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Katarzyna Gajewska’s portraits

I came across a collection of portraits by Katarzyna Gajewska. I find them incredibly mesmerizing, chaotic and beautiful.

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Here is her artist statement where she describes her process:

‘My painting process is something between my dreams and documentation. My art is situated in the middle;  not in the realistic and not in the abstract, in popular meaning. I am looking for human simplicity and complexity in the same way. I am trying to catch the casual feelings, naked and defenceless in their realism, and then with understanding and patience I start to build portraits.

My portraits are like multilayered cocoons, profoundly intimate, sexual or innocent. Psychological topography; still glances, crucial in their expression are uncovered in layers of my paint. Bold, rich and dramatic faces are like language; pulsing and inspiring. My portraits are my form of communication. For me no subject is sacred. The role of provocative feelings, persuasion, as well as the human impulse to beautify compels my works of art.

I don’t use any tools besides my hands – to be closer. I could say that my art is a first hand emotion – and that’s why I am painting only with my hands. It allows me to make close ups much deeper than they really are. I love using extreme zooming in – in life and in my paintings. My inspirations are deeply rooted in myself. I’m trying to search for inspiration every day: To reach for the deep feelings hidden below the surface of appearances, to pull them out from behind the window pane. It is a permanent record of fleeting sensations. This release from naturalism is a real struggle between the forces of creation and destruction.’

 
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Posted by on December 15, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Digital media development LO2 part 19

here is the final part of the digital media development sketchbook. i hope you have enjoyed looking into my digital sketchbook.

 

a short slideshow will be used for this post with a selection of small projects for this where i just developed one single image without the use of creating filters.

a whole manner of techniques has been used for these images (too long to list) but they are all taken from the photo filter, gradient mapping, HDR toning, the layers selections and also the filter gallery within Photoshop CS5

here is one last technique i used which is the HDR toning. this can be accessed via image>adjustments>HDR toning. an example is shown below:

   

and now here is the slideshow

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Posted by on May 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Digital media development LO2 part 18

part 18 of my digital media sketchbook

 

     

for this part of the sketchbook i thought it would be a good idea to mix two portraits together. the background is the doubled over portrait with the focal point being the lady in glasses.

 the first development done with the layers selected ‘difference’ here is really nice and i like how the portraits eye in the background looks as though they are the ‘all seeing eye’ and protecting the lady who has come across as quite african looking because of the long slender neck and large necklace. the colours do mix well but i feel they are too vibrant.

 from the above image i used the ‘cutout’ tool from the filters selection just to add a different affect but unfortunately it was unsuccessful although it has tamed down the colours and are not as powerfully bright.

 i later used the gradient map on top of the ‘difference’ image and the bright colours makes the image look too busy; it shows a level of abstraction as well of which i am not too fond of as the portraits initially used before development were already abstract.

     

here i used a different shade on the gradient map from the previous ‘difference’ image. the chosen shade for this is the orange and red; now i know i complained about the image ‘being too bright’ a few comments above but for these i actually think the brightness works well. yes it is overpowering and yes it hurts your eyes but the colours are vibrant and summery as well as i just simply cannot stop looking at them.

 i decided to go a completely different way with this and decided to transform the ‘difference’ image to black and white using the filters gallery for the graphic pen effect. out of all the above images this is just simply the most successful. there are no colour tones to clash the portraits and there is also a sophisticated feel to the image as thought the ‘african’ lady is a model for vogue.

 

 
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Posted by on May 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Digital media development LO2 part 16

here is part 16 of the sketchbook work for my digital media class. almost finished with three more posts to go.

     

here i have chosen two very dark images to use together. the core of a pomegranate for the background and an abstract self portrait.

  here i used the difference tool (as usual) from the layers list. the portrait is not recognisable on this and i actually find myself trying to figure out what parts go where and i already know what the image is seeing as it is my art work. the pomegranate clearly takes over and disguises the portrait.

  i then decided to change the layer option to ‘lighten’ of which brings the portrait to the front and becomes a very clear with the pomegranate adding a nice texture to the left side of the face almost replicating a leopard tattoo. much more successful than the above image.

 from the above lighten image i then used the gradient map (once again ‘as usual’) and a lovely tint of different shades of brown have been added to the piece. the portrait really stands out and the pomegranate ‘leopard’ print is very prominent but adds a lovely touch.

 i attempted the ‘lighten’ in a different gradient map tone this time with the orange and blue. very abstract and stands to attention but once again i feel the pomegranate is taking over the face and not in a subtle way which dampens my expectations for this project.

 
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Posted by on May 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Digital media development LO2 part 15

continuation of my digital media sketchbook part 15.

    

here i chose an architectural piece made using  technique and also a self abstract portrait.

 here i used the difference option within the filters selection. The development here has brought out a lovely purple shade amongst the right side of the face and displays a strong and dark demeanour.

   here i used the lighten option from the layers selection and with this one you are able to see the portrait more clearly although i do feel that it is quite bland and boring to the eye unlike the above ‘difference’ image.

   taken from the above ‘lighten’ image i developed it further by using the gradient map tool. I like the fact that i am still able to see that the portrait is prominent as well as the architectural background thanks to the lighter colours.

 this is also a gradient map image taken from the ‘lighten’ image. i find this to be the most successful of the above – it brings a vintage feel to the image because of the brown tint and also makes the image more fine art related rather than a digital image.

 Also taken from the ‘lighten’ image I used the green and blue gradient map for this creation. I am very fond of this due to the vibrant colour tones however it is unclear to make out fully that this is a portrait.

  once again taken from the ‘lighten’ image a fourth development using the gradient map tool is shown above. the portrait of this is much more prominent to the eye unlike the previous image above but for some reason i am not keep on the colour mix with orange and purple; it does not seem to stand out and the detail of the background is unclear.

 this is the second last one taken from the ‘lighten’ image and has been created using the underwater theme within the photo filter selection. with this selection you are able to recognize the portrait straight away of which is what i am aiming for within this project. the opacity of the portrait is quite low and mixes well into the background.

  last addition from the ‘lighten’ creation i then decided to play with the filter gallery. i came to the plaster technique here and the image could almost be an advertisement for a gangsta movie as the background reminds me of a busy highway thanks to the dark shadings and the eye catching portrait is strong.

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Digital media development LO2 part 14

part fourteen of my continuation of the digital media sketchbook.

    

here for part fourteen of the digital media work i have chosen an archway created in acrylics and oil pastels to be the background and also a self portrait in oils as the main topic.

 firstly as I usually begin the development process using some options from the layers box. The difference tool was used on here and I like the fact that the portrait looks to be hiding behind the archway and is also placed within the centre immediately bringing the portrait to being the focal point.

  taken from the above ‘difference’ image I edited it slightly by using the graphic pen effect taken from the sketch option of the filter gallery. It has given the image an eerie old movie effect because of the grain.

  I used the lighten tool from the layers selection and i feel it has helped the the portrait and detail of the archway to be more visible.

  gr -1              gr -2

from the above ‘lighten’ image i took the image further and used the gradient mapping tool for these creations. gr -1 is of the blue tint and seems quite bland as the tone of one colour all over just does not give the image positive justice; gr -2 on the other hand was used with an orange and blue tint and is much more striking to the eye as the colours are mixed well together, bold and bright.

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Digital media development LO2 part 13

continuation of my digital media sketchbook

    

here i chose a still life pencil sketch to use for a background and a male gothic portrait.

 As you can see i have rotated the still life pencil sketch to portrait in order to fit the gothic portrait. I then used the screen effect from the layers options of which has made the portrait look as though it is being warped into vegetable. I also like the opposite effects between warm colours and greyscale background.

  I then went on to use the gradient map on top of the ‘screen’ image. The use of only two colours (orange and purple) has given a very low opacity giving an almost ghostly effect. I also feel that the portrait has become to look like the joker from batman due to the cabbage’s detail around the mouth and the demonism of his eyes.

 I then changed the contrast of the previous image above to very high. It has made the image very bright and i find this brightness too overpowering and painful to the eyes; although the shading around the background and on the vegetables have been made more prominent.

   This one has been made by the original ‘screen’ image using a different tone of colours from the gradient map tool. the portrait no longer looks demonic or like the joker from batman and instead the portrait has been morphed almost completely into the vegetables – of which is a nice effect but the portrait is now no longer identifiable that unfortunately goes against my initial project brief.

 

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Digital media development LO2 part 11

a continuation to the developmental sketchbook of my digital media

   

here i chose a textiles piece i sketched up to use as the potential background and the self portrait of myself which is slightly demonic.

 I used the lighten layer from the selection available under the layers box. I really like the effect it has managed to achieve here with a soft hippy floral feel. I really like how the portrait has morphed into the flowers but has remained the focal point.

  This was done by using the vivid light from the layers selections as well. unfortunately this one was not so successful – too dark and the reds have been over-used; it is also quite hard to make out the portrait because of the high contrast.

 taken from the above vivid light i decided to improve it somehow and lighten the high contrast. Therefore i used reticulation fond under the filter gallery within the sketch section. This has vastly improved the image as the portrait is more noticeable and the red is softer.

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Digital media development LO2 part 10

continuation of the digital media sketchbook development stage.

  

for this i decided to take a mixed media piece to be used hopefully as the background and a self portrait.

 once again like many of  my other works throughout this project the familiar difference tool was the first to be experimented with. the balance of light and dark around the detail of the image has worked to perfection here and i love how the portrait has positioned itself to the centre of the image immediately making it the focal point.

 I then used the exclusion tool from the layers selection so that i could bring the image from the highly saturated and bright colours above in the difference image to a more mellow creation which still manages to focus on where the prominently bright colours are placed. Taken from this exclusion i worked on it further by using the gradient map tool in the below image: -

 this almost replicates a screen print and the orange/purple gradient tint work perfectly together. very vibrant and bright.

 the overlay tool taken from the layers section was chosen here. The image is very dark around the background which helps bring focus to the slightly lighter portrait but unfortunately it is too dark and shows little detail. i then took this overlay image further by using the gradient map tool to the below images: -

  gr -1        gr -2

gr -1 is very much abstract but i find the blue to be very overpowering and takes over the full image. yet i do like how the portrait overlaps the entire image i am just not keen on the lack of detail around the background structure. Gr -2 is has a similar effect as the previous image with the lack of detail but i also think that the orange takes over the overall image and well hurts my eyes (the only way i am able to describe this).

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Digital media development LO2 part 9

continuation of the digital development sketchbook.

    

here i thought i would experiment with mixing a rope sketch with another abstract male portrait. this post is not as extensive as the rest of the developmental posts have been for my digital media as the image sadly seems to have not been that successful apart from the below image: -

  the piece has a rough edge about it and even though the portrait was already abstract before the manipulation, the rope has helped it along by being compositioned within the middle of the contorted portrait to give it the extra abstracted appeal.

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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