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Friday, May 15, 2009

"Postage People" - Detailed Description

This week’s Sunday Postcard Art challenge was “Postage People.” Fortunately Marion, who came up with the challenge, made a YouTube tutorial video on how to make one. I wanted to use a vintage stamp but I couldn’t find any with a head that I liked, so I went to the post office, to see what they had. I was ecstatic as soon as I saw Bette Davis, and knew she was the stamp for me!

Using a Google search, I found a woman wearing a similar, but lighter colored coat, and used her for the top of the body. I got the coat color to match very closely by duplicating and multiplying the layer. I also had to alter the coat, because it was too long for what I wanted.

I found the bottom of the body and the pictures of Bette Davis on the New York Public Library Digital Gallery. I used GIMP to make her two film photographs look like slide negatives. I used part of an art deco picture to construct the border, and did one last Google search to add the film reel. The background is a cloud layer overlaid with a green layer.

I wasn’t sure whether or not part of the “postage people” technique was to make the stamp blend into everything else so you can’t tell it’s not part of the original picture. I didn’t do that. I left most of the stamp border intact, and only erased at the shoulders, to show that the two blend together.

I also made this a tribute to Bette Davis. She is one of my favorite actresses. They don’t make actresses like her anymore.

I had fun making this postcard, so I decided to make a few more, using stamps from the post office and images from the New York Public Library Digital Gallery.

Frank Sinatra: I modified the stamp so that his hat was complete. The background sky is a cloud layer overlaid with a blue layer.

Marilyn Monroe: I colorized the picture I put her on, then made some minor modifications to it, to make it blend with her. I used PhotoPlus to create a pseudo-art-deco border, then used a pattern fill in GIMP, to change its color appearance.

All of that might sound like it was easy to do, but it was time consuming, and required some meticulous steps, too. But I enjoyed myself, and I like the way some of these challenges have the additional benefit of having me learn new things.

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