Monday, May 10, 2010

Ghoulish Glow

My friend Andrea Saujani recently asked me about something in my work she called a "ghoulish glow".   Of course me being me...I was smitten with the term and she made me promise to give her credit if I used's you're "Ghoulish Glow" credit.

What she was referring to was a glow that seems to come from inside the piece of art.  It has nothing to do with Patrick Swayze...just so you know.
Though admittedly there is a bit of Ghoulish Glow to this poster art.

 Here's the piece she was referring too when she brought it up.  The Kali Mama piece.

Where you can really see the effect she was talking about in this detail shot from Brush Boy.  See how there is a white glow emanating from is body and his face.  Well that is "Ghoulish Glow".
I use this effect a bunch.
Here are some of my more recent uses...the Blue Meanies
All these samples have a bluish cast thus the "ghoulish" quality, but it can be achieved with any color really.  Basically what the deal is that you start with a white surface.  Next start laying down a bunch  of washes...okay now here is where the glow comes in... you dry-brush white or another opaque color over those darker areas.  Leaving hints of the lower layers.
You see all those darker colors(reds, browns, blues) on this cute little duds face...well those are actually below the whitish layer....the white is the most surface layer though it doesn't look it.
So that is the secret of Ghoulish Glow. I wanted to show you some photos in which I have been achieving the same type of effect.  I've been playing with my Hipstamatic App and been coming up with some very nice shots.  Before I show the photos...I should mention the App.  It's pretty nifty. 
 You can change lenses and flashes and film to create a whole range of effects.   

I created these effects by accident at first but honing in on the method.  This first one is a nice photo but not quite glowy enough

This one is ok.  Getting closer to the "GG"

Okay this was the one that where I started getting the hang of it.  A self portrait on my last flight.

For me this is the best "GG" shot to date.  I'm still trying to duplicate the exact method.  It's tough because it is a mixture of lenses, flash, film, but also the lighting has to be just so.  I also noticed a slight jiggle in the camera helped the last two effects.  I took this on the same plane ride as the self portrait.   I hope my traveling companion doesn't mind the exposure...double exposure....I crack myself up.
So have fun "GG"ing whether with paint or your Hipstamatic.


Shawn Caro said...

Fascinating-- I love the GG effect. Thanks for sharing your art tips. Your posts are always very interesting.

The Josie Baggley Company said...

Hi there
I honed in on the rows of matches in El Diablos-really like that!


Ann Renee Lighter said...

Love the GG Michael! Your painting techniques are great!
The photo app is awesome too..... creates an almost paranormal looking effect. Thanks for sharing.

K said...

I like the seat mate photo best...strange looking man to start with then the GG all around, how funny it wall there for you to snap up. can't stop laughing. kp

Anonymous said...

cool stuff...thanks for sharing!

Kade said...

The amazing colors you get with your paint are something I am still trying to learn. And yes, that glow is rather cool. I do wish u would get to south Florida so I can learn from De,

zoe said...

wow, thanks for the tip!
and i love that kali mama....

azirca said...

Thank you for the GG painting technique tip, I might have to give it a go.

Andrea Saujani said...

Thanks for the Ghoulish Glow aka GG credit Michael - now I'm going to have to try the camera app too!

House movers Melbourne said...

The ghoulish glow is amazing! What a wonderful technique. I'm looking forward for more.

Roberta said...

Hey Michael, I am loving your Hipstamatic photos! You know, your Toy Camera app photos you took a while back, got me really wanting an FINALLY I have one! I downloaded the Hipstamatic app last week, and have been playing around with the lens/flash/film combo that I like best. I took some really cool photos of the sky today. Loving that vintage look it creates. When my husband complained about the price of the iPhone...I blamed you as the bad influence :-)