Updated: Oct 1, 2021
Ya know what, I’m not going to apologize for the lateness this month. Lets just assume that I will post once a month when I get around to it. Shameful, but honest. Honestly, this month, I just wasn’t feeling inspired. I waited and waited for something to give me a creative spark, but nothing really did. I had been thinking of turning myself into a tree spirit for a while now, but I didn’t plan on doing it as part of the monthly project, as there are a lot of layers, technique, and time that goes into a piece like this.
I am happy that I finally have this done, but, to be honest, I am also not completely happy with the results, and may have to visit this again when I have a little more time on my hands. Maybe I’ll even do another post about it (outside of the monthly project posts). For what this is, and how much of a mind block I was experiencing, I am, for the most part, happy with the results (even if I do want to revisit this).
The Fae “Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.”
― William Butler Yeats
I will keep this month's background lesson short, as the video is quite long, and I’d rather give you more time to watch the how-to, than read a history lesson.
My Nymph is inspired by a mix of fae folk. If you know me, you know I am way into fantasy. I play Dungeons & Dragons, my favorite movies and books are The Lord of The Rings, and I play a lot of fantasy themed video games; so this creature is a weird combination of all the weird types of faeries I have seen in my life. But to keep things simple, let's focus on one particular version of the fae: the dryad. The dryad are tree nymphs or tree spirits in Greek mythology. Drys signifies "oak" in Greek, and dryads are specifically the nymphs of oak trees. The term has come to be used for tree nymphs in general and human-tree hybrids in fantasy. They were very shy creatures but they had a fondness for the goddess Artemis, who was known to be a friend to most nymphs. Maybe that’s one of the reasons I like them so much, because I am a big fan of Artemis.
The Fae took roughly 6 hours to create, which means I have now topped my previous longest video record. LOTS of layers were used to create this look. Every flower, branch, mushroom, and vine was placed manually into the photo and needed lighting adjustments. I changed my mind multiple times on how I wanted the face to look, and this is where I am still not entirely happy, but the effect I did achieve is not terrible either. I got to use the puppet tool, which is a personal favorite tool of mine in Photoshop. If you watch the video you can see me use it on the log to reposition the mushrooms. The tool basically lets you anchor multiple points of your photo, and then turn things like they have a joint or hinge. The easiest way to visualize what I am saying is to look at your hand and move your hand around. The anchor point is your wrist, and the mouse would be moving the palm about while the wrist stays in place. SUCH A GREAT TOOL. I used lightroom to set the tone of the image and sharpen my face, as usual. Then photoshop for composition and retouching. It has 53 layers and 14 Groups, and is 2.06 GB. Stock images were provided by pixabay.com and pexels.com.