the Art of Analog Mutant – pixel collage technique

self portrait 2011

Lately I have been adding a few new (to me) techniques to my usual array of collage work. Instead of creating a picture from found images that i manipulated to acheive a desired image, i have begun creating new work by using “pixels” of cut up pieces of pictures.  In the first image, you can see what i mean by looking at the randomly placed snippets of text i laid down to create a white wash to place my image upon.

I also utilized several pictures of desert ground to create a skin tone. A photograph of one of Monet‘s paintings became the outer shirt, NASA photos of distant galaxies became the hair/sideburns.

Sometimes  I look to make a specific color or tone for a background. Using undersea photography, snow covered mountain ranges, tropical rainforest or whatever it is i find that gives me the desired color and an interesting texture.

I blended 3 different images to get just the right color mix for Johnny Cash‘s legendary Gibson (though i omitted the double pickguard). I used 4 or 5 sources for his suit, even using some grey and some blue to give his suit some texture and tone.

Bob Marley - 2010

To get the right texture to capture Bob Marley’s dreadlocks, i cut the desired shapes rather than assembling them from countless tiny “pixels”, which i think gives a better effect visually.

This was my 2nd attempt at these techniques i am still developing. I attempted to create an illusion of depth (with mixed results) by layering lighter pixels over dark pixels, creating  the illusion shadows.

With my latest portrait, a tribute to the Dalai Lama, I further devoloped my technique by experimenting with “pixel” size and shape. I found that while it is more labor intensive to use smaller “pixels”, it gives a more detailed texture. I also believe it gives me a finer sense of control of the image.

To achieve an appearance of a long, flowing robe, with the many folds and creases you would

find in real life, i used longer, thin strips as “pixels”. Using my earlier discovery of light vs. dark layering to achieve a sense of dimension, this tactic gave me an interesting result. The background was also an experiment, using not only color, but arranging the “pixels” in an interesting texture to further enhance the overall image




Sea Monster was more chaotic, actually de-constructionist for me. Instead of cutting up pixels, i tore long shreds from the pages to create seaweed.



To make the sea monster, fishes, seahorses, and octopus figures, i resorted to my favorite trick of cutting up folded sheets to make the desired shapes, like i discussed in my earlier post about Chester Devils.







About analogmutant

art, music, food, movies, citizen journalism, activism, and whatever else i am into at the moment...
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2 Responses to the Art of Analog Mutant – pixel collage technique

  1. Pingback: 2010 in review | Analog Mutant: Grand Rapids MI

  2. Pingback: Old School

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