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Originally published 19/11/2015

To say I was influenced by the atmosphere of Wilkie Collins’ The Woman in White — must read it again — would be bending the truth, although I’ve included that sentence in the description boxes at galleries. However, only when I had finished creating it did the book come immediately to mind.

I have used a detail from a photograph by…

via First Night Design | Church at Twilight #Art | First Night Design

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FROM THE ARCHIVE 15/11/2013

The other day I was studying an old photograph that I had taken while on holiday in Crete of the Venetian Harbour in Chania. I was wondering what I could do with it.  In fact, I’d been lookin…

Source: Four Works: Digital Art, Master Photographers & Vintage Delights


FROM THE ARCHIVE 18th October 2014

My own textures and photographs, along with some Photoshop brushes, went into creating this image which, you will not be surprised to learn, is geared for…

Source: First Night Design | Gravestone Hell #Halloween | First Night Design


The original vintage photograph is a view from campanile San Marco, Venice, Italy ca. 1895, and it is divine, I confess. But how could someone like me resist ageing it further? 

Venice Observed Throw Pillow
Venice Observed Throw Pillow by FirstNightDesign

The title I have chosen is a play on the name of a verse piece by Christopher Fry, Venus Observed, which premiered in 1950 at the St James’ Theatre in London and was directed by Laurence Olivier, who also starred. The cast also included such names as Rachel Kempson (mother of Vanessa Redgrave and her late siblings), the irreplaceable Denholm Elliott, and Brenda de Banzie whom film buffs will remember from Hobson’s Choice.

Of course, it might have been a nod to Mary McCarthy’s 1963 book about the sinking city, Venice Observed, but it isn’t. Naturally, it’s not — I’m an actress, dah-lings!

I’ve layered texture Divine-4 from Design Cuts over the top in Overlay mode (Photoshop) and duplicated the photograph which I’ve put in Multiply mode.

Available at the following galleries:
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Fine Art America [14 fulfillment centers in 5 countries]
Saatchi Art

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


I’m delighted to have sold this poster while poorly. I’m on the mend, though, and really appreciate your comforting wishes. Thank you.

Vintage French postcard from The Graphics Fairy and a background from Textures of Italy.

Available at the following galleries:
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Zazzle US
Zazzle UK
Fine Art America [14 fulfillment centers in 5 countries]
Saatchi Art

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


I confess to being inordinately pleased with how this turned out. Taking a photograph of rotting hulks on the Isle of Mull by DeFacto from Wikimedia, I gave it two coloured pencil treatments in Topaz Impressions. I inverted one of my muddy terracotta backgrounds so that it became blue. The final touch was to layer the photograph over the background in Photoshop’s Multiply mode.

All the usual products are available.

Available at the following galleries:
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Crated
Zazzle US
Zazzle UK
Fine Art America [14 fulfillment centers in 5 countries]
Saatchi Art

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


FROM THE ARCHIVE 6th October 2015

The original photograph is by Joshua Hibbert at Unsplash and I had enormous fun changing the dimensions of each element and layering the result with a couple of my textures, one orange and one a gr…

Source: First Night Design | The Magic Lighthouse #Art


This is a delightful vintage photograph from Wikimedia of the seafront at Southwold (not ‘Southwell’, as the site erroneously calls it) on the Suffolk coast, blended with several textures created out of my photographs. I adore the grainy, textured look. I feel it has a touch of John Atkinson Grimshaw about it…and another artist whose name escapes me. Are you reminded of any other artists? Not, I hasten to add, that I’m putting myself on that level! To enhance the whole, I did quite a deal of work on the tone, sharpness, brightness and contrast and so forth.

A Stroll Along the Seafront Throw Pillow
A Stroll Along the Seafront Throw Pillow by FirstNightDesign

Available at the following galleries:
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Crated
Zazzle US
Zazzle UK
Fine Art America [14 fulfillment centers in 5 countries]
Saatchi Art

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


I’m delighted with the effect of a Kerstin Frank texture on my photograph of a run-down shed in my friend’s garden!

Abandoned Hideaway Throw Pillow
Abandoned Hideaway Throw Pillow by FirstNightDesign

Available at the following galleries:
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Crated
Zazzle US
Zazzle UK
Fine Art America [14 fulfillment centers in 5 countries]
Saatchi Art

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


FROM THE ARCHIVE 23rd April 2013

I have used a rose from The Graphics Fairy and a background from Kerstin Frank to create an image for William Blake’s poem, The Sick Rose. Blake, of c…

Source: The Sick Rose by William Blake | First Night Design


Created in Photoshop with an image by Fabien Barral, a Victoria Cross from Wikimedia, my own textures and photos of my relations including my great-uncle, Captain Norman Austin Taylor, who was killed in France on 18th March, 1918, and is buried in the war cemetery at Étaples.

‘Five foot ten of a beautiful young Englishman under French soil. Never a joke, never a look, never a word more to add to my store of memories. The book is shut up forever and as the years pass I shall remember less and less, till he becomes a vague personality; a stereotyped photograph.’ Written by grandmother, Joyce Hoskyns née Austin Taylor

GREAT UNCLE NORMAN: ‘SHOT BY A SINGLE SNIPER’

Remember the Fallen Card
Remember the Fallen Card by FirstNightDesign

Available at the following galleries:
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Zazzle US
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Fine Art America [14 fulfillment centers in 5 countries]
Saatchi Art

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Lulu in Hollywood Card
Lulu in Hollywood Card by FirstNightDesign

Reposting the incomparable Tallulah yesterday gave me a taste for creating another of my Hollywood images à la Edward Steichen. I found an image of silent film star Louise Brooks from Hello-Tuesday and used the vintage wallpaper from MGB Stock that I’ve used previously (DeviantArt). It is, I believe, a still from Pandora’s Box (1929) — ‘The rise and inevitable fall of an amoral but naïve young woman whose insouciant eroticism inspires lust and violence in those around her.’ This time, however, I have done it slightly differently and given her a background of the wallpaper in its original form. The effect of this can be better seen if you click on Saatchi Art or  Fine Art America.


“I have a gift for enraging people, but if I ever bore you it will be with a knife.”
Louise Brooks



“I never gave away anything without wishing I had kept it; nor kept anything without wishing I had given it away.”
— Louise Brooks


Lulu in Hollywood Wrist Watches
Lulu in Hollywood Wrist Watches by FirstNightDesign

Available at the following galleries:
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Crated
Zazzle US
Zazzle UK
Fine Art America [14 fulfillment centers in 5 countries]
Saatchi Art

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


I don’t do cute but sometimes cute gets the better of me. This was the case when working on Curious Kittens, created with a too-sweet-for-its-own-good Victorian picture from The Graphics Fairy. I wanted to introduce an atmosphere that would turn it into something a little less prosaic, a little less ‘aahs’, and with greater depth to the colours. Adding one of my reddish textures in Subtract mode (Photoshop) has given it an entirely different atmosphere, while the green palette makes the goldfish bowl a much more interesting proposition to look at. That’s what I feel anyway!

Cats-with-Goldfish-Clip-Art-GraphicsFairyblog

Curious Kittens Towel
Curious Kittens Towel by FirstNightDesign

Curious Kittens Wrist Watches
Curious Kittens Wrist Watches by FirstNightDesign

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


‘Recipe’

Take a detail from The Hot Sands, Mustapha, Algiers by Charles Conder from the Google Art Project on Wikimedia, some textures by 2 Lil’ Owls, some diverse photographs of unrelated objects, and simply play!

Jug with Yellow and Violet Flowers Card
Jug with Yellow and Violet Flowers Card by FirstNightDesign

Available at the following galleries:
Redbubble
Crated
Zazzle US
Zazzle UK
Fine Art America [14 fulfillment centers in 5 countries]
Saatchi Art

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


FROM THE ARCHIVE 14th March 2014

Photograph by Fré Sonneveld from Unsplash. Textures 2 Lil’ Owls.

Dover Beach — Matthew Arnold [1822-1888]

The sea is calm tonight.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the Fr…

Source: First Night Design | The Lookout | First Night Design

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