This month, the themes were Spring and Impressionism.
This looks a lot like a photo and that's intentional — it is a photo. Impressionism, in its day, was meant to effectively be the artistic equivilent of a snapshot (they're all fairly boring compositions and subject matter "showing" modern life and usual scenes from their day). The intent was to convey the feeling and overall aesthetic of the scene itself while, due to a side effect of HOW many of these artists worked — "en plein air" (basically, outdoors) — they also ended up conveying how time passed, specifically the way light fell onto the scene. The Impressionists were obsessed with summarizing and inherent in the way they were painting, they were visually summarizing the hours they sat there painting their scenes. This later became an intentional aspect of the style.
This style of painting caused quite a controversy at the time. Many figures in the public decried the showing of these "sketches" going on about how it wasn't art and the wallpaper in their bathroom had more interesting elements. All said, a common trope in the art world.
Now, for this desktop wallpaper (interesting use of the word wallpaper considering the previous line), I was provided an interesting opportunity. I could have gone out and taken a bunch of photos to compose this image, but that would directly violate one of the stylistic elements of Impressionism: Quick, opaque paint. My idea would have required layering different images in a manner similar to the way many artists (at the time Impressionism was starting to rise to popularity) were layering their paint to get detail and nuance in their works. This is the exact opposite of what the Impressionists were doing.
Considering that this wallpaper was to be Spring themed, I figured I'd go to Fotolia
(because stock houses ALWAYS have pictures of bright "bliss-esque" landscapes) — this really had to scream
April / spring.
So, now that I've got this image as a base... where do we go from here?
Get the colors right, then break out the brushes.
There are a few ways to replicate a paint-like texture in Photoshop, but I didn't just want this to replicate paint, I wanted to try something completely new and so simple, it didn't even seem like it should work. 2 brushes made this image.
To explain in the most concise manner, just look at these screenshots of my brush palette. These are the settings that produced this style:
• Brush Tip Shape (a 15px x 15px square): [link]
• Shape Dynamics: [link]
(The pallete shows I'm not using a wacom pen, but I was. I just took the screenshot with a mouse. This technique works best with a wacom).
• Scattering: [link]
And all of that is applied to the Smudge tool. Run it around on an image and see what it does. You should get an effect similar to what you see in the wallpaper. So, with those settings and 2 brushes (square and a blurry ellipse), I made this wallpaper. It took 40 minutes. (first version took 4 hours... had to develop the technique).
A mix of glitch art and Impressionism serving the same intent as Impressionism: to convey the scene in an abstract, but complete, manner.
Tl;DR: I hope you enjoy this wallpaper!
Desktop Sizes: 2560x1600
Mobile Sizes: iPhone