Ahhhh…There’s nothing like a dragon-heated pool for a day of rest and relaxation! In this surreal fantasy, two stone figures enjoy a spa day while surrounded by the beauty of sunset-lit mountains, waterfalls, geysers and turquoise blue steaming pools. I imagine that the dragon enjoys his job.
“Spa Days” was created from a great many bits and pieces of photos I took. Photoshop was my art studio. Nothing is quite what it was in the original photo, and even the sky and mountains are made of several images blended together. In every case, I isolated specific parts of photos (including individual leaves) from their backgrounds before bringing them into my image. Every element was also altered in various ways, including size, orientation, color and transparency. In some cases, several copies of a single image are layered together, each with a different blending mode and level of transparency in order to achieve the effects I wanted. Then I tweaked and played with each element, and the overall image, until it felt and looked right. This can take forever.
For those interested in where the original photos were taken, read on…
LAND & SKY: The mountain range in the background is from Capitol Reef National Park. There was no waterfall, however. I created that and added it later. All the land in front of the mountains, including the water, is from Yellowstone National Park. It is not one specific spot, but rather a combination of several areas within the park. The steam was created from of photos of geysers and fumeroles in Yellowstone. I added several different layers of semi-transparent images on the land in front of the water, as it was mostly white from mineral deposits to begin with. This gave it variation in shading and texture in addition to color. The plants were added on top of the other layers. The sky was created from sunsets in Tahoe, California.
FIGURES: The dragon is from a bridge in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. (His wings are digitally painted, and his overall color was altered as well.) The two stone figures were relief carvings from a street in St. Petersburg, Russia. I have been on three choral tours to central and eastern Europe. These wonderful trips gave me the opportunity to collect many of the photos I use in my digital artwork.
PLANTS: No exotic travel was necessary to obtain the plant photos. They are from my own backyard and neighborhood.