agrees that it is our favourite thing we own. We are all mesmerised! I would love to commission another and am thinking hard of an excuse...Apologies for gushing, but it is really the only appropriate reaction."

For more information on commissioning a magazine collage please visit my main website