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Though Nick and I are challenged in different ways, I know exactly how satisfying it is to be able to create a picture digitally. His mother Sue explains.

When I left him, my son was gleefully painting with a duck. The duck had, in the early stages, seemed a bit jittery, but once it had its feathers smoothed, the results were quite amusing. Now, lest…

Source: How to paint with a jittery duck | Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo


americanbeauty

Now what on earth was I going to do for American Beauty for Week 8 of Julie Powell‘s makeover challenge. There have been several different covers for the film which is directed by Sam Mendes and stars Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening and Thora Birch, in which a ‘sexually frustrated suburban father has a mid-life crisis after becoming infatuated with his daughter’s best friend’. IMdb

I knew I wanted to avoid a rose but what was my main focus going to be? I decided it was people so I swiped a slice from Tallulah Bankhead, a profile shot of Spacey from Wikipedia and set to work, the idea being that Spacey’s character is yearning for the out-of-reach schoolgirl (alright, so Bankhead was not a schoolgirl even when she was a schoolgirl). If knowing it’s Bankhead disturbs you, imagine she’s Spacey’s wife, Bening!

#photorehabcovermakeover Week 9 American Beauty © Sarah Vernon

#photorehabcovermakeover Week 9 American Beauty © Sarah Vernon

To be frank, I’m not enamoured of my treatment but — as so often — time was running out and I didn’t want to miss out, especially as I probably won’t be able to take part next week. Fonts used were Skia Regular for Sam Mendes, Bening and Spacey, Times New Roman for ‘American’ and Zapfino Regular for ‘Beauty’.

Click here for instructions if you would like to take part in future challenges.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


#photorehabcovermakeover Week 8 This Desert Life © Sarah Vernon

#photorehabcovermakeover Week 7 This Desert Life © Sarah Vernon

When Julie Powell gave us the challenge of re-imagining the cover for Counting Crows’ album, This Desert Life, I didn’t know what I was going to do. I adore the original by Dave McKean but didn’t want to repeat any aspect of it. Well, I have — as you can see, there’s a fish! I’ve used my surreal Beating the Blues design and changed it to violet so no hint of a desert as there is with McKean’s background. And why violet? I made it a dark lime green to start with and thought better of it because so many of my makeovers have been green-based.

The band’s name is in Shopaholics Regular which looks rather different and pleasing from my having stretched the characters. The title of the album is in PT Sans Narrow Regular.

this-desert-life_counting-crowsThis Desert Life is the third studio album from Counting Crows. The cover art is by noted comic book artist Dave McKean, best known for his work with Neil Gaiman, and was adapted from the cover art McKean did for Gaiman’s picture book The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish. [Wikipedia]

‘It’s likely that critics and listeners will consider Counting Crows’ long-delayed third album,This Desert Life another retro effort by a traditionalist band, but it’s actually their most individual and finest album yet.’ [AllMusic]

Click here for instructions if you would like to take part in future challenges.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


#photorehabcovermakeover Week 6 What Dreams May Come

#photorehabcovermakeover Week 6 What Dreams May Come
Original & vintage art © First Night Design [www.firstnightdesign.wordpress.com]

dreams

‘Chris Neilson dies to find himself in a heaven more amazing than he could have ever dreamed of. There is one thing missing: his wife. After he dies, his wife, Annie killed herself and went to hell. Chris decides to risk eternity in hades for the small chance that he will be able to bring her back to heaven.’ IMdb

When Julie Powell announced this week’s challenge, I thought the film, What Dreams May Come (1998) with Robin Williams, was not one I’d seen. The original cover gave me no clue and even the details Julie gave about the movie winning the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, the Art Directors Guild Award for Excellence in Production Design and a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Art Direction didn’t conjure up the story. Only when I looked at IMdb did I realise that we saw it on television a few weeks ago and rather enjoyed it. IMdb’s blurb makes it sound too ethereal for my taste but in fact, it’s a film that makes you think about life, death and love in ways you might not have previously. And the landscapes are luscious.

I have used a design I’m still creating as the backdrop in a bid to show the landscapes of the film. The title font and strap line is in Seravek ExtraLight while the star’s name is in Goudy Medieval Regular – perhaps a little too Gothic but I was running out of time.

Click here for instructions if you would like to take part in future challenges.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


#photorehabcovermakeover Week 5 The Story of Alice

Julie Powell has chosen a fascinating book for Week 5 of the Cover Makeover Challenge — The Story of Alice: Lewis Carroll and The Secret History of Wonderland by Robert Douglas-Fairhurst. This is the original cover which I like enormously.

alice

The reviews below are taken from Amazon.

It is the ultimate book about Alice – comprehensive and scholarly, but so delightfully and elegantly written that it’s a true work of literature” (Jacqueline Wilson)

The Story of Alice is the best book on the myriad enigmas of Carroll’s heart-breaking wonderland I have ever read” (Robert McCrum Observer)

Superb…toweringly the best of the dozens of books on Carroll which I have read” (AN Wilson Financial Times)

Douglas-Fairhurst is a startling and exciting writer” (A.S. Byatt Spectator)

This is biography at its best” (Lyndall Gordon New Statesman)

Magnificent” (5 Stars, Charlotte Heathcote Sunday Express)

Fascinating ” (Book of the Week, Philip Collins Times)

I’ve done two versions this week. The one above uses Mr FND’s drawing (after Tenniel) of Alice and is, strictly speaking, a scene from Through the Looking Glass. Be that as it may, it works well. In fact, I prefer it to the second version which uses one of my earlier Alice images, which is a collage comprising a Carreras Cigarette Card from the 1930s with the facsimile of a page from Lewis Carrolls’ original manuscript published in an 1890s edition of Alice in Wonderland.

#photorehabcovermakeover Week 5 The Story of Alice

Click here for instructions if you would like to take part in future challenges.

Buy Alice at Zazzle US
Buy Alice at Zazzle UK

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


#photorehabcovermakeover Week 4 Believe - #Cher © Sarah Vernon

#photorehabcovermakeover Week 4 Believe – #Cher © Sarah Vernon

cher_believeWeek 4 and Julie Powell has given us an album cover to work our magic on. As she says, the original cover does not have a great deal to recommend it.

‘[Cher] reached a new commercial peak in 1998 with the album Believe, whose title track became the biggest-selling single of all time by a female artist in the UK; it features the pioneering use of Auto-Tune, also known as the “Cher effect”.’ Wikipedia

Whether my take has anything to recommend it, I know not! I seem to have continued my penchant for black following my cover for Simon Jones’ film, Moon, although this was mainly dictated by the black & white photograph of Cher from Wikipedia that I’ve used. Since this photo dates from 1989 and the album was released in 1998, I’d guess she had a rib or two removed between the two dates! The font is an interesting one called Heartstrings Regular, which I’ve not used before.

Click here for instructions if you would like to take part in future challenges.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


#photorehabcovermakeover Week 3 Moon © Sarah Vernon

#photorehabcovermakeover Week 3 Moon © Sarah Vernon

Week 3 and it’s a space movie for the Cover Makeover Challenge now administered by Julie Powell, photographer and graphic artist. Whether by coincidence or conscious choice, Julie has decided on a film directed by a man many of us will have thought about recently because of losing his father — Duncan Jones, son of the inimitable David Bowie.

The film, Moon, which was made in 2009 and has a staggering eight gold stars on IMDb (very rare, in my experience)stars Sam Rockwell as astronaut Sam Bell who ‘has a quintessentially personal encounter toward the end of his three-year stint on the Moon, where he, working alongside his computer, GERTY, sends back to Earth parcels of a resource that has helped diminish our planet’s power problems’. I haven’t seen the film yet but it’s on my list.

I have used a photograph of Buzz Aldrin walking on the moon (or in a film studio under the direction of Stanley Kubrick, if you subscribe to the conspiracy theory) from Wikimedia to create my cover. I used our old friend Times Regular as the font for title, star, director, and tag line, and added a bevel & emboss style as if these had been etched on the moon surface. I also blacked out the reflection on Aldrin’s helmet. We wouldn’t want to be able to see Kubrick’s reflection, now would we!

Click here for instructions if you would like to take part in future challenges.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


#photorehabcovermakeover Week 2 The Money Pit © Sarah Vernon

#photorehabcovermakeover Week 2 The Money Pit © Sarah Vernon

Already it’s Week 2 for the revamped Cover Makeover Challenge now administered by Julie Powell, Photographer & Graphic Artist.

MV5BMTIzODEzODE2OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjQ3ODcyMQ@@._V1_UY268_CR6,0,182,268_AL_The challenge this week was to do a cover for The Money Pit, a 1986 film starring Tom Hanks and Shelley Long. Frankly, the original poster is very dated, very ’70s in style. You may well think the same.

Storyline:
Walter Fielding and Anna Crowley have to start looking for a new house – but there’s not much they can afford! This soon changes when they meet a lonely old con artist who sells them a beautiful mansion at a ridiculously low price. Only there’s a catch. The second they move into the house it falls apart, starting with the stairway collapsing to the bathtub falling through the floor to eventually the chimney falling into the house! Finally, they have to renovate the house before the frame collapses but the renovations also prove to be a disaster. IMdb

I had no idea how to do a cover for this film and pondered for several days. Today, realising that time was of the essence, I found a photograph of a dilapidated, abandoned house from Wikimedia and looked at it for several hours!

One texture from Kerstin Frank to brighten the original image and a green box with details of the stars, director and producer, and I had to stop and ponder once more.

I was happy with the fonts — Skia Regular for Steven Spielberg and Richard Benjamin, and Shopaholic Regular for Shelley Long, Tom Hanks and The Money Pit — but the box on which I had placed the title and names made it look far more like a book cover than a film or DVD poster. I’ll tilt it, I thought. I tilted it but I still wasn’t happy.

Then I realised I could roughen the boundary edges of the box with one of Photoshop’s distort tools. I ended up using ZigZag. I liked it.

Final touches were the dollars and a DVD symbol from Wikimedia and that was it. It still looks more like a book cover to me but what the hell!

Click here for instructions if you would like to take part in future challenges.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


#covermakeover Week 1 STORM BOY by Colin Thiele

#covermakeover Week 1 STORM BOY by Colin Thiele

A New Year and an old challenge resurfaces under new management! Julie Powell, Photographer & Graphic Artist, has taken over from Desley Jane of Musings of a Frequent Flying Scientist and Lucile of Lucile de Goday to administer the weekly Cover Makeover Challenge and I couldn’t be more delighted.

I created this cover using Searching the Sands as my background before adding an Australian pelican photograph by Toby Hudson which I found on  Wikimedia. This I layered over the Sands image in Photoshop’s Screen mode.

The title font is Zapfino Regular, and the author and ’10th Anniversary Edition’ are in Skia Regular.

Synopsis – Storm Boy likes to wander alone along the fierce deserted coast among the dunes that face out into the Southern Ocean. After a pelican mother is shot, Storm Boy rescues the three chicks, and nurses them back to health. He names them Mr Proud, Mr Ponder and Mr Percival. After he releases them, his favourite, Mr Percival, returns. The story then concentrates on the conflict between his lifestyle and the externally imposed requirement for him to attend a school, and the fate of the pelican.

Click here for instructions if you would like to take part in future challenges.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


This is a photograph of our own magnificent mongrel, a cross between a Terrier and a Jack Russell (we think). I have processed the image in Photoshop by adding a texture from The Graphics Fairy in order to bring out the vibrance of his fur coat and the colour of the grass, although that vibrance is missing in the screenshot of the spiral notebook below.

I never thought it was possible to love an animal as much as I love Pisch. Yes, that’s his name and before you all start to comment on what it means in German, let me explain that it came about when he was rescued by a friend of ours who wanted to find a home for him. “What do you call him?” I asked. “Pisch,” said our friend. He went on to say, “As in the noise you make to get a cat to go away.” So there you have it. He’s seven years old and I want him to live forever!

I probably wouldn’t have put him up for sale, so to speak, had it not been for a Cats & Dogs Challenge at the Art Universe group on Redbubble. I’m still not sure about uploading it to the other galleries. I would have turned him into a digital painting if my GMX-PhotoPainter software was working. But it ain’t!


‘Yes, he’s got all them different kinds of thoroughbred blood in him, and he’s got other kinds you ain’t mentioned and that you ain’t slick enough to see.’ – Don Marquis

‘He wa’n’t no common dog, he wa’n’t no mongrel; he was a composite. A composite dog is a dog that is made up of all the valuable qualities that’s in the dog breed—kind of a syndicate; and a mongrel is made up of all riffraff that’s left over.’ – Mark Twain


Available at the following galleries:
Redbubble

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


#photorehabcovermakeover Week 21 The Conjuring © Sarah Vernon

#photorehabcovermakeover Week 21 The Conjuring © Sarah Vernon

Week 21? Who’d ‘ave thunk.  I didn’t have a chance to take part in The Photo Rehab Cover Makeover last week. Run by Desley Jane of Musings of a Frequent Flying Scientist and Lucile of Lucile de Goday, the challenge this time is to re-imagine a cover for the horror film, The Conjuring. No, I’ve never heard of it either and probably won’t rush to see it as I’m not a particular fan of horror, unless it’s the subtle variety like The Turn of the Screw.

In 1971, Carolyn and Roger Perron move their family into a dilapidated Rhode Island farm house and soon strange things start happening around it with escalating nightmarish terror. In desperation, Carolyn contacts the noted paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren, to examine the house. What the Warrens discover is a whole area steeped in a satanic haunting that is now targeting the Perron family wherever they go. To stop this evil, the Warrens will have to call upon all their skills and spiritual strength to defeat this spectral menace at its source that threatens to destroy everyone involved. IMdb

The main image (luminosity mode) is a bad iPhone photograph of a painting showing a house — somewhere in Herefordshire, I think — that used to belong to my mother’s family. If you ignore the dirty marks of the mobile’s screen, the residence looks rather grand. What I wouldn’t have done to inherit it!

hoskynshouseblog

The underlay (normal mode) is part of a texture by 2 Lil’ Owls.

I sharpened edges and adjusted contrast on both images in Photoshop before adding the text.

‘From the director of Saw and Insidious’, ‘Based on the true case files of The Warrens’, the actors’ names and ‘directed by James Wan’ are all in Sukhumvit Set Semi Bold. The title font is Catharsis Requiem Bold, which seemed rather appropriate with its nod to the Gothic. I also gave the title and the actors a bevel and emboss, drop shadow and inner glow style.

#photorehabcovermakeover Week 21 The Conjuring © Sarah Vernon

#photorehabcovermakeover Week 21 The Conjuring © Sarah Vernon

Click here for instructions if you would like to take part in future challenges.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


#photorehabcovermakeover Week 19 The Romantic Manifesto © First Night Design

#photorehabcovermakeover Week 19 The Romantic Manifesto © Sarah Vernon

Another week and another challenge. It’s week 19 of the Photo Rehab Cover Makeover run by Desley Jane of Musings of a Frequent Flying Scientist and Lucile of Lucile de Goday!

The Romantic Manifesto: In this collection, Ayn Rand explains the indispensable function of art in man’s life, the source of man’s deeply personal, emotional response to art, and how an artist’s fundamental, often unstated view of man and of the world shapes his creations. In a chapter that includes an extended discussion of music, Rand explores the valid forms of art.

Is this me cheating? You may well think so. I have used a detail from a painting by Eloise Harriet Stannard (1829–1915) called Christmas Still Life. So that was easy! The title font is my old favourite, Zapfino Regular, while the author and ‘centenary edition’ are in Skia Regular. This painting epitomizes the art of good conversation to my mind. Gather your guests, set the table with good food and excellent wine and you’re off!

I don’t know about you but I loathe the cover (above) for the 100th centenary edition! It looks like it’s been thrown together by the office boy or girl who has no idea about good design.

Click here for instructions if you would like to take part in future challenges.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


#photorehabcovermakeover Week 18—The Long Kiss Goodnight

#photorehabcovermakeover Week 18—The Long Kiss Goodnight © Sarah Vernon

Let’s hear it for Week 18 of the Photo Rehab Cover Makeover run by Desley Jane of Musings of a Frequent Flying Scientist and Lucile of Lucile de Goday! The instruction this time was to create a cover for the film The Long Kiss Goodnight.

I’ve taken a light approach to this cover since the film, while purporting to have ‘the most spectacular action scenes you’ve ever seen’ (debatable) is also reasonably amusing. The other reason for such an approach is that I was out of inspiration and this is all that came to mind!

The retro housewife is from The Graphics Fairy and the gun from Wikimedia. I’ve used Dali Handwriting for the title font and Catharsis Requiem Bold for the actors. I did add a rolling-pin to the mix to emphasise the contrast between the character’s home life and her assassin alter ego but I couldn’t make it work.

The Long Kiss Goodnight is a 1996 action film directed and produced by Renny Harlin, written and produced by Shane Black and starring Geena Davis and Samuel L. Jackson.

longkissgoodnight

Samantha Caine, suburban homemaker, is the ideal mom to her 8-year-old daughter Caitlin. She lives in Honesdale, PA, has a job teaching school and makes the best Rice Krispie treats in town. But when she receives a bump on her head, she begins to remember small parts of her previous life as a lethal, top-secret agent. Her old chums in the Chapter are now out to kill her so she enlists the help of a cheap detective named Mitch. As Samantha remembers more and more of her previous life, she becomes deadlier and more resourceful. IMDb

Click here for instructions if you would like to take part in future challenges.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


#photorehabcovermakeover Week 17 On Golden Pond

#photorehabcovermakeover Week 17 On Golden Pond

Believe it or not, it’s Week 17 of the Photo Rehab Cover Makeover run by Desley Jane of Musings of a Frequent Flying Scientist and Lucile of Lucile de Goday. The 1981 film, On Golden Pond, was this week’s challenge. I thought: log house, loons and water. I did search for loons but found nothing that would meld comfortably into the whole.

I used a photograph from Unsplash that was taken by Vidar Kristiansen. I ‘mashed’ it up a little so that it was darker where I needed the typefaces to show clearly, and gave it a marginally sunnier glow.

I enjoyed the film and was always fascinated by it, not least because of the troubled relationship between father and daughter on-screen and off. Henry Fonda was a cold and overbearing father to Jane and her brother Peter. The actress bought the screen rights to the stage play of On Golden Pond by Ernest Thompson because it mirrored their relationship.

on-golden-pondBuy On Golden Pond

Their mother, Frances Seymour, who was Fonda’s second wife, committed suicide in 1950. For the remaining parent to be so domineering must have been extraordinarily difficult for the children. Jane writes movingly on her website about her mother.

I was interested to learn that it was the first time that those two Hollywood icons, Hepburn and Fonda, had ever met, let alone worked together. Hepburn gave Fonda  a ‘lucky’ hat that had belonged to her long-time love, Spencer Tracy, on the first day of shooting. It is the same hat Fonda wears in the film.

Click here for instructions if you would like to take part in future challenges.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Buy The Dark Side of the Moon by Pink FloydBuy The Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd

It’s Week 16 of the Photo Rehab Cover Makeover run by Desley Jane of Musings of a Frequent Flying Scientist and Lucile of Lucile de Goday,

#photorehabcovermakeover Week 16 Dark Side of the Moon

#photorehabcovermakeover Week 16 Dark Side of the Moon

A makeover for The Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd? Sacrilege, I thought. How could I ignore such an iconic image and do my thing for a breathtaking album that epitomizes my teenage years? I have a vivid memory of when I first heard it. I was with a boy in his bedroom and we were about fifteen. We did a little fumbling but nothing to worry the parents or the Mrs Whitehouse brigade. And we listened to the album. Loudly. Very. Bliss was it in that afternoon to be alive.

Desley and Lucile gave us a choice: Dark Side or Division Bell, another Pink Floyd album(or both). Since nothing came to mind for the latter, I went back to Dark Side and decided to play with same colours. The font is Telugu Sangam MN Regular. I prefer the original, to be honest. The album was released in 1973 and was designed by Storm Thorgerson and drawn by George Hardie.

Click here for instructions if you would like to take part in future challenges.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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