Photoshop Portraits Cynthia lee

Renaissance portrait research
"Young Woman at an Open Half Door" by Rembrandt


My piece is based off of Rembrandt's Young Woman at and Open Half Door. I had taken a photo of my face and later taken it and replaced the Young Woman's face with my own. The location that I had chosen to represent home is the ocean. It has a special meaning to me, but it was a pity I couldn't find an image of a grey beach instead since that was what I was originally looking for. The two items I found that were of value to me were a scarf, since wintertime was a particularly good time for me last year, and a paintbrush that represented both my skill and passion as an artist and designer.

My main design issues involved matching the skin tone of my face with the skin tone of the original subject of the painting. The lighting of the painting appeared to be natural window light; when I took my portrait, the room was illuminated by hard classroom lights and an intense orange light. My skin tone immediately went very bright and very orange, as opposed to the subject's light, neutral skin. I then had to replicate her light skin by making two copies of my face, lowering the saturation on both, and adding a visual effect of making the layer appear as if it were a painting.

I suppose the coolest part of working on this piece was making all the separate images blend in with each other to form a coherent piece. It was difficult for me and I am slightly disappointed with the result, however the process was fun for me and I felt I successfully merged my face and the rest of the painting together. What I would like to do next with this skill would be to practice taking different images and merge them together more successfully. I want to make more images like this one where the image looks like one complete piece, without strange, jarring contrasts that look like I blatantly took pictures of scarves from Google. I'm hoping with the skills I learnt from this piece I'd be able to do more like this image, and be able to create many pieces in which the images blend seamlessly.

Traditional Portraits

My portraits consist of Jovana and Allison. Both are bright and cheerful people so I did not feel as though a dark lighting choice would suit them, so I instead opted for a more natural light.

An example of something I had learned from Steve would be the concept of putting tape on the ground to notify the photographer of when lighting becomes extreme. Using this new information, it makes it easier to recognize the best type of lighting for an image to convey different messages and to avoid unappealing lighting.

Research pt 1
Research pt 2
Original Portrait
Surreal Portrait


My piece consists of a portrait of me crossing my arms over my face, courtesy of Alli Yick. I put the whole piece in grayscale, merged crows with my hair, edited jewels hanging from their beaks, gave myself fairy wings, branches reaching out from my forearms, and a dark mark of Taiwan over my right eye.

My inspiration was nature and light. The whole piece has elements of nature in it, especially the crows and the branches. The light element comes from the fairy wings and the jewels the crows are holding. The meaning I intended for the crows was that yes, they are my favourite birds, but I've always been told by friends and family that if I were to be any bird, I would be a crow. Dark feathered, funny, with a love of sparkly things, and a little noisy, they became my favourites in a short matter of time and they hold a lot of importance to me. As for the wings, I had wanted to use bird's wings at the beginning, but I figured since I already had crows coming out of my head, I would settle for another type of wing instead. They are delicate and feminine appearing, a little unlike me but I truly appreciate the finer things in life. The jewels represent my love for shiny things, a trait I yet again share with crows, and wanted to immortalize in the image. The branches are another aspect of appreciation for nature and life, and an aspect of myself that I want to continue to nurture; the ability to create and grow. The mark over my eye is the silhouette of Taiwan, not where I was born but where I came from. The island holds most of my family and no matter what the culture there will forever be my culture.

My main design problems I had were merging the branches with my arms. While merging the crows and my hair, it did not pose much of an issue for me because both were black and shone in the light the same way. However my arms and the branches I chose to use were different colours, textures, and shades, so merging them proved to be a difficult task because in the end it appeared obvious that the ends of the branches were smoothed over and edited.

I feel that with these skills I have the ability to continue to express myself in ways that aren't traditional methods of artwork. In this way I can make myself become who I want, no matter what's popping out of my hair or back. I feel I may even redo this piece in my own time, because I feel this it was an effective representation of who I am and what I value in my life.


Created with images by ejaugsburg - "environmental protection nature conservation ecology"

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