Friday, May 28, 2010

altered photographs


one of the most fun techniques i've been doing lately are altered photographs. they are surprisingly addictive to do. somehow, using sand paper to scratch away parts of the surface of a photograph is rather soothing, and it's really easy too.

i spent some time at my favorite art supply/creative reuse center SCRAP. if any of you have the chance to come to san francisco, be sure to go to Scrap! Not only is the place light on your wallet, the stuff that is donated to this center is really fun to look at for it's possiblities.

i dug through their box of photographs. many of the snapshots are just that, snapshots. many of the photos were sometimes too blurry, too dark, subjects were not very good, etc. i began picking ones that were interesting to look at, that had distinct shapes - such as buildings, animals and other objects.


the photo of this bicycle wheel was originally a really bad photo. the wheel had been placed in someone's room and the lighting was dark. i began to scratch away the dark parts of the photograph, wetting the photo first to relax the emulsion. once i started to take away parts of the photo the color became yellow-ish. i began to color parts of the photo with silky crayons, and also used markers for emphasis. finally, i used rubber stamps to add some more interest.

i lightly sanded this photo, and then began to add color through markers and silky crayons. sometimes you need a light hand when altering, it depends on the photo.

it's also fun to add texture, you can use glitter, sand, beads, feathers, fabric, the possibilities are what makes it so fun.

sometimes when photos are blurry and out of focus, they can look rather ordinary. this photo was originally a very every day image, it was trees with a house and a car in the distance. once i scratched away the blurry car and house, the photo has transformed into an image with a dreamy feel to it.

here are some of the supplies i use:
acrylic inks: great for large splashes of color and drips
markers: good for details, i used tombow brush markers, faber castell pitt brush pens
silky crayons: these are wide water soluble crayons, some of them are metallic too. good for coloring large areas and great for students because they are easily cleaned up with water.
acrylic paint: i use this sparingly and/or watered down. also used for large foam stamp prints

thanks goes to angela cartwright's book Mixed Emulsions and karen michel's book the complete guide to altered imagery.

also be sure to check out milliande's video tutorial on altered photographs


dosfishes said...

These are fabulous, I will be on the lookout at my local thrift place, usually it's post cards, but I will have to search out some photos to play with....thanks for sharing. Corrine

katilady said...

these are really cool annie!

Gypsy Purple said...

Please see my blog for a link and a mention..XX Gypsy Purple

ains said...

ahhh I can't wait to try this!!! haha
love your blog :D

chel said...

These are amazing! I can't wait to give them a try with some of my own extrememly bad and mediocre photography!

Sarah said...

I really like your approach to this. I've been on an altered images adventure lately and I've dug up a few photos...can't wait to use your work as a jumpstart! Thank you so much!

Sarah said...

I really like your approach to this. I've been on an altered images adventure lately and I've dug up a few photos...can't wait to use your work as a jumpstart! Thank you so much!

Marti Schrock said...

SCRAP - I have heard such wonderful things about it! I am glad you find such great treasures there. Today is the shopping day at our local recycling center. I am taking a friend for her first visit! Can't wait! Your blog is great - very inspirational.