Creating Bruises

While working on my image I realised that I needed to create some bruising on my model’s arm to really help create my idea.

At first I tried to photograph a bruise, and contemplated putting out a casting call for anyone with new bruises before realising that I’m working with powerful photo editing software, and can surely create the facade of bruising with the tools provided.

So that’s exactly what I did.


I asked Google how to do it and firstly I found this video which uses photoshop’s burn tool to create bruises and scrapes on the skin. However, the process is this video is a destructive editing process, and despite my attempts to do it on a layer mask it didn’t work. So I tried another.

This video here turned out to be the way I created my own bruising. Through the addition of a secondary layer, you can draw the bruising by painting colours on to the area at decreased opacity before using the filter ‘gaussian blur’ to merge the colours together. For me, the colours I used were purples, blues, reds and some yellows, since I wanted it to be fairly new bruising. As I added layers of colour on top of the previous blur the layers merged and moulded really well to come out with something that I think looks really effective. I’m pretty proud that I created something myself on photoshop though, so that may be clouding my perception of how it actually looks. But, we’ll wait and see!

Non-Destructive Photoshop Techniques

A huge element of this assignment is creating a final photoreal image through non-destructive photoshop techniques. A non-destructive photoshop technique allows you to make changes to your assets without permanently damaging your image’s pixels, meaning that you can easily revert back to previous states if you change your mind. This is impossible with Photoshop if you have saved and exited on your session and want to make additional changes when you re-open it.

We learned a lot of these techniques during tutorials, and even though we put them in to use in class, we had to absorb so much information in such a short amount of time that most of it has been released from my brain again. This research post has helped kickstart my memory and recall these processes again.

When I made a mock-up of my desired final piece, I saw that there was quite a lot of photo editing that I needed to do to my photos to give it the right impact. I ended up using destructive processes for my progress photo since I had 100% forgotten what to do. The first thing I looked up was adjustment layers, an insanely handy technique that allows me to continuously touch up my photos until they are perfect. When doing my progress image I had to apply adjustments directly to the image, no matter how hard I pushed my brain to remember back to what we learned in class, so this will be one of the most useful procedures for me.

Alongside this I found a video which outlined most of the main elements we we taught in tutorials such as layer masks, adjustment layers (again), smart objects and smart filters.

The easy to follow instructions and video showing which buttons to press will be useful when I get flustered and frustrated during my final production of my image this coming week.

Composition: Space and Size

Since discussing my thumbnails with my tutor and deciding on the most effective way to convey my concept, I have ended up incorporating multiple ideas to show my overall notion.

I have been researching composition elements that will complement my photoreal image.

Firstly I looked at scale and proportion, but upon reading about them I discovered that was not what I am aiming for with my image. However, this did lead me to look into hierarchy which turns out to be more relevant to my desired piece.

Hierarchy, also known as the order of importance, is the order that our eye takes in the different elements on a page. Different factors contribute to the way the image hierarchy is build, and manipulating that can bring with it particular messages designed by the creator.

Size is one of the most dominant ways of creating visual hierarchy, as we inherently believe the largest part of the image to be the most important. And why wouldn’t it be? This aspect reinforced the use of size in my image. I have two dominant parts that will convey the most meaning – a tray full of all things sugary and horrible, and a person with a needle pulling the sugar out of the foods, getting ready to inject themselves with a ‘sugar high’.

Secondly I looked at positive and negative space in composition. Burger-Fuel-CampaignPositive space can be seen as what’s ‘in the front’ of the image, and negative space in the background. What was outlined in the previous paragraph is obviously going to be my positive space, since that is conveying most of the meaning in the image. The negative space is going to be of a rundown house, further expressing the vibe of a sugar junkie, a sugar addict, even.

I have drawn out another concept thumbnail of what I hope my final image is like, so that I can refer back to it if I’m ever stuck on what to do next.–webdesign-84

Use Colour Wisely

More than ever, people are becoming more responsive to visual communication than other types of communication. This means that not only do people prefer communicating by sight, but they also communicate better when they communicate visually.

Since we are more dependant on visual culture, it is important that creators of visual content are conveying their intended messages properly. One vital way to do this is through colour.

Why colour, you ask?

Because it has a tremendous effect on recognition and comprehension. It can increase one’s willingness to read what you have to say and have a positive effect on the viewers motivation.

There are a myriad of ways to use colour in visual communication. It can be used to draw metaphors, or convey structure. It can be used for symbolism, however, you must ensure that whichever colour you choose conveys the same meaning to your audience, as colour association is not universal. It can be used to convey brand identity and to communicate different moods.

Colour is an extremely versatile and useful tool that can greatly benefit visual communication. Ensure that colours are chosen wisely for your own pieces, it will definitely be something I’ll put a lot of thought into.


In class on Monday we began discussing ideas on the best way to tackle a brief and achieve something that both you, and the person who wrote the brief, are satisfied with.

The best way, we discovered, is the idea of workflow. This is where you break down a brief into simple processes that become manageable steps and targets to reach.

This image is a break down of this assignment into six steps:

Wordflow Model

Workflow Model

Concepts/Drafts and Production both have extra arrows since those processes happen more than once. Production is a continual process that takes a lot of editing and redefining every time it is looked at with new eyes. This is much the same with concepts and drafts as the idea you originally come up with may not necessarily be your final design. These steps take time to complete, more so than the others.

With this model in my head I can now begin to project my own ideas on to it and delve deep into Google for an article.