Roll Over Botticelli: Venus Gets A Makeover
I had a lot of fun doing an assignment for Tracey Jones and Tremendous Life Books. It called for a parody of Botticelli’s Birth Of Venus (1486). I think everyone’s seen this famous painting at one time or another:
The parody called for Venus to be displaced by another goddess, an Australian Shepherd named Ruby Red. Ruby posed for a lot of pictures, but did she ever once strike the Venus Pose? Alas, she did not. So it fell to me to use bits and pieces from four different photos to build a composite Ruby in Photoshop.
I wish I could tell you I have some magic hair extraction technique. I do not. I’ve studied many hair extraction tutorials, but have never found one that works for every situation. I experimented with different selection tools, and fine-tuned the selections with the Eraser.
I used splatter brushes for the Eraser, and tried different hardness and opacity settings to see what worked.
Below are the four photos and the resulting composite. I had to adjust the color and lighting for the different parts, and I used layer masks to blend them all together. It was also necessary to graft on the end of Ruby’s right “foot” (it’s actually the tip of the left foot, which I cloned, warped into position, and then blended into the existing right foot).
Final below. Some of Ruby’s friends were also included (well, at least their heads). If you compare the final to the original, you’ll notice the sea shell had to be partially rebuilt and shifted to the right, in order to center Ruby properly. This called for some pretty doggone ambitious cloning… : )
The final was used on the cover of Saucy Aussie Living: Top 10 Tricks for Getting
a Second Leash on Life by none other than Ruby Red herself (with a little help from Tracey Jones). If you’re looking for some ongoing inspiration, I can highly recommend Tracey’s blog.
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