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.

Provincial Living - - Contents -

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 – red­hilllaven­ Hot air bal­loons pro­vided by The Toy Work­shop – www.thetoy­work­ Chil­dren styled by Billy Lidz Bou­tique –­my­bil­

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