The Toymaker

It's been a while since I last created a composite of my dogs because I have been so busy, but this week one of my trainees asked to learn how to create digital art and while I don't usually teach my dog art (because it is my personal work) I felt that it was high time I created!


I designed this image to be fairly simple (for my trainee to copy), I also wanted to have quite a bit going on in there to keep the viewer interested. My dog Barney (a Havanese) is a very well trained and behaved dog so he was the easiest one to use. This is him being styled for his shoot

Barney the dog ready for his modelling session

Next I prepared the table that Barney would be working at making and repairing toys. As I love the vintage style of shoots I luckily have several older style toys which could be included in this shoot. With the table set I then wanted to work out how I wanted to light the image. As Barney is working I decided he'd probably have an overhead light as a worklight. This was set up using an off camera flash above the table. 


Once the background plate was photographed it was time for Barney's starring role. Barney was sat in the chair (minus the toys as he'd probably knock those over) and it's then up to my imagination as to where I want him to look to be able to tell a story in the image. He was photographed without the hat because it isn't easy photographing him in the exact position I need him in and have the hat not shadow the eyes, so the hat was photographed on Barney but in a different shot and added to the perfect pose image.


Most of my recent composite images contain one or two (or more!) of my mice, so next I looked through my catalogue of mice images (all photographed by me) to find some suitably positioned mice. After selecting these they were added and blended in to the image. 

It's then just a case of blending, toning and masking to create a well blended image. I really must make these more often! 

Tracy Willis1 Comment