Madame Couture in Action

Mademoiselle Couture has been one of the most enjoyable pieces I’ve created this year, partly because the broken hip and subsequent recovery rather stymied my ability to do anything even mildly artistic for the first four or five months of the year except catch up on admin.  (I’m still catching!)

Regular readers will be aware that I am a particular fan of the vintage ephemera that Karen Watson posts on her blog, The Graphics Fairy.  Recently, I found a couple of other sites that include some remarkable images that are free to use.

EKDuncan – My Fanciful Muse

Astrid’s Artistic Efforts

It has been some while since I posted about the way I create some of my designs so I’d like to show you the original images and say a little about the process.

My Fanciful Muse
The Graphics Fairy

On the face of it, it seems a straightforward collage and, compared to some I’ve made, it certainly was.  However, it still required a multitude of tweaks, and changes of colour and tone, in order for each image to melt into a whole.

Using Photoshop, I started with Astrid’s background image as one layer and then added the 18th century French fashion plate from EKDuncan.   I felt rather like Lewis Carroll as I experimented with the lady’s size.  It took some time before I discovered just the right proportions for the overall effect.  And she still needed colour adjustments to suit the background.  This was a little like cutting hair when it’s not your chosen profession–you cut off a little on one side, then the other, and then you find you have to cut more off the original side to match up and so on…!  I jumped constantly between the background and the lady to make the images indivisible from each other in terms of colour, light and shade.

Next, I removed the robin (at least, I think it’s a robin, judging by its red breast!) and placed the bird on a separate layer above the lady so that he was not obscured.  In fact, he looks as if he might be trying to look up her voluminous skirt! 

Lastly, I chose a flower from The Graphics Fairy.  I tried the flower in an ornate frame (also from The Graphics Fairy) but this was too much and I removed it straight away.

Both the robin and the flower needed tweaking and there was more to be done, but as I’ve said before, I must have some secrets!  Actually, this is more because I do so many things instinctively these days that I couldn’t even begin to delineate the process.

Linking to Brag Monday.

Take care and keep laughing.

About Sarah & First Night Design

18 thoughts on “Madame Couture in Action

  1. Hey Sarah – Great piece!

    I’m so glad you could use one of my altered vintage 1700’s fashion plate ladies from post I had a lot of fun posting vintage French Fashion plates from the time of Marie Antoinette (Georgian Era). I love to see how others use those images, especially the ones I’ve altered.

    Thanks so much for posting links back to my blog, it is truly appreciated.

    I’m looking forward to browsing you blog and seeing your other creations. Looks like I’m in for a treat.

    Grins and Giggles,


  2. This is simply breathtaking! I am so in love with your image. Thanks for sharing a tutorial on how to create a collage : ) I’ll be checking out the links for images too!


  3. Wonderful work! Sorry about the hip. It’s hard to work through the pain to create sometimes, but it’s a passion and you can’t deny it forever…lol.. So beautiful and glad you were able to get this one posted!…Sherry


      1. Well, I totally understand. I had a major shoulder surgery last October and I’m still recuperating. I thought I’d be doing cartwheels by now! Anyway, look forward to seeing more art from you…(-:


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