Assignment Brief

Another year, another assignment that I don’t feel comfortable with that requires us to use Photoshop. I guess I should be more comfortable this year as it’s about making an image using the collage techniques. I used these in year one to create my Wars of the Roses piece but, to be honest, I haven’t really used the software since then.

My Artists

The artists I was originally given were Edvard Munch and Francisco Goya. I was happy with these to start as I saw their styles as being quite similar. I initially thought this would make my job easier but, after thinking about the construction of the image and how to show the style of the second artist, I realised that I’d be better off by having a couple of artists whose styles differ more. This would mean the style of the second artist would stand out more and be easier for the viewer to spot.

I’ve decided to stick with Edvard Munch as my main artist as I’ve researched him and like his work. The images I’ll be recreating are Vampire, Self-portrait with Bottle of Wine, and Separation. The second artist is the one I’ll be trying to recreate a Munch painting in the style of. Now that I’ve binned the Goya idea, I’m thinking along the lines of Claude Monet.

The Edvard Munch images I’ll be doing are:

 Image 1: Vampire by Edvard Munch (1893).

 Image 2: Separation by Edvard Munch (1896).

 Image 3: Self-Portrait with Bottle of Wine by Edvard Munch (1906).

Edvard Munch

Gray F. Watson (n.d.) informs me that Edvard Munch was a Norwegian painter, perhaps most famous for his painting titled The Scream. He was born in 1863 and lived to the age of 80 before dying in 1944.

He was known as a symbolist/expressionist painter whose paintings were inspired by the mental anguish he lived through as a child. His mother died of tuberculosis only a few years after he was born, meaning he was to be raised by his father who suffered from mental illness. This mental illness would play a role in the shaping of the character of Edvard and his siblings and would go on to influence his work. Another factor in Munch’s mental state was the death of his sister when he was 14 from the same disease that took their mother.

In 1885, Munch went to Paris and became influenced by the likes of Claude Monet and Edouard Manet and then Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cezanne and Paul Gauguin. He would spend the next decade or so splitting his time between Paris and Berlin before returning to his home nation of Norway in 1909.

It was during his time in Paris and Berlin that his work seemed to ‘lighten-up’ somewhat from the previous dark works he’d done. The use of brighter tones and colours within his work saw him creating more playful and fun pieces than in previous years. This continued up until his death.

Oscar Claude Monet

Information found on claude-monet.com (n.d.) informs me that this artist was born in Paris, France on November 14, 1840.

He is, perhaps, best known as the artist who started the ‘Impressionist’ art movement. He didn’t set out to do this, but it came about after an art critic tried to insult the artist’s work by saying it was concerned more with natural form and light rather than realism. This criticism could be regarded as backfiring and starting one of the most famous art movements ever known.

As with many other artists of the time, Claude Monet suffered from depression and self-doubt and, even though his works sell for millions now, he lived in poverty for much of his life. It was due to this poverty and struggles to provide for himself and his family that Monet tried to commit suicide by drowning himself in the Seine River. He eventually got a break with regards to his financial status after Louis-Joachim Guadibert became a patron of his work. This allowed Monet to continue his work and increase the amount of critical praise he was receiving.

Monet started out as a portrait artist before meeting the landscape painter, Eugene Boudin. It was Boudin who encouraged Monet to paint ‘plein air’ (outdoors). This style of painting would be what Monet would continue to do and become most famous for.

Monet would eventually die on December 5, 1926, in Giverny, France.

Image #1: “Vampire” and “Impression Sunrise”

For the first image, an attempt to recreate Edvard Munch’s “Vampire” in the style of Claude Monet’s movement-starting “Impression Sunshine” will be made. It’s important to state that the final image will be created from my initial interpretation of the piece before I went on to research it.

 Image 4: Vampire by Edvard Munch (1893).

 Image 5: Impression, Sunrise by Oscar Claude Monet (1872).

My Interpretation of Edvard Munch’s “Vampire”

The painting “Vampire” by Munch could have many meanings and, before I researched it, I imagined it to be a man mourning the loss of a loved one, possibly his wife. The female figure in the image could be his dead wife come back to him in the form of a vampire. The vampire thing, obviously, comes from the title of the piece. I took this to be acting out in his head and he wanted her to come back for him so they could be together for eternity in death. This could be why he’s posed as if he’s giving in to her and letting her bite him.

Research of Edvard Munch’s “Vampire”

Even though I will be recreating the image from my own interpretation of it, research from Edvardmunch.org (n.d.) tells me that Munch didn’t actually name this image ‘Vampire’. He originally titled it ‘ Love and Pain’ but, over time, it took on the name of ‘Vampire’. Munch maintained that is was nothing more than a woman kissing a man on the neck but he was happy to remain ambiguous about the deeper meaning of it and was happy for people to discuss it and make up their own minds about it.

So, I guess my interpretation of it would have been ok with the great man himself.

Claude Monet’s “Impression, Sunrise” Research

According to my research on Claude-monet.com (n.d.), this is an image that is said to have inspired the Impressionist art movement during the late 19th century. It’s a painting of the port of Monet’s home town of Le Havre. It’s a painting done on canvas with the use of oil paints.

Impressionist painting is a form of painting which uses small, thin brush strokes and emphasises the changing natural light, giving the impression of the passing of time. The paintings in this style are also generally open compositions meaning that there isn’t a single point of focus and the subjects within it can appear to ‘run-off’ the canvas.

The Process

For my interpretation of “Vampire” in the style of Monet’s “Impression Sunrise”, I started off by taking four photos.

After opening Photoshop, I clicked on the ‘Create New’ button and set it to A3 landscape.

Now it was time to start with the background image. This was dragged from its file on my laptop into Photoshop in the ‘Background’ layer. All the images I used in this piece of work are my own and were taken on my Canon 5d Mk4 camera. I shot them in the RAW file format. Because of this, whenever I put an image into Photoshop, it automatically opens it up first in Camera Raw. This is basically the same as Lightroom and allows me to do and tweaks I so wish with regard to exposure and colour etc. before putting it into Photoshop proper.

I did my tweaks as per the image below and then hit the ‘OK’ button.

The background needed cropping some more as the wall was showing at the top edges. There is also a bit of lens flare and a crease in the backdrop paper so these were removed with a combination of the Healing Brush and Clone Stamp tools after having to Rasterize it to allow the tools to work.

At this stage, the backdrop was done and so it was time to move on to adding the subjects of the piece. These would be the man giving himself up to his dead wife (as I originally saw the work) and the wife in the form of the vampire.

These two characters would be put into the image in exactly the same way. They would be added to Photoshop which would open them up in Camera Raw, as explained above. I would edit them in there until I got them the way I wanted. The images below show the edits:

Some of the colour was removed from the image of the man via the ‘Vibrance’ slider as it was intended for the vampire to stand out more in the image (even though she would have a reduced opacity later).

 Then the people were cut out from their images with the use of the Quick Select tool.

Once the subjects of the man and vampire photos were cut out (as per the image above-right), they were dragged from their respective images and placed into the main window where the final image was being created. Firstly, the image of the man was placed, resized and re-positioned. At this stage, it was best to go through the Camera Raw, Quick Select for cutting out and positioning of the photo in the man’s hand before adding the vampire. This was done in exactly the same way as stated above.

This image worked best with some of the colour taken from it and a dark vignette added to give it a look of an old photograph. It would then be added to the main image in Photoshop by dragging it into there. Ctrl+J to duplicate the image and that allows for the dragging of it into the main window within Photoshop. This image is then resized and positioned to be in the man’s hand. Not only is it ‘Free Transformed’, but it is also ‘Warped’ to make it look more realistic in his hand.

The white areas and missing bits of the hands to either side of the photo will be corrected by the use of the Clone Stamp Tool. The hand and backdrop will be used as the area to be cloned in the relevant areas.

A mask is then put over the layer of the woman in the photograph to allow it to be made to look like the man is holding it. The mask is added by highlighting the layer then click the ‘Add Layer Mask’ button in the menu at the bottom of the Layers panel. Then the mask is clicked to make it active and the area of the photo that should be obscured by the hand is removed with the use of the Brush Tool with the colour set to ‘black’ (black removes things and white adds them back).

In the image above, notice the Brush Tool and ‘Black’ are selected in the menu on the left and, the Mask of the layer is selected in the layers panel on the right of the workspace. The rest of the photo is removed until it looks realistically held in the man’s hand.

At this stage, the backdrop, man and photo he’s holding are done. Now it is time to add the vampire. This is done in exactly the same way as mentioned above for both the man and photo already added.

The vampire needs to be in front of the backdrop but behind everything else. This is done by grabbing it’s layer and dragging/dropping it below the layer titled ‘Munch’ in the layers panel on the right of the workspace.

When elements are being added to a collage they sometimes have a white line around them. To get rid of this, two things can be done. Firstly, click on the layer to be edited and go to Layer -> Matting -> Defringe, then fill in the box with a number. ‘1’ is the lowest it will go and will remove the most white outline. If there is still a slight white outline, this should be cleaned up by zooming in and Clone Stamping it away using an area of the image close to the line.

The rest of the edges of the subjects within the image are cleaned up at this stage with the use of the Clone Stamp tool. Either adding to or taking away as works best. Areas needed for this to be done were the hands of both the vampire and the man. These were cut a little roughly by the Quick Select tool earlier in the process.

A copy of the image was saved at this point before merging the layers together to allow for some filters and effects to be added in an attempt to make it look in the style of Monet.

Making it a Monet

To get the style of Monet’s ‘Impression Sunrise’ into the image, a copy of that painting is added to its own window within Photoshop. Nothing else needs to be done with this as it is there so that the software can use it to copy the colours over to the main image being created.

The image is duplicated with Ctrl+J to give a layer to work on other than the original. Then it’s Image -> Adjustments -> Match Colour, find the Monet image in the dropdown menu and click it followed by ‘OK’.

The image above-right shows the work after the Colour Match has taken place. This was deemed too light and blue so another version of the image was added into Photoshop and used via the same process stated above. The images above are there to show the process.

To start making it look like a painting, it’s necessary to go to Filter -> Pixelate -> Pointilize then add ‘3’ to the box and click ‘OK’. This adds a pixel effect that helps make the image look like it’s on a rougher surface. The number in the box (in this case ‘3’) dictates the size of the pixels; the larger the number, the larger the pixels.

After the Colour Match was added, the image has been way too bright. This is sorted out with the reduction of the layer’s Opacity. In this instance, it was reduced to 50%.

The oil painting effect is added by going to Filter -> Stylize -> Oil Paint -> OK.

The best settings within the Oil Painting effects box are achieved by simply playing with them and seeing what works. This is so because each image is different and the same settings will affect them in different ways.

At this stage, the image is still too bright so a ‘Levels’ layer is added from the ‘Adjustments’ menu just above the ‘Layers’ menu.

As can be seen in the image above, the blacks and highlights were adjusted to reduce the brightness of the image and to stop it looking so flat.

To get the image looking more like it it’s a painting on canvas, go to Filter -> Filter Gallery -> Texture -> Texturize and again, use the sliders to get the effect that looks right for that image. The image below shows the settings used for this piece.

With all of the above work carried out, the final touches are to try to match up the colours a little more to give the viewer a chance to match the two artists being mashed together in this Photoshop image. This is done by adding a Colour Balance layer from the ‘Adjustments Menu’ just above the ‘Layers Menu’.

With the Monet painting on one screen and Photoshop on the other, the reds, greens and blue midtones were adjusted in the Colour Balance tool window until the two images had a resemblance of each other. The image above shows the two side-by-side.

The Final Image

 Image 6: Paul Sutcliffe. (2019). Photoshopped Vampire. [Digital Image].

Evaluation

As seems to always be the case with me and Photoshop; this image took far too long to finish. This is because I never seem to have a clear image in my head of what I’m aiming for. This and the fact that I’m really not that confident in my Photoshop abilities add up to a slow painful process of creating anything like this.

Having said that, I feel that the piece has turned out better than I thought it would when I was taking the photographs for it. I think the different aspects of the collage have blended together ok even though it’s very obvious that they aren’t from the same image. This is ok though, in my opinion, as it’s supposed to be a bit of photomontage art rather than an attempt at a realistic reproduction of the painting and is why I left the different aspects looking as obvious as they do.

I would say that I really don’t like the result the Oil Painting effect in Photoshop has had on this image as I don’t think it looks good at all! I did play around with this for quite a while but just couldn’t get it to look as I would have liked. Some of the options I tried just blurred the image too much so I kind of ‘made-do’ with how it is now. I do, though, like the colours I’ve managed to get into my image as I think they mirror the Monet style of ‘Impression Sunset’ well. The blues and greens are there, as are the red/orange of the sun and the black of the silhouetted boats. These are reproduced in my image by the vampire’s hair and the suit of the man as well as the overall palette of the image.

For me, in Monet’s painting, the red/orange sun is what stands out as it’s warm tones are in contrast to the cold tones of the rest of the painting. This, I hope, is the same in my interpretation of Munch’s Vampire in the style of Monet’s Impression Sunset.

I think that the man in the foreground stands out a bit much from the vampire as I reduced the opacity of her in an attempt to signify she’s a ghost or figment of his imagination. I believe this works and the fact that it makes him stand out more and clearly shows it’s a montage only adds to the piece and the requirements of the assignment.

The photograph of the woman the man is holding looks good, in my opinion. Again, it stands out as not being from the same image as the rest of the image but this is ok. I could, maybe, have spent a little more time trying to make the edges of the photograph less sharp and obvious but, as it is, I think it works with the style of the image as a whole.

Image #2: Munch’s “Separation” and Monet’s “Road to the Farm of Saint Simeon”

My second image will be created in the same way as the first. I will, again, be using my own photographs (taken especially for this assignment) to recreate Edvard Munch’s “Separation” in the style of Claude Monet’s “Road to the Farm of Saint Simeon”.

Image 7: Separation by Edvard Munch (1896).

 Image 8: Road to the Farm of Saint Simeon by Oscar Claude Monet (1864).

My Interpretation of Edvard Munch’s “Separation”

Munch’s “Separation” would appear to be a painting created to show the loss of a loved one. This time, it would appear to symbolise the fact that the man is struggling to let go of the lost loved one and he’s struggling to move on with his own life.

The ghostly female figure has her hair out behind her and it’s as if it’s coming from the man’s head. this is what leads me to believe the painting is on a psychological theme. The tree is there to signify that he needs help and someone to lean on to help him through his troubled time, whereas the bush is there to represent the fact that he can’t get past the obstacle of his loss and, therefore, can’t move on with his life.

The red around his hand that is positioned over his heart is there to further emphasise the fact that he has a broken heart because of the loss of the loved one.

I wasn’t sure if the background is of major importance, but, it’s in the painting and so I went about finding a location photograph to as closely represent the Munch painting as possible. Perhaps the location is there to represent the location where the loved one was lost or where the loved one’s ashes are scattered. The ghost could be there to represent the ashes being scattered and her spirit being set free to be where she always loved to be; by the seaside.

Research into Edvard Munch’s “Separation”

Research into the picture on Edvardmunch.com informs me that:

Here he (Munch) illustrates the man’s sorrow at parting from his love – the end of the story begun in The Kiss.  The love-lorn man appears about to move forward, into the future, but his path is blocked by the crimson plant, again possibly intended as a mandrake, with its love and death symbolism. He seems trapped in the present. Moreover, the girl’s long hair floats across into his world and caresses his head, tying him to his vision, allowing him no escape from his memory.

The original painting was done with oils on canvas and was done in 1896 and, according to Baldassari (2016) on theculturetrip.com, is currently housed in the Munch Museum in Oslo, Norway. It was Munch himself who left what pieces of his work he had left to the city of Oslo. The city built a museum in the area where Munch grew up, Toyen, to house and display the pieces by the now world-famous artist.

Research into Claude Monet’s “Road to the Farm of Saint-Simeon”

I couldn’t find much about this painting, other than the fact that it was painted in 1864 as can be found at wikiart.org (n.d.). That site has a couple of other little pieces of information that tell us it’s another of his paintings done in the ‘Impressionism’ style and is a landscape piece. Other than these rather obvious facts, nothing much else is to be found.

I chose the painting to sample as I liked the colours of it and thought they’d suit my recreation of Edvard Munch’s “Separation”.

The Process

The images I would use for the creation of this image were:

To get the process going, I opened up a new A3 (420mm x 297mm) workspace in landscape format. The background image from my trip to Dorset a little while ago was put in place and resized as needed after it had opened up in Camera Raw and edited to my liking.

The first thing I wanted to put in the image was the photograph I went out for a walk around the village I live in to get. It’s of a tree that I thought would work well. It was opened in Photoshop and because my images are shot in RAW, they open in the Adobe Camera Raw program first. This allows me to tweak the images as I would in Lightroom if I should so wish.

Once I had tweaked as I wanted, the image was put into Photoshop in its own workspace to allow me to use the Quick Select tool to cut out the tree and bin the rest of the image.

To get the sections of the branches cut out so that the background didn’t show through, a combination of the Quick Select tool to cut out the sections followed by a mask on that layer after it had been dragged into the main image window to allow for cleaning up using the Brush Tool set to remove (black colour). Layer -> Matting -> Defringe was also used on every item cut out and put into the main image to remove as much of the white line that can appear around the cut-out piece as possible.

The exact same process was carried out for all the other aspects that make up this image:

  • Open in Camera Raw and tweak basic settings like vibrance etc.
  • Open that image in its own window within Photoshop.
  • Cut out the part needed using the Quick Select tool.
  • Drag the needed part into the main image window within Photoshop.
  • Position and resize as required using the Move tool.
  • Clean up any roughly cut out edges using a layer mask and the brush tool.

Once the tree, bush, man and ghost were positioned in the image, it was evident that the World War Two pillbox on the background layer was still visible behind the ghost. Because of this, the ghost was moved using the Move tool and the Clone Stamp tool used to clone the pillbox out of the image. This was necessary as the opacity of the ghost would be reduced slightly for that extra ghostly look.

The image above shows the different layers of the items that have been cut out of other photographs and added to the main image. All except for the ghost. Because the ghost isn’t there, the WW2 pillbox can clearly be seen before it was removed using the Clone Stamp tool.

The image also shows that a red line has been drawn around the man’s hand, as per the Munch image. This was done simply with the Brush tool with a dark red colour selected. The line was drawn by moving the mouse to draw around the hand.

After this part of the process was complete, the ghost was added to the image. It was decided that the hair in front of the figure was distracting and so it was removed by putting a layer mask on it and rubbing through it to get rid of it.

As stated above, after every element of the image was added, the Layer -> Matting -> Defringe process was carried out to remove the white line from around those elements as best as possible.

The image above shows the final pieces of the Munch reproduction composition. It shows the WW2 pillbox removed using the Clone Stamp tool as well as the ghost’s face. This was also removed using the Clone Stamp tool to sample a part of the face with not much detail to remove the eyes, nose and mouth.

Once this was done, it didn’t look quite right. To rectify this, the Smudge tool was used to give it that extra look that it needed.

As can be seen in the image above, the Smudge tool is selected in the left-hand menu and the ghost’s layer is being worked on (right-hand layers menu). The face of the ghost now looks very much like the one in Munch’s painting.

Because the face looked good after smudging, the out-reaching arm was also smudged using the Smudge tool. This then brought the female ghostly figure together as what is represents; something that is in the man’s mind rather than physically there.

Once the smudging was done and a quick check around the edges of the items that make up this montage had been carried out, the recreation of the Edvard Munch “Separation” image was done.

At this stage, a copy of the image with its separate layers was saved in case anything went wrong. Then, all the layers were merged by right-clicking and selecting “Merge Visible” from the menu that appears.

The remaining single layer was duplicated and renamed “Moneting It Up”.

Moneting It Up

As was done with the “Vampire” image, a Monet painting was selected, this time it was “Road to the Farm of Saint Simeon”, and added to its own tab within Photoshop. This is to allow the software to have access to it in order for it to sample that image and add the colours from it to the one being created in the main tab window.

Once the Monet image is in its own tab, Image -> Adjustments -> Colour Match is selected from the top menu. When the options box opens, the “Road to the Farm of Saint Simeon” image is selected, followed by “OK”.

As happened with the “Vampire” image, the look wasn’t quite right. Because of this, a Levels layer was added and the blacks were increased to 75. This gave a more accurate representation of the shades in the sampled Monet painting.

The final step in the process was to give the image that Monet oil painting look. To do this the Filter -> Stylize -> Oil Painting path is followed. Once in that options box, the sliders were moved until the best look possible was found.

The Final Image

Image 9: Photoshopped Separation by Paul Sutcliffe (2019).

Evaluation

Even though this image took me quite a while to put together (from the taking of the photographs to editing the image together) it didn’t seem to take quite as long as the first one (Vampire) did. This is because I followed the exact same steps so was able to find the required tools easier.

As with the “Vampire” image, I really don’t like the Oil Paint effect as I just don’t think it looks very good. It is, however, the only tool I have that gives my work a chance to look like a piece done in the style of Claude Monet (apart from the Colour Match and Pointilizing).

Considering my lack of skill and confidence with Photoshop, I’d say that the image has turned out ok. I feel that Monet’s style on a Munch painting is quite a difficult combination to make my image scream Monet. Unlike some of the other pieces that my peers are doing that can easily be seen who they are done in the style of. It’s mainly the ones who have chosen cubism or Warhol that are the most easily recognised. Perhaps that’s down to me not choosing artists whose styles are far enough apart, though.

I would have to say that I’m pleased with the amount of effort I’ve put into getting my own photographs for use within these first two images and, hopefully, this will be recognised.

Image #3: Munch’s “Self-Portrait with Bottle” of Wine and Monet’s “Red Water Lillies”

The third and final piece of work for this assignment will be a recreation of Edvard Munch’s “Self-portrait with Bottle of Wine” using the colour palette and style of Claude Monet’s “Red Water Lilies”.

Image 10: Edvard Munch, Self-portrait with Bottle of Wine. (1906).

 Image 11: Claude Monet, Red Water Lilies, (1906)

My Interpretation of Munch’s “Self-Portrait with Bottle of Wine”

This is another painting in which the artist Edvard Munch is allowing us inside his head a little. I feel that the image is allowing us to see how lonely and isolated he feels. The obvious factor, for me, is the fact that he’s in a restaurant, where there should be many people enjoying themselves, on his own with only the staff for potential company. The placement of the staff members way off in the background enforces the isolation and loneliness and the fact that his table is set for one is another big indicator.

Aside from the windows being used to light the setting and the subject nicely, they could be there to tell us that the subject feels trapped and is looking out on the world from within his mental prison.

The bottle of wine is also significant as a way of showing Munch’s ever-increasing reliance upon alcohol in the later years of his life.

The elements that I feel are important enough to be included are:

  • The main subject (Munch)
  • The windows
  • The people off in the background
  • The table and it’s contents
  • The red background behind the subjects head
  • The bottle of wine

Research Into Munch’s “Self-Portrait with Bottle of Wine”

This painting was done in 1906 and is one of a number of self-portraits he painted during his troubled years between 1904-1907.

According to information found on Google Arts and Culture:

Self-Portrait with a Bottle of Wine was painted in Weimar in 1906. The artist sits at the table, alone with a bottle of wine, a glass and a plate. The hunched figure and the weak folded hands are an expression of utter helplessness.

The figure is placed well into the foreground. The sloping lines create a strong depth perspective in the picture. The head is in the centre, where all the lines meet.

The perspective created by the lines is countered by the use of colours, which creates a tense and claustrophobic atmosphere in the picture. The strong red colour behind the artist’s head creates a movement forward and draws our attention to the head.
Two figures resembling waiters are standing back-to-back in the background. They are pictured as have a shared body, and almost seem top have grown out of Munch’s own body. The two heads, each looking in different directions can be interpreted as metaphors for opposing forces in the artist’s soul. This split into two states of mind can be found in some other Munch pictures.

The site also tells us that this painting is housed, as are many of Munch’s works, in The Munch Museum, Oslo, Norway.

Research into Monet’s “Red Water Lillies”

Oscar Claude Monet created around 250 different paintings of water lilies he had in his flower garden in Giverny, France. A lot of these paintings were created at the time of his life when he had cataracts which are known to reduce the ability to perceive colour and contrast (Duffy, M.A., n.d.). This could, maybe, be a reason for the strong colours used to create this painting, particularly the blue of the water that I’ve, hopefully, got across in my image. Ever the artistic movement starter, Monet’s period of painting whilst having altered vision due to cataracts is said to have influenced the Abstract Expressionism style of the 1950s (1st-art-gallery.com, n.d.).

About the painting, 1st-art-gallery.com says:

The painting Red Water Lilies portray the lilies over a flat surface, almost as if they were floating in the sky. Monet used a blue and violet base, not covering the whole canvas. Over the water, the Impressionist painted the leaves with loose brush strokes and shades of green. He also painted dark contours on the flat leaves, an aesthetic influence from the Japanese woodcut prints.

The red and pink lilies are the central figures of this painting, having about half a dozen more detailed flowers in the forefront. Many other lilies were portrayed more in the distance with simple small stokes of pink – some of the pigment seems to have blended with the blue background, creating a violet-pink flower. The top right corner and bottom edge of the canvas show areas of light and reflex in shades of yellow and pink, creating a beautiful harmony with the rest of the painting.

The Process

All of the photographs for this image were taken of myself, by myself. I put my camera on a tripod and controlled it remotely via my iPhone.

The process I used for creating my interpretation of Edvard Munch’s “Self-Portrait with Bottle of Wine” was exactly the same as the previous two Munch/Monet images.

The images I would use to create the piece were shot in my house and feature only myself as the model.

The first thing needed for this image was a background. I decided to clear the furniture from my dining room and took a photo of it. I closed the curtains as the conservatory is full of stuff that would have taken me ages to clear.

After tweaking the image in Camera Raw as shown in the image above, it was placed into Photoshop and used as the background for the piece. A copy of the background layer was created once it was in the software.

Once the background was in place, it was time to cut the parts of the other images out and position them as I wanted in the main composition.

This was done by opening each of the other images in their own window within Photoshop and cutting out the elements using the Quick Select tool.

Because I only had the one image of myself as the hooded, faceless waiter, I would need to flip it around in order to better recreate the Munch image. This was easily done by selecting this element of the image and pressing Ctrl+C to copy it followed by Ctrl+V to paste it. I now had two copies of the element so I flipped the new one around by going to: Edit -> Transform -> Flip Horizontal, from the menu across the top of the interface. After this, I used the Move tool to position the new copy of the waiter to where I wanted it.

After each individual element had been added to the image from the other photos, I would select it and go to Layer -> Matting -> Defringe. This would get rid of (or at least make it less obvious) the white pixels that appear around some things when they’ve been cut out of an image. If this Defringing didn’t job its job fully, a mask was put over the element and the Brush tool on Black would be used to clean up the edges even more.

Once all the elements were in place, a zoomed-in look was had around the image and anything that hadn’t been cut out neatly was removed by the same masking of elements and Brush tool used to tidy things up. If removing things from these different element’s layers didn’t do the job, the reverse was done (adding things back that may have been accidentally cut out by the Quick Select tool) with the Clone Stamp tool with the correct layer selected.

Now that everything was positioned as I liked, I merged all the layers together to allow me to do the Colour Match thing of a Monet painting. I right-clicked in the Layers panel and selected “Merge Visible” which would merge all the layers together.

Monet Style

The image I decided to use to get it like a Monet was “Red Water Lilies”. I decided on this because I liked the bright colours that would take the darker Munch style away from my image and be a contrast to Munch’s style and so, hopefully, fit in with the assignment brief.

The colours of my image are quite garish but, I quite like this seeing as Monet was suffering from cataracts at the time of doing this painting which effected his perception of colours and contrasts. This, therefore, gives my image more depth with regards to the assignment brief due to the garish colours, particularly the blue.

To get the colours of Monet’s “Red Water Lilies” into this image I opened up a downloaded version of it in its own window of Photoshop and left it there. This would allow the software to sample the colours of it during the Colour Match process.

As with the previous two images, to get the colours sampled from the Monet into the Munch image I went to: Image -> Adjustments -> Colour Match. Once there, I selected the Monet image from the “Source” dropdown menu within the “Image Statistics” section of the “Match Colour” box.

This gave me the usual overly bright colouring to the whole image that wasn’t acceptable. To get it how I wanted, I had to create layers to adjust the Curves, Hue/Saturation, Vibrabce and Channel Mixer. This process would get me to the look I thought was ok.

The image above is with the different layers required to get the look I was after. It also shows the window has been edited to obscure the outside. This was simply done by selecting the Smudge tool from the left-hand side vertical menu. I left-clicked and held where I wanted to smudge and dragged the pixels around.

I think this smudged window helps to reinforce the feeling that Munch had of being inside feeling alone, looking out. The smudged window without a clear view of the outside world tells of how he felt trapped.

The last things needed to be done in the process of attempting to get the image to hint at being in the style of Claude Monet were pointilizing and Oil Paint style.

Pointilizing gives it the look of being painted on canvas and is achieved by going to Filter -> Pixelate -> Pointilize.

Once the look had been achieved with the Pointilizer by playing with the sliders, another method to get the ‘painted on canvas’ look is to go to the top menu (top of the interface window) Filter -> Filter Gallery and select ‘Texturizer’ from the pop-up box. Again, it’s a case of playing with the sliders to get the desired look.

The final step is to go to Filter -> Stylize -> Oil Paint, from the top menu. This brings up a pop-up box and, again, it’s a case of playing with the sliders until you get the desired look.

The Final Image

 Image 12: Paul Sutcliffe (2019), Photoshopped Munch Self-Portrait [Digital Image]

Evaluation

Because this image is created in exactly the same way as the previous two, I found it quicker to achieve once I got to the editing stage.

I was originally struggling to come up with a suitable background image and so opted for the simplicity of my own home. Once I had that, it was a simple process of repeating what I’d done it the previous images. The other images I needed to create for this image were fun to do even though I’d broken my better camera the day before I still managed to get it done using my slightly older crop-sensor one. This has created ‘noisier’ images but that doesn’t matter as the image is covered by the horrible Oil Paint, Texturize and Pointilize effects.

For some reason that I can’t explain, the blue of the final image that has been exported from Photoshop looks nowhere near as blue as it did when in the software. This, for me, has taken a little something away from the image and has me wondering whether I should go back into Photoshop, edit this part of it and export again. Although, having said that, the image on here has been compressed a lot (as have all the images on the website) in an effort to increase page-load times and so, perhaps, that has had an effect on the image’s colours. Getting the images printed will be the true tell of this.

Reference List

1st-art-gallery.com. (n.d.). Red Water Lillies. [Online] Available from: https://www.1st-art-gallery.com/Claude-Oscar-Monet/Red-Water-Lilies.html

Baldassari, V. (2016). Where to See Edvard Munch’s Art. [Online] Available from: https://theculturetrip.com/europe/norway/articles/the-5-best-places-to-see-edvard-munch-s-art/

Claude-monet.com. (n.d.). Claude Monet, his paintings, and influence. [Online] Available from: https://www.claude-monet.com/

Claude-Monet.com. (n.d.). Impression Sunrise by Claude Monet. [Online] Available from: https://www.claude-monet.com/impression-sunrise.jsp

Duffy, M.A. (n.d.). Vision Changes Related to Cataracts. [Online] Available from: https://www.visionaware.org/info/your-eye-condition/cataracts/vision-changes-related-to-cataracts/125

Edvardmunch.org (n.d.). Separation, 1896 by Edvard Munch. [Online] Available from: https://www.edvardmunch.org/separation.jsp

Edvardmunch.org (n.d.). Vampire, 1893, Edvard Munch. [Online] Available from: https://www.edvardmunch.org/vampire.jsp

Google Arts and Culture (n.d.). Self-Portrait with Bottle of Wine. [Online] Available from: https://artsandculture.google.com/asset/self-portrait-with-a-bottle-of-wine/pgEVWj4BpS4mDg?hl=en

Watson, G.F. (n.d.). Edvard Munch, Norwegian Artist [Online]. Available from: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Edvard-Munch

Wikiart.org (n.d.). The Road to the Farm of Saint-Simeon. [Online] Available from: https://www.wikiart.org/en/claude-monet/the-road-to-the-farm-of-saint-simeon

 

Image List

Image 1 & 4: Edvard Munch (1893) Vampire. [Online Image] Available from: https://www.edvardmunch.org/vampire.jsp (Accessed: 22/11/2019).

Image 2 & 7: Edvard Munch (1896) Separation. [Online Image] Available from: https://www.edvardmunch.org/separation.jsp (Accessed: 22/11/2019).

Image 3 & 10: Edvard Munch (1906) Self-portrait with Bottle of Wine. [Online Image] Available from: https://artsandculture.google.com/asset/self-portrait-with-a-bottle-of-wine/pgEVWj4BpS4mDg?hl=en (Accessed: 22/11/2019).

Image 5: Oscar Claude Monet (1872) Impression, Sunrise. [Online Image] Available from: https://www.claude-monet.com/impression-sunrise.jsp (Accessed: 22/11/2019).

Image 6: Paul Sutcliffe (2019) Photoshopped Vampire. [Digital Image]. From: My own collection.

Image 8: Oscar Claude Monet (1864) Road to the Farm of Saint Simeon. [Online Image] Available from: https://www.wikiart.org/en/claude-monet/the-road-to-the-farm-of-saint-simeon (Accessed: 22/11/2019).

Image 9: Paul Sutcliffe (2019) Photoshopped Separation. [Digital Image]. From: My own collection.

Image 11: Oscar Claude Monet (1906) Red Water Lilies. [Online Image} Available from: http://www.claudemonetgallery.org/Red-Water-Lilies.html (Accessed: 23/11/2019)

Image 12: Paul Sutcliffe (2019) Photoshopped Munch Self-Portrait. [Digital Image]. From: My own collection.