Monday, July 21, 2008

HZ-13: Phobias

The theme for HZ-13 was Phobias. For those who don't know, the HOWiezine is a limited edition, handmade collaborative book project created by HOW forum members, also known as HOWies. There is a theme and participants create two pages based on their interpretation of that theme. Only the participants are guaranteed a copy of the book, which makes it all the more special.

If you haven't already guessed, I have a fear of needles. That was the source behind my first page. I did some extensive searching online and found a hypodermic needle rubber stamp. I used some of my paint for the initial stamp mark, which I then scanned and brought into photoshop. The background was created by painting the palm of my hand and pressing it onto a sheet of paper a few times, which was then crumpled up, re-flattened and then scanned. I combined these two in photoshop, first altering the tone of the background. I was angling more more of a subdued tone, since my intention was for some of the red to be bright.

I experimented with the angle and number of needles quite a bit, ending on a group that I saw as a small army...that are coming to to get you. Then I used some kbowman PS brushes to get the final bloody effect that you see. I wanted a variety in intensity, size, if you were walking onto a crime scene.

My second phobia is tornadoes. Initially, I had attempted to start out this page using the same techniques. I had found a storm cloud/lightning stamp...but when I tried it out, I wasn't satisfied with the result. Though I was using stamp(s) I didn't want it be be apparent. So I was sitting around trying to draw a tornado with my wacom, but again, I wasn't satisfied with the result. Out of frustration, I started scribbling all over one of my reference photos with a black gel pen. About halfway through my scribbling, I thought it was actually starting to look like I kept going. Pretty soon I had covered the entire thing. Out of curiosity, I scanned it.

I attempted to throw it onto the same background, but it wasn't working. So I dug through my photos and found one of my cloud shots I had taken last fall. I liked how even though they weren't storm clouds, they were akin to the type of clouds you would see accompanying a severe weather outbreak. They had just enough of a bubble effect to look like the underside of a supercell. I made a back layer of clouds red and some blood-red rain, to try and tie in with the first page. Also lost into the background, is a somewhat hidden explanation of when my fear of tornadoes began, but only those who look closely will be able to find it.

These images will be added soon to imagekind, as part of my HZ Gallery.


n2 August 4, 2008 at 7:29 PM  

Beautiful work! I don't have a fear of needles, but your piece really is making me rethink that. The tornado image turned out beautifully, the swirls within the tornado gives this page such energy!