Sometimes in art, the challenge is not to create whole images from scratch, but rather, to modify existing images in new and exciting ways. Or at least that's the case for collage artists and digital artists.
Here's an example. I recently downloaded a reference image from WetCanvas.com. For those of you who haven't yet discovered that website, it offers numerous cool features for artists, including access to a library of reference photos which you can download for free in order to create your own art based on those photos.
As one might expect, given the fact that the images are basically donated by anyone and everyone, some of the images are much better than others. But if you have a good eye, you can find some real treasures.
For example, I recently found a full color photo of a person's hand. The photo stood out on account of its clarity and good composition. My original intention, when downloading it, was to create a pen & ink drawing based on the photo. I still intend to do that, but tonight, I converted it to grayscale mode (known to you film afficionados as "black and white"). And then the fun really began. I started playing with mirrored copies and with features which enabled me to tint the image various colors.
The first image shown here is the grayscale version of the color photo I downloaded. The second version ... well, the second version is hardly recognizable in terms of being able to tell what source image it was originally based on. I call it "Handala" because it's a mandala constructed entirely of modified copies of a single photo of a man's hand.
And to think that I did it all with a simple program called Microsoft PictureIt! Imagine what I could have done with Photoshop.
I have additional variations on the hand photo which I will probably present in this blog at some point in the future.