Using GIMP to create Beautiful Art

Every so often I take a bunch of photographs with no real plan of where they’ll end. Tonight I photographed this little trinket that my wife brought home a few years ago. I suspect it originated from her grandmother’s home. I loved the rustic feel of this little eastern man towing his cart around for his entire life.

So I grabbed one of my spare empty frames, using their white backing paper and glass top as the perfect background, and chose a spot in the sunlit lounge-room. After taking a few shots using my 60mm Macro lens and a home-made snoot, I closed the curtains and grabbed a reflector.

Holding the reflector over the top of my camera’s flash, I held the camera with one hand (and silently cursed myself for not having a tripod to hold the the reflector), I shot a few different angles of this interesting little trinket. Every few shots I would spin the frame around (as it was sitting on a bar-stool) and shoot from a new direction.

Combining texture photographs, also within my Redbubble gallery, I had fun dodging/burning/etc with GIMP to create the following images. I freely admit that there was no general direction when combining these images, but as they progressed and the result began to appear, I began to realise that this creative method was giving both life and age to this little trinket.

Here are the final images:

Each are framed large on a white background with differing frame types





How did I achieve this appearance?

I duplicated the original image and added a texture photograph as the ‘between layer‘.
1. The texture layer became the colour for the piece, adding the depth to the rust.
2. The original image stayed as the top layer, and had it’s primary colour (white) converted to transparent.
3. The duplicate layer was pushed to the bottom. It served as the white-background for the final image.
4. Using dodging, burning and various other built-in blending techniques within GIMP, I tested a few options to see how the top two layers would combine. The main aim was to make the texture blend in with the trinket but disappear around the transparent areas.
Once successful, I then merged all three layers together.
Whilst this quick tutorial is simplistic, it should make sense to other artists who use GIMP. Each image took an estimated 40minutes to create, and one was re-created during the process!

I trust you will purchase these photographs, either framed or as cards. I really would like this new lens. It would help me to shoot portrait and family photographs over the Christmas break. Please?

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