To make the images, I use an iPad Air 3 and Apple Pencil, Adode Draw, Adobe Fresco, Adobe Photoshop and various art effects apps such as Prisma and Oilist. It takes one day to make an image, about 6 – 8 hours.
I start off by finding two original images (or photographs). One image of a person or character from the past, that is in a Victorian, medieval or prehistoric context etc, which from henceforth I will refer to a the temporal character. The other image is the face or head of an infamous subject, such as Adolf Hitler, Jeffrey Dahmer or Jimmy Savile etc.
I then roughly rotate, scale, adjust, erase and superimpose the face or head on top of the temporal character in Adobe Photoshop. I do this in Adobe Photoshop in the first place because you cannot rotate images (such as the head) in Adobe Draw.
I then open or import the two separate images to Adode Draw (Illustrator) and roughly position them as above. I then lower the opacity of the image, in this case the temporal character and then trace the body on a draw layer.
I then reveal the head image, lower its opacity and then trace the head on another draw layer.
I then have the complete tracing or drawing outline. Please note that the tracing or drawing outline, I mean the black lines or edges of the character and head is only done to give you some edges or boundaries to guide you as you colour in.
The next step is to colour in the various areas or features using many draw layers and starting at the top surface or features (such as the necklace or dagger) and working your way down progressively layer by layer to the background. This saves you time with colouring in, as if something is on a lower layer than something already coloured in, you do not have to worry about the edges. Please note that the colouring in that you do in Adobe draw is just the base colours, I will call this the ‘cartoon image.’ You do not shade or add detail in Adobe draw, that is done in Adobe Fresco by superimposing the original image back over the cartoon image.
I then import the entire Adobe draw project (all layers) into Adobe fresco and superimpose the original image of the temporal character over the cartoon image (or cartoon layers). I then find a suitable blend mode and opacity for the superimposed original image, which vary from project to project, in this case the blend mode is darken and the opacity in 70%
I then erase the head of the temporal character.
I then reveal and superimpose the original face or head image over the head of the cartoon, (which has just been revealed by the erasing of the temporal character’s head in step 8). I then find a suitable blend mode and opacity for the superimposed face or head image, in this case the blend mode is multiply and the opacity is 100%. I then erase all the excess of the face or head image that I do not want.
I then use brush work, layers and blend modes to touch up the areas affected by erasing, such as the neck and the portion of sky around the head. I also match the skin colours or tones between the head and body.
Step 10 gave me the complete raw image and we are done with Adobe, however, we are not done yet, now comes the fun part, we put the raw image through various filters in Prisma to hide the roughness of the work and give it a professional look.
Get the picture?