Thursday, 29 October 2009

Final Piece

Ok, i know the piee is quite simple but i didnt want the main focus away from the image. when enlarged, you can clearly see 3 butterfly wings, getting smaller. i made the largest one transparent and the other 2 gradually more opaque to see the metamorphosis. It describes the idea of growing free- the wings widen, becoming more free. i chose these particular wings because they are more gothic and dark, though i played around with the contrast of these. i also played around with the contrast of the background- i really liked the light in the environment in the original photos but i wanted to also reveal a darker, in depth, hidden character of me, sort of overshadowed at the same time as going through metamorphosis.

Prep Images

I took the butterfly image and used photoshop to make them transparent, almost as if they blended in with the colour of my skin and rearranged them on my face. the overal image is quite simple and needs to be relatively big to be able to see the butterflies clearly but at the same time, it does portray the metamorphosis theme, just not as obviously.

just wanted to create a black and white version to see if the atmosphere changed. it does but it doesnt portray the naturistic feel to it as i hope.

again, i wanted to mess around with the hue and saturation as well as the contrast to create a more magical effect. i think it worked well but isnt something i want to achieve in the final piece.

This doesnt work at all... I love the style of the butterflies and the image of me itself, but together, its not very effective. i tried to arrange the butterflies to look like they were flying free but ended up looking too decorative- also, im not exactly a whizz on Photoshop so my skills are quite limited at the moment!!

Poker Chips

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Texturing - Common Materials

I thought these were relatively easy to master though the instructions for the chrome material were slightly wrong, but it was rectified ourselves with good teamwork!









Photoshoot pics

I was so gutted about missing the final week and the crit on Friday due to being ill- i felt stuck because i dont have Maya or Photoshop at home and i wasnt allowed out to do my photoshoot properly ( the photos on here already were taken the first day i was ill- in the cold!!!) But, yesterday Farideh and I went off to the woods at Bluebell Hill to take some more photos :)

These are some of the many photos which i would like to try out using for my Final Piece...

I'm not the most photogenic of people but i do really like this pic! However, even though it captured the atmosphere i was aiming for, it will be difficult for me to incorporate the metamorphosis theme and portray the meanings i want.

I particularly liked this pose because even though i want the meaning to capture freedom and transformation of my character, im peering out, still being cautious and still shy.

I could create the Corpse Bride effect with this and the previous photo.

This also gives the impression that i still need something to lean on and stability even after being free. I like the way im centred and the focus of the image but theres also a lovely background with the tunnel of trees. Dont think I'm going to use this image as a final piece because adding butterfly wings or images will destroy the essence of the original.

This was a completely natural pose which is why i think this is very effective- the way im holding my dress- i didnt even realise i was doing this til i saw the photos, so i feel like this captures the real me. Its as if im walking along free, but my head is slightly naturally looking down showing that i am thinking and havent just got my head in the clouds. i was thinking about layering butterfly wings and feathering them, getting bigger and bigger- symbolising the process of becoming free and capturing the image of metamorphosis. i dont however, want the wings to take the focus away from the nature and completely cover me.

ok, so not a great photo, but i wanted a close-up of my face to add butterflies on- almost as if they have been projected or naturally there.

I just like the way the light makes the image look almost magical. the pose itself is me holding on to a tree branch showing that im not ready to spread my wings entrirely at the moment. im also sort of peering, like im looking into the future or waiting for something.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Photos to be used in my Project

I wanted to capture the nature in my final piece too- these photos were taken in the garden at my mum's workplace, which are always so beautiful, with squirrels and wild parrots. I'm not the most photogenic of people and although it's October and is very cold today, I decided to brave it in a light dress. I thought the colour of it was quite perfect because it stands out but also fits in with the colours of nature. I will put the photos in photoshop to add butterfly wings but i don't want to tamper with the background as i think it looks quite peaceful and creates the beauty.

I chose to lean against the tree as a sort of support resembling the fact that it helps to have someone to lean on however free you are.

Next, i tried a portrait photo so that i didnt have too much background space but still capturing the landscape. I left space at the sides to fit in my butterfly wings which i will photoshop in.

I thought this captured me deep in thought but is also quite calming. I'm not quite sure how i will put my wings in here but i may just add butterfly images coming off my dress. I just really like the photo!! Lol.

I got my photographer to take a picture of me face on to the camera in the middle- i can use this photo to incorporate two of my ideas; the first idea giving myself butterfly wings and the second idea using the Corpse Bride idea.

I just put this photo in for good measure!!! It was taken after i sat down next to a tree and to my horror, to find id plonked myself into some stinging nettles!! OUCH! My photogtapher thought she'd capture the moment though after my stupidity! Typical blonde moment!!


After researching into the theme of Metamorphosis, I came across this image on Deviant Art. It depicts a woman morphing into a spider- you can see how the artists has added extra arms to represent the numerous legs of a spider and has surrounded her in a web in a very artistic way. This is similar to the effect that i wish to create, but using a butterfly.

The artist comment on this piece is 'I really like her expression, it captures my whole idea of the metamorphosis series very well. Rebirth, coming back as a better person after being hurt. Changing into something you never imagined you could be.' This is also the image i wish to capture- a butterfly being the symbol of freedom, moving forward...

The same artist created a metamorphosis series also including a butterfly. She writes, 'It is a very "me". I feel like I'm transforming slowly but surely. Changing day by day, growing stronger and a better person than I used to be. I guess it's a thing that comes with pain if you manage to restrain yourself from becoming a bitter person.So she had been hiding in her crysalis and is now ready to break free and come out more beautiful than ever before.'

I dont wish to create my image emerging from a crysalis and will not exaclty be in the fantasy style and will be using photography, but i thought this was a very creative and beautiful image.

Ok, the theme of this image i found does not link to my theme of metamorphosis directly, but i would like to try a close-up shot (if im brave enough lol) to incorporate another one of my previously-mentioned ideas- have butterflies stencilled overmy face- the butterflies create the other theme of freedom, but also hide some of my face showing that there are still some hidden depths within me.

Simon Weston - essay source

In my essay, i would also like to research Simon Weston- he appeared in the Face Transplant Documentary but is also classed as a sort of celebrity with his charity work and bravery. Simon suffered dreadful burns to his face and hands during the Falklands War and underwent extensive surgery in order to restore to him a face, which is still not 'the norm.' He didn't have a face transplant as this option wasn't given to him- he knew no different. His case provided a high profile illustration of the profound effects that facial disfigurement can have on an individual’s life.

Face Transplant

Ok, I know that we watched this a little while back and should have reviewed it earlier, but whilst researching my essay, i found that this was a very relevant source.

I felt that this was a very influential and informative documentary about a young woman, Isabella Dinoire, whose nose and lower face were bitten off by her pet dog. I personally found the story quite touching, though i do understand the moral and ethical issues that come with it, for example the thought of waiting and almost 'hoping' some1 will die soon to be able to have a chance of recieving their face. After reading some students' blogs I found that they thought it was quite 'disturbing' walking around with a dead person's face on your own and whether it changed their personalities to be like the donors; and what if the donor's family walked past her in the street- would they see their deceased? Call me shallow, perhaps, but i don't think that this problem would arise. It's just skin and tissue connected to someones face- it will adapt to fit to Isabella's own and connect with her own tissues.
The documentary itself was quite biased towards being for face transplants because it didnt explain the side-affects and problems which would arise after Isabella's face transplant like they did with the guy whose arm got rejected by his body. Howver, i did do some research into this to find out if there were actually any problems and found that she faces lifelong treatment with her immunosuppressant drugs and the persistant worry due to them bringing the added risk of kidney failure and increase the chance of infection and cancer.
I found this passage in a book that i was reading for my essay...
' It is probably easier and more satisfactory to the disfigured persons themselves, to intervene surgically to try and make faces more normal in appearance than it is to try to change the behavior of bystanders.'
In this case I don't think that a face transplant was unethical- Isabella's life was affected badly- she would wear a mask over her face and for most of the time in the beginning, she wouldn't even go outside. I guess she felt traped in her own body, not feeling like she could be herself and portray her true identity due to the fear of judgement from others. After the transplant, i suppose she felt more 'normal' and accepted into society, at least a hell of a lot more than she would have been if she didnt have a face. It also meant that she was finally able to eat and drink like a normal person. The only reason i would disagree with this procedure is if became an obsession or an addiction, like plastic surgery- changing the way god made you, interfering with nature, for vanity rather than medical reasons.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Stylistic Lighting

Early Morning

Mid Day

Night Time




Thursday, 15 October 2009

Physiognomy and Scientific Racism


'Inner character or quality revealed outwardly.'
'The Art and Science of discovering characteristic qualities of the mind, by the outward appearance, especially by the appearance of the face."
'The study of character analysis through physical features.'

Scientific Racism
  • use of scientific findings and methods to investigate differences between races-often to support or validate racist attitudes and worldwide views.
  • Based on the belief in the existence and significance of racial categories, typically with a hierarchy of superior and inferior races.
  • Often used to support political or ideological positions of racial supremacy, e.g Propoganda in Nazi Germany.
  • Classifications of humans into distinct biological races.
  • Most widespread during the New Imperialism period in the second half of the 19th century.
  • These theories often worked in conjunction with racism, e.g. in the case of 'human zoos,' in which human beings of various races were presented in cages during colonial exhibitions.
  • Such theories and associated actions have been strongly denounced since WW2 and the Holocaust.
  • Today, the phrase is either used as an accusation or to describe what critics consider to be historical race propoganda, alleging the existence of different races.

Rough Essay Notes

Beauty as Cultural Fiction

(Using Phil's feedback from last week)

Basically, as mentioned in my previous post (The idea of perfection) i would like to explore the idea of beauty- what is true beauty? where does this idea come from? etc

  • Dorian Gray- story about the hypocrasy of beauty (that it really only is skin deep), however, it was written at a time when the idea that someone's personality could be derived from their face, was gathering scientific credibility.
  • Physiognomy
  • Scientific Racism
  • Face Transplant Documentary

An agreed version of beauty to which other versions can be compared favourably- e.g. Greek profile compared to Asian profile. (Would like to use the Greek reference after studying this in Classics at GSCE and A-Level.

  • 'Rule of Beauty,' - anything different from this cannot be as beautiful, and therefore inferior. This is an ongoing idea- Look at red heads compared to blondes etc.
  • Put the idea of beauty on trial- (demonstrate a basic understanding of these ideas and select portraits, illustrations, drawings etc to enrich my argument.

Quick Photoshop Tutorial from Farideh!!

Ok, so get a bit easily confused at times and was speaking to Farideh about my Final Piece ideas and how i would use Photoshop in my piece. So, together, we planned a really rough idea just so i could get to grips with using the programme and how to arrange layers on the page etc. We just took a random image of me from the computer and Photoshopped in butterfly wings, based on my theme of metamorphosis. Obviously the Final Piece will be more proffessional but im grateful to Fariedeh for the tutorial! lol :)

Maya Lighting Projects

1 point lighting

2 point lighting- sun lounger

3 Point Lighting

I've got to admit, i sat at the computer to do these tasks a bit reluctantly, but as i got started, i whizzed through them and understood what i was doing- the dice and the toaster project, although more complex, slightly put me off Maya, but i think I'm finally beginning to get to grips with it and understand all the walkthroughs! It's made me more confident in using Maya so I'll be able to knuckle down straight away with further projects and i am very pleased with my progress here, if i may say so myself lol :)

Maya Toaster and Magnifying Glass

For some reason or another, i found the toaster quite tricky to master and it did take a lot of time and effort to finally get it right, but when i moved onto the magnifying glass, although it was technically easier, i was still suprised and pleased with myself that it all went smoothly and didnt take that long to make at all!

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Corpse Bride - Tim Burton

'You made your promise... You set me free...'

As mentioned in my first post, i admire the clever, twisted work of Tim burton- Corpse Bride being one of my favourite films!! I really loved the end scene where the Corpse Bride morphed into lots of tiny butterflies because she was finally freed of her sorrow- it has always stuck in my mind and fits in very well with the theme of my final piece. It would be a really good idea to photograph myself then to morph myself in photoshop in a similar way that the Corpse Bride has been, but will use brighter colours to reflect my personality- will need to consider the background but i will experiment with this :) :) :)

(Had to post a link to Youtube for now 'cos it wont let me upload it)

The brief story of Corpse Bride

Taking a Jewish folk tale as its inspiration, the film tells the story of a touching romantic triangle between the nervous Victor, the downtrodden Victoria, and the Corpse Bride herself, Emily. Victoria’s parents only want her married so they can get to Victor’s money, while Victor himself doesn’t seem ready for marriage, as we witness in an amusing rehearsal scene where he almost burns the house down. When Victor goes into the woods to practice his vows and inadvertently proposes to the Corpse Bride, he finds himself whisked away with her to the land of the dead. Victor is terrified at first and just wants to escape, but, as with Halloweentown in The Nightmare Before Christmas, the ghoulish-looking denizens are actually far more lively and loveable than the people in our world. The fast moving plot finds Victor gradually overcoming his fear and falling for the Corpse Bride, while Victoria, believing she has been abandoned, is forced to marry the vile Barkis. The land of the living and the dead come together, and it’s surprisingly touching to see the fear of the living give way to joy at being briefly reunited with their dead loved ones. The Corpse Bride finally finds peace and her murder is avenged (the identity of her murder probably won’t be a surprise to most people). The resolution of the love triangle may not please everyone, but the final scene manages to be more genuinely moving. There’s nothing too surprising or deep about the story, though it’s refreshing to see a love triangle where both women are decent and arguably more capable than the hero. There’s also some wonderfully romantic moments, such as when Victor and the Corpse Bride play the piano together.

Ideas for Final Portrait

ok, well as mentioned in my last post, I am going to go with the theme of Metamorphosis for my Final piece. i studied the concept of this in GCSE Classics so i am familiar with it and found it interesting. When i thought of this title, i remembered the word, metamorphosis cropping up when searching for my tattoo design- butterflies and this was also the most popular result when i typed it into search engines. The Metamorphosis of a butterfly is said to be very significant and beautiful. It's also a symbol of new beginnings and finding freedom. i really like this idea of being free :). Phil also suggested metamorphosis/tranformation to express the then and now ideas i mentioned in my earlier personal post. This lead me to coming up with a good few ideas, which got stronger and i will develop further!!

  • Tim Burton's Corpse Bride- turning into butterflies ( clip to come in a new post)

  • Photograph myself and morph myself into a butterfly, ready to fly free.

  • wings of a butterfly- outline- in each wing, add images of before and after my 'issues'- show how i have tranformed and morphed my life rather than physically. (Fade the images though so they'e not dominating the portrait and making it look messy)

  • series of photos- starting with myself huddled up, portraying the shy, fearful, anxious me, gradually spread out and get more confident- end image being me with arms spread wide- tie material to wrists so when spread, form the wings of a butterfly- could photoshop this in.

  • project butterfly images onto me or just my face and photograph- not sure this will work in relation to my identity, but will have a go!

  • simple drawn image of me- trailing butterflies in the background.

there's some ideas, at first i was unsure about the whole butterfly idea, but i realised that it was symbolic of me!

Friday, 9 October 2009

Phil's feedback in note form (to help me remember!)

Ok, well ive got to admit i was a bit anxious about my feedback on my blog but after reading it, i found that it really helped a lot, so thanks Phil!! It made me feel more confident when i was told that i was admired for being able to express my personal experiences and not to worry!!

So, here's what i picked up and what im considering doing:-

  • Move onto mixed media/colour

  • Combine drawn elements with Photos and manipulated images/photos

  • Get stuck into Photoshop and start applying practical terms.

  • Use more abstraction!

Im also going to adopt the theme of Metamorphosis for my final portrait to express an image of the transformation from the past to now.

and to remember- my 'own face need not be the key to creating a compelling picture of my identity/identities.'

From all of this i now have a clearer image in my mind of what i would like to achieve with my final portrait and am going to get stuck in and create some ideas starting this weekend!! woop!!

Monday, 5 October 2009

What makes us who we are?

Ok, I wanted to take a different approach on identity. Its not just looks that determine who we are- there are many factors which people do not see, so instead we are judged on our physical appearance. I was reading Farideh's blog and she brought up the idea of how when we were younger, we wanted to believe in the whole fairy tale image- ordinary girls finding their Prince Charmings and turning into princesses. When i had my Graduation Ball, i was able to dress up like this in an expensive dress with a lovely guy on my arm to show off and its funny how you grow in confidence and feel like a different person, but are still just the same.

I think also that other people help to make you who you are. People meet new people all the time and its the ones you get close to that help bring out your true identity.
Yeh, ok, here's the girlie soppy personal bit! :P
A lot happened in my life growing up from the age of 11 that affected my life, same as everyone. I was bullied a lot, even through my teens and during 6th form- a lot of the time to do with the way i looked. I started to always worry about what other people thought of me and meeting new people became more of a chore. I always felt like i couldnt truly be myself- a memory being given dirty looks and name-calling by close friends just because of my dying my hair and because i was blonde, i was obviously stupid!! I soon began to know my boyfriend and before i knew it i finally knew myself. After a year i started my Foundation Course at UCA Rochester (last year) and i realised that everyone was so individual that it was easy to fit in and i became more confident with my own identity and learnt that, I may not be 'perfect' in appearance, but i am who i am and i try to let my good personality shine through. Ive always believed that a more positive image is given off by someone who is good natured. 'Never Judge a Book by Its Cover!'
I think family also has an effect on your identity- after all they're the ones who share most of the things you are. Our parents for example have socialised us with basic informaiton, rules and morals that help make up our identity in a more sociological way and obviously in a scientific way being our physical traits and genetics

The idea of Perfection- leading to a possible essay discussion!

Hehe, well as you can see, these are VERY rough sketches! I just wanted to experiment quickly with different ways of physically hiding your identity. The image on the left is a cartoony close-up of my face, but this isnt evident by looking at it- it could be of anyone and its difficult to see the true identity. The image on the right shows my hand coving my face, almost as if to mask it and hide the physical appearance. Sometimes when i feel self- conscious, i tilt my head down or cover some of my face with my hair- silly, i know but it's all to do with not feeling my true self or confident with who i am at that particular point- hey, no one's perfect!
This also leads me on to another idea of mine and also something i would like to pin-point in my essay- the idea of perfection.
What is it? Who is perfect? Where did this idea of pefection come from? Why is it that people can be very attractive on the outside, but have a very contrasting personality and can still be classed at perfect? Why do we conform to this? So may questions can be asked about this cultural fiction and is something which iwould like to research further.