The technique of Photoshop collage, as a legitimate art form, has taken a hit over recent years. It’s been denigrated as a gimmick that anyone with minimal computer skills and no drawing chops can do. Illustrators complained that designers were doing Photoshop collages themselves, rather than commissioning an illustration. I think the bad rap is unjustified. You still have to deal with composition, color, balance, contrast, etc., while still drawing the viewer’s interest. There are plenty of other recognized art media, like photography, that don’t require drawing skills, although a strong drawing foundation will always inform and elevate any artistic discipline you choose.
I’ve always been intrigued by its possibilities, mainly because I love collage. My approach to it involves creating some of the imagery by hand through drawing or painting, and integrating that with photographic elements. Hopefully that gives the work a softer, less technical feel.
Once I had all the elements I needed to work with, these two illustrations took about an hour each on the computer. They are my first tentative exploration of digital collage. I don’t foresee this replacing my totally hand-done work, but it was an interesting experiment that I may pursue on the side. These images were done for a folio that was created to accompany a show at Gallery Della-Piana in Wenham, MA on the theme of trees. I also had a painting in the show.