Work Process – Strangeness & Charm

When I started this piece I had no idea what I was doing all I knew was that I wanted to try out this outfit. I played around with different backgrounds but nothing looked quite right, so I left it and I went back to my sketches and inspiration boards and suddenly I was struck with inspiration for how I wanted it to look.


Outfit Inspiration

Below is some of the inspiration images I collected that inspired me for this piece, I liked the dramatic look they all portray in one way or another. I loved the poses from the first two images, but I also loved the pop of the red in the first image and the dark dramatic background from the one on the right.

I love big gowns and a dramatic headdress, they make people look and they can also add drama to an image. I was also inspired by the backgrounds in the two images by Brooke Shaden, the way there is a specific horizon line that separates the ground and the sky.


Left – Right: Aucontrairephotography/mel plum,, Brooke Shaden, Renee Robyn, Brooke Shaden

I wanted to share with you how I put down my inspiration, I used several apps (you can find more on them here) but one in particular I like is Bamboo Paper it allows me to import images and write on them with a stylus.

This is some of my inspiration for my outfit, I like that I can play with different combinations using images I took with my phone and then draw on them and write what I like about it. I also like to import images like the ones above to compile my inspiration into themes and write common elements that attract me to them.


More Outfit Inspiration.

After seening a Q&A with Brooke Shaden I was inspired to try and put my ideas into sketches I used Auto-Desk Sketch book, to created this one. I tried out one of the poses I liked and used different brush tools to add colour to the image.

I just wanted a basic representation of what look I was going for, I knew by this point I wanted dark clouds, a visible horizon line and a red dress with dark hair. The pose could be worked on.


Concept Sketch.

I took several base images to choose from and a few images for the skirt, after choosing the images I wanted in Lightroom I imported them into Photoshop to start building the image.

Like I said at the beginning of this post I didn’t know what background I wanted originally so I didn’t start building that until later. I started with building the dress adding layers of images to build the dress similar to how I have done in the past.

I then brought in images for the background, a image of a beach scene and the clouds, I played with curves and colouring and then blended the images together and finished by adding some texture layers to finish the image off.


I created by first animated GIF image to give you an idea of the different stages of building the image, even if a little bit backwards.

I find myself more and more inspired as these processes go along and wanting to try more self-portraits. I am also enjoying writing about my process as a way of reflection and learning. This has to be my favourite image so far I am very excited to keep putting down new ideas and finding new ways of being inspiration.

Erin xoxo


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