SS17 Beachcomber - 8 steps to creating photo montages

With the help of Claire Gill we’re finding out her 8 steps that will inspire you to create your own coastal artwork…

May 16th 2017
To celebrate the launch of our new Spring Summer 17 Beachcomber collection, we sought to discover people who shared our love for the sea too, and whose work has been inspired by the beautiful British coast.
After meeting Claire Gill to find out more about her life as an artist, she also told us about the step-by-step process she takes when creating her beautiful photo-montages. So, to inspire you to create your own coastal artwork at home, follow these eight simple steps.  
1. Think of what makes a good photo.
 Claire wore our Barbour Clove Hitch Jumper.
Before you do anything, think about the overall elements that make up a striking picture. Ask yourself: what is it that makes an interesting image? And use that as a base to build the idea for your own. 
2. Choose the main point of focus.
Next, we begin planning the main subject of the photo. Try and think of just one thing that you think is attractive, something that will stand out. Once you’ve decided, go out and capture it.  
3. Think about the photo’s other elements.
Choose subjects that support and complement the main focus. For example, if the main subject was a large ship, your secondary subjects could be items you find along the shore. 
4. Choose your textures.
I like to use textures in place of the sea and sky. I’ve learnt that if you place a texture over the sea for example, people automatically read that texture as the sea. Look for textures and objects that fill the space well. Look for items you can bury objects in, like stones, netting, and water; and objects that represent the place or theme of your artwork. 
5. Craft the composition.
Once you’ve worked out what’s going to fill the image, look for your directional lines. For example, groins and beach huts, things that will lead your eyes into, and around, the image. 
6. Think about the colours. 
When I start creating my photo montage on the computer, I’m initially looking to bring different images together based on their colour. Training as a textiles designer, I learned that colour is the first thing you see when you look at a piece of fabric. That’s why colour’s really important to me – if you get that wrong, the whole image won’t work. 
7. Bring images together.
Now the best part. Once your colour scheme and tones are set, you can start being playful with your images. Scale photos up and down until you’ve found an interesting composition, and carry on like this. 
8. Never plan. 
My final step is a word of advice. Don’t plan, I never have a plan. Let your eyes do the work and let the image develop itself. Just keep playing around until you’re pleased with what you see!
In case you missed our last SS17 Beachcomber blog, we caught up with Claire Gill to discuss our latest Beachcomber collection, and what tools are involved in her art.
Discover our latest SS17 Beachcomber collection