How do professional artists use ‘photobashing’ in their work?
Khushi Dyal, Canada
For digital paintings that deal with mechanical subject matters, the photobashing technique has grown in popularity. There’s nothing wrong with this method, as long as you don’t run into copyright issues with the photos you use.
In a real production context, we use all sorts of methods to speed up the creation process, including pasting photos directly into our paintings. However, this method can often create inconsistency in the design, and artists have a tendency to over-detail the image with small pieces of photos. So instead of just pasting random photos together, think more about the process.
I like to start with some basic volumes in SketchUp to search for the right design language and composition. Once I’m satisfied with the basic block-out, I export the image into Photoshop to start the photobashing process. The trick is to select a limited range of photos to use – otherwise, the painting will explode with different shapes and design aesthetics. So, in short, I create a 3D base, gather photo reference from a limited range of design languages, and then gather references for my colour palette and lighting.