Wow, it’s Saturday again and that means just one thing over here at theappwhisperer.com HQ, Mel Harrison’s weekly Column – APPart. Every Saturday we will publish more of Mel’s incredible work which focuses on digital art and collage images. Each week Mel will be incorporating different ‘mainstream’ editing apps to inspire you to try some APPart of your own. In this weeks’ Column Mel takes us back to the basics, explaining how to create a ‘background library’. All links to the apps used are at the end of this post. Over to you Mel…. (Foreword by Joanne Carter).
If you are working with collage/art images the first step is the background image. The right background is just as important as any other element in your images and really can make or brake your work.
You can make a new background image for each new piece, but I have found having an album in my camera roll dedicated to background colors and textures works well for me.
I have everything from plain black and white to colored textured pieces, don’t be afraid that your images will all look the same if you use the same background more then once, it is amazing how much different processes will change the look of a background.
You can create backgrounds from almost anything! A macro photo of rust flakes perhaps. Take that image of rust flakes and blend it into a plain background for a washed out look, perhaps run that washed out image though glaze!
Paintfx is where the majority of my backgrounds start. You can import an image of any size or shape, even a panorama for elongated collage work, and paint over any effect or layer a combination of effects.
The paint function allows you to paint any color, at your chosen opacity and the textures create some interesting backgrounds.
Take my piece Neptune for example, the background started out as a paintfx layered effect blue textured background that once I added a light leak and a smoke frame it really has the feel of water.
There are dedicated texture apps such as texture+ that allow you to layer textures from the library. It has an erase tool that allows you to lightly or heavily remove parts of the last texture you have applied.
Then you have grunge apps like PicGrunger, Modern Grunge, Vintage Scene and of course ScratchCam, you could not talk grunge without ScratchCam!
This is by no means an exhaustive list of ways to create backgrounds, you are limited only by your imagination. Working on backgrounds is a great way to work through a creative block, you never know it may just inspire your next image!