Chinese Whispers #05

Chinese Whispers #05: digital artwork printed on glossy paper 26.7" x 20"

CJ: When Katya painted Chinese Whispers #04, she told me that she was inspired by the story behind the creation of the original photo, in particular the sense of my face emerging out of the water.

For Chinese Whispers #05, I wanted to focus on the water and feeling of the face emerging from out of something. To do this, I made the colours and lines more intense and added texture but most of all I enhanced the liquid quality of the water. I started by increasing the “depths” from which the face is emerging by building up digital layers and adjusting colour balance, light and shade etc. Then I wanted to create the appearance of paint being dropped into real water — the smokey effect which happens as the paint diffuses into the water. To do this, I digitally “painted” on the image to swirl Katya’s white paint around in the water.

For the upper monochrome section, I did more digital “painting” to make the dark clouds encroach further in on the face, to create an ambiguity: is the face emerging, or is it actually being engulfed?

Detail from Chinese Whispers #05

I trimmed the image a little to make tighter at the top and increase the proportion covered by water, to add to the feeling of claustrophobia in the upper part of the picture.

As with Chinese Whispers #3, I again chose a glossy print, to show off the power of the colours and the liquid quality of the water.

This was my first time using Photoshop, so it was a voyage of discovery — which is exactly how I like it to be!

Image & text © CJ Crosland, 2017. All rights reserved.