Louise Dias | Vector & Raster Images | Spring 2013
“A portrait can tell us who a person was, how they lived and what they
thought about themselves.
Choose any: architect, fashion designer, scientist, inventor, actor/actress,
film director, politician, activist, entrepreneur, music artist/band, artist/
painter, product designer, sports celebrity, sculptor, animator, illustrator,
print maker or historian. (No Graphic Designer).
The portrait must be an artistic representation that goes far beyond
superficial. Experiment with textures and layers techniques in photoshop”
Choose three possible persons to work with and start doing the
For each one of the persons that I chose, I made a quick research and I
created an attribute list to help me to develop some ideas for my sketches.
First Option: Rihanna
out of box
Second Option: Woody Allen
loves music, old ones
death/fear of death
Third Option: William Shakespeare
Romeo and Juliet
“to be or not to be”
Selected topic: Rihanna
Date of Birth: 20 February, 1988.
Name of birth: Robyn Rihanna Fenty
Born in a parish in Barbados called St. Michael
Ever changing hairstyles
Bright red hair
First Digital Compositions
This idea came directly of one of my sketches:
represent how messy, controversial, crazy and
with no limits her life is. Rihanna is a drug addict,
her life is full of irreverence.
This composition was incomplete, but the idea
was to show one of Rihanna’s trade marks:
changing her hairstyle.
In this composition I tried to incorporate a little
of the preview ones, and I also keep one of my
ideas to have lyrics on the background.
I decided to go with my first idea, but
trying to incorporate some aspects of
the third one to enhance the layout.
The first thing that I changed was the
contrast and transparency of the main
image. It was to lost in the middle
of the layers. In the first and second
ones, I added the montage of different
In this point of the project, we’ve made
the test prints, and they were really
helpful. I could perceive that my layout
was to magenta and that the logo
element (in the top left) was to big.
After a conversation in class, I decided
to go with the last one. The images
incorporated to her body were too
cliche and there was too many things
going one in the same image.
For my final layout I tried to balance
the composition, because the top right
was to empty compared to the other
corners, specially the bottom left. For
that reason, I started to play more with
transparency and blending modes and I
also worked more with the positioning
of some layers.
Another thing that I wanted to
incorporate to my layout was lyrics of
some of her songs. I chose the song
“We found love”, which talks about a
couple that “found love in a hopeless
place”. The video clip approaches some
of the ideas behind my concept. It talks
about the use of drugs, a problematic
relationship and a turbulent life.
“We found love” movie clip
Development: adding type
Development: adding type
I began using a computer
handwriting type, but it was
to artificial and regular. So, I
decided to go with my own
handwriting. Actually, I made up
my handwriting so it feels more
uneven. I also left some mistakes
that I did to make it more real.
My experimental portrait of Rihanna talks about her turbulent
life and problematic relationships. I incorporated elements
and images to make this chaotic background and used this
photography of her posing to create a contrast. This portrait
tells the story of someone who stands in the middle of chaos
and keep going, maybe because she is to used or maybe
because she just want to seem strong.There is a quote of her
about the violent incident with Chris Brown that translates
“I didn’t want people to see me cry. I didn’t want people to feel bad
for me. It was a very vulnerable time in my life, and I refused to let
that be the image. I wanted them to see me as, ‘I’m fine, I’m tough.’ I
put that up until it felt real.”
I used the lyrics of her song “We found love” in a subtle way
on the background. This song is related to her relationship
with Chris Brown and also her turbulent life.