Illustrator Postcard

I am a huge fan of the musical Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812, which is based on War & Peace and takes place partially in Moscow. So, I decided to make a postcard from Moscow (featuring Josh Groban as Pierre). Adjusting from Photoshop to Illustrator wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be, although I do miss being able to select layers. The most difficult part was trying to line up the letters once I made the clipping masks, and I definitely didn’t get them perfectly aligned. Overall, I really like the concept of my postcard, but it didn’t turn out quite as neat as I wanted.

Final Photoshop Project

For my final project, I chose to look at the idea of coming of age, and what that means in college. I know that I, along with most of friends, struggle with feeling like we “have it together.” There are plenty of times where I feel like a mess, but the people around me seem to be achieving their goals and are surrounded by friends, and I get worried that I’m falling behind. However, I know that even if it takes me longer to get it together, I’ll get there eventually.

I chose to show this in a pretty literal way in my project, by having a girl sitting by herself as successful business people and a happy couple walk by. I’m pretty happy with the job I did cutting them out of their respective images and fitting them into the background photo. There were definitely differences in the lighting and filters on the photos so they don’t look as natural (or like they all belong in the same photograph) as I wanted, but I’m happy with what I did. The other main thing that I did to edit the image is add a sunrise effect by playing with the lighting. The original background picture looks dark and rainy, but by editing a sunrise in, I showed that there are good things ahead for the lonely girl. Also, I think that making it lighter helped the color in the rest of the image stand out, because there are lots of different colors in the houses and cars.

Overall, I’m happy with my project. It was a little bit on-the-nose, but it definitely conveyed the themes and ideas that I wanted.


Portrait Edits

For this assignment, I edited portraits of both myself and my friend Kelley. I used the frequency separation technique to blur out the texture in our skin, and even out color and skin tone. I also used the dodge and burn tools to add highlights and shadows, although I used those tools sparsely out of fear of making our faces look unnatural. I also used a layer mask to brighten our eyes, however, it didn’t show up quite as well as I thought it did during the in-class tutorial. The only thing that I wanted to do differently was edit out the frizz in my hair, but I couldn’t figure out how to do it while making it look natural. Overall, I think the changes that I made are natural-looking, but there’s still a nice difference between the before and after photos.

Kelley before and after

Melina before and after

(I don’t know why the before pictures are sideways)

Final Project Brainstorming

The topics I want to explore in my final project are coming of age and rites of passage. These topics interest me because college has been a very transformative time so far, and I think that I could make really interesting art that centers on these themes. Most of what I know about this topic comes from my own experience at OSU, the experiences of my friends, and the portrayals of growing up and college life in pop culture, particularly film, music, and tv. I want to really learn about what different rites of passage people have gone through in their teens and early 20s, and try to capture what coming of age feels like for different people.

There aren’t too many cliché images regarding rites of passage, the only thing that I am really weary of is travel imagery (particularly roadtrips). I think that most people have at least a basic interest in this theme, as it is something that everyone goes through. However, I also believe that part of my job as the artist is to make other people care and have thoughtful (if not emotional) responses to what I create. I think that I can create unique and original art by trying to focus more on the feelings of rites of passages, as opposed to only trying to translate images from real life into a computer screen. I believe that there are plenty of new ways to discuss rites of passage and coming of age, and using a digital medium, I can create art that explores these themes in ways that will allow me to express myself as well as being compelling to other people.

Composite Landscape

For my composite landscape, I combined pictures of a bridge, a hot air balloon, and a girl looking out on a ledge all into one. I had a bit of a hard time smoothing out the edges of the images I cut out, and I don’t think it looks quite as natural as it could. However, I was happy with the color layer I added (a yellow-brown that is kind of gross but definitely helped to pull the pictures together) and I still really like the idea I was going for. Overall, I think I grasped the concepts and techniques pretty well and I could definitely use these ideas to create something interesting for my final project.

Group Joiner Project

The Group Joiner Project was challenging and forced me to think out of the box. Working in a group on Photoshop was difficult just because we had to take turns using the computer, or else direct one person to do the things we wanted, and it was sometimes frustrating. Once we moved to cutting out pictures and working with glue and scissors, it was easier just because we could spread out and work on separate things (plus my group was down a person so there was a lot more space). I definitely believe that it would’ve been easier if we had more experience with Photoshop, but also by the time we got to our paper collage, we’d had more time to come up with ideas and a better vision for what we wanted to make. There were a couple of factors that made working with Photoshop difficult, but overall I think our pieces turned out okay!

The question of whether computers and AI can make art is a very interesting one. My first instinct is to say no, and I think the Photoshop collage tool is a great example of this. In my group (and a few others I think), the collage tools took our pictures and put them in a stack that didn’t really mean anything or present them in a visually interesting way. It was simply a stack of photos, and we had to lower the number of pictures put in before it started to look okay. The AI in the article sounds more advanced so maybe that would be different, however, I think that AI would have to be more intelligent and creative in general before I started considering it to be capable of artistry. For sure, I think Photoshop is still just a tool.

Overall, I think our paper collage is our most successful image. We had the most control over what we wanted to do, and I think it had the best presentation of the elements and principles of art. I also think it did the best job of showing the passage of time like in Hockney’s pieces. I don’t think I like the Photoshop collage tool, however, I would like to try creating my own collage in Photoshop again. This project took a lot of effort and teamwork, and I’m generally very happy with our images!


Finished Painting Face Swap

This is the final version of the face swap where I put my face into Klimt’s “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I.” There really weren’t too many changes from the in-progress one that I had previously posted, but I added a new layer or two on the face so I figured I should make a separate post now that it’s complete.

Face Swap

This is a screenshot of a Photoshop project in which I swapped my face with that of the woman from Gustav Klimt’s “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I.” I chose this painting because I am a fan of Klimt, and because Adele is very pale, so I thought matching our skin tones wouldn’t be too difficult. I took samples of both her skin and mine, the used the “curves” feature to manipulate the RGB settings in my skin until the two samples were the same. I then used that sample to make my whole face match Adele’s skin, then cut and pasted my face on top of hers, using the transform tool to make our faces line up. Lastly, I got rid of the edges in the layer with my face, then used to polygon lasso tool to take parts of her skin and put it on mine, making it look like my face was painted. This screenshot is probably pretty close to the finished product (if not the actual finished product). I might try to add in more texture from the painting, but other than that, I should be done.


  • Grayscale:

Grayscale is the absence of color, so this image is just showing light and dark through shades of gray. You do this by selecting the “grayscale” option from the menu.

  • Monochrome:

Monochrome is when image has only one color, so I made this image all green. I did this by selecting “grayscale,” then “duochrome,” then selecting this shade of green in the window.

  • Desaturate:

Desaturation is lowering the intensity of color, and I got this image from selection “desaturate” in the menu.

  • Channel Mixer:

Channel mixing is creating a mask over your image in which the colors of the pixels are altered. I got this image from changing the amount of RBG in the red and green pixels.

Elements and Principles

  • Line – The path of a moving point.

This picture has a line dividing it in half, plus the lines from the vents going horizontally.

  • Shape – The contour of a flat object.

This outlet is multiple rectangles al within one another.

  • Color – An object’s chromatic quality.

There are many different colors in this picture from dinner, ranging from the white of the plate to the dark reds and purples of the berries.

  • Value – An object’s lightness/darkness.

You can see the lighter areas of the house in the top section where the sun is hitting in, and the darker areas where the house is in the shade.

  • Form – A 3D object having depth.

In this picture, you can see the depth of the person, as well as her glasses and the orange she’s holding.

  • Texture – The textile quality of a surface.

The soft, fuzzy texture of the blanket is visible.

  • Space – An object’s internal/external areas.

Here, there is the positive space taken up by the subject, as well as the negative space all around her.

  • Balance – A distribution of equal visual weight.

The logo of the band is spread out on both sides of the stage, creating balance.

  • Contrast – A juxtaposition that accentuates differences.

The drinks in the glasses are different colors and at different levels, creating contrast.

  • Emphasis – An exaggeration of importance.

All the different writing utensils (and Tide pen) are pointed toward the flash drive, causing the flash drive to be emphasized.

  • Movement – The directed path of optical motion.

In this picture, you can see the movement in the running water.

  • Pattern – An orderly repetition of visual elements.

The lines of different lengths and colors create a pattern.

  • Proportion – A scaling of objects in relation to each other.

The perspective of this picture makes it look like the Tide pen is bigger than the head of the person (and the pen he is holding up).

  • Alignment – An arrangement forming a straight line.

The sweet potato fries are in alignment, creating a straight path down the table.

  • Unity – The harmonious arrangement of visual elements.

Here, there are many different visual elements, however, nothing looks out of place. This means that there is unity.