Flying high in Story Art land
Provincial Living went behind the scenes with Karen Alsop to discover how she creates her magical “Story Art” imagery.
Achild’s imagination is always filled with possibilities. We all remember spending our childhoods dreaming of adventures to faraway lands – worlds where we could be anyone or anything we wanted to be.
Karen Alsop has a passion for bringing children’s imaginations to life through digital artworks. She takes time to discover a child’s fantasies, then creates a surreal digital artwork depicting the child living out their daydreams of adventure.
Recently, Karen transformed one of her favourite Story Art pieces, “Floating High”, into a provincial scene for Provincial
Living. We talked to Karen to discover how she created this lovely artwork…
“When I create a Story Art piece, I always have the finished image in my mind. I set about bringing all the elements together. The first step is always the background scene,” she explains.
For this scene, Karen wanted to locate a Provençalestyle lavender field. Red Hill Lavender Farm and Distillery on the Mornington Peninsula turned out to be the perfect location. On the afternoon of the shoot, the sun set at the bottom of the hill of lavender. The light and landscape were exactly what Karen had in mind.
“The background plate that I photographed at Red Hill was not, however, the final product,” she says. “A lot of editing work went into giving it a more cinematic feel.”
The next step in Karen’s creative process was photographing the hot air balloons. Although, at first glance, the balloons may look like full size vintage balloons, they are actually models provided by The Toy Workshop. Karen photographed each balloon individually in a studio lit to match the sunset in the lavender scene.
Then Karen photographed the children in front of a green screen. She put them into a basket and told them to lean over the edge, while a wind machine created a “windswept” look.
Once Karen has photographed all the elements for a Story Art piece, post production can take her as long as 20 hours. The editing process includes a method of painting onto the image digitally, dodging and burning to create a more defined, dramatic look and adding shadows and light to create a sense of realism.
“I love creating scenes full of adventure – epic tales cinematic in nature. Though there are countless hours involved in creating one image, the end result is extremely fulfilling,” Karen says. Karen Alsop is available to travel worldwide for digital art commissions. Visit her website to view more of her work:
“Floating over Lavender Fields” was created by Karen Alsop. Scene photographed at Red Hill Lavender Farm – redhilllavender.com.au Hot air balloons provided by The Toy Workshop – www.thetoyworkshop.com.au Children styled by Billy Lidz Boutique – www.lovemybillylidz.com