Guitar no. 7: digital collage

Image Study

Guitar no. 7: digital collage

Process Notes

I was pleasantly surprised at this turnout. I was really struggling with the idea of digital collage, and fighting against the use of free and stock images compared to making some sort of original. I tried some of my other iterations to no avail, and considered construction paper collages; I pondered using the lasso tool to cut out shapes of different colors. Suddenly, I stumbled upon an image of one of Picasso’s Cubist guitar collages.

Inspired, I started with a free wood texture. Using a backward letter B in a hand-drawn font, I traced the half frame of the guitar. The black object on the bottom of the Picasso piece reminded me of a broken record, so I quickly found a free stock image and masked it. the burned sheet music was another piece of stock, and it was just happenstance that the edges, when cut out and masked made the perfect top of the guitar body. I searched for a royalty-free ticket stub, but instead happily tripped over the Woodstock poster, which reminded me of the construction paper collages, so I traced and masked the neck and bird out of separate high-res scans in the right colors and placed everything horizontally. I finished the guitar by masking just a free download of a scan of an old sheet of paper, and layering my watercolor study over it, and then rotating it. The background actually took me the longest. I experimented with different floral wallpaper patterns as well as a solid red, but they didn’t seem to really work. Finally, I decided to merge the two and sought out a free red floral background image, which ended up working perfectly. I finished off this version with paper texture, frame, and vignette, however, I think I may come back to this for a more connotative image study.

Note: The use of the “construction-paper” dove makes this image slightly more connotative in allusions to “peace” and even Woodstock, however, since the actual piece was inspired by that part of the poster, I thought it was denotative of the poster itself in that aspect. The image of the dove is also denotative. It is only when used together on the upper part of the guitar in those colors that it really starts to convey the aforementioned connotations. Likewise, I thought the composition felt unbalanced in the bird’s absence.