Painting Process: Hologram Robot

Here's another in my series of Painting Process blog posts, where I break down the steps taken to make up one of my paintings. As with all of these, this piece is painted in Photoshop, at 12"x18", 300dpi, in RGB.

I had the concept of Monique as a robot using a computer to generate a text-based holographic image, something that she could touch. I have her seated with my old TI-99/4a computer (the very first computer I owned, back in the early 1980's), and set up another image of my assistant, Kelsie, as the hologram she would be generating.

I wanted the hologram to be created out of text, but I also have been learning Japanese for the past few months. I decided to have all of the text be actual phrases in Hiragana (if you see the final image at high resolution, you can actually read the various phrases that the figure is composed of). That process of writing in all the Hiragana took almost as long as painting the rest of the image did.

For a setting, I went with something like a junction port for the ventilation system in a large building, something small and sealed-off, rather than some of the large cityscapes I have been working with lately.

Drawing in the robot design on Monique. For this photo shoot, she had a much more 80's-style haircut (as opposed to the more 40's or 50's-inspired style hair she had for the earlier shoots) which really works with what I was going for here.

Laying down the flat colour layers on Monique. As always, these colours just serve to keep the various layers visually separated from each other, and don't represent what the final colour scheme of the painting will be.

Creating the flat colour layers for the computer. I added in a lot of extra high-capacity cables for this, but made certain to utilize the old RS-232 port on the side of the computer, just to further root this image in the 1980's.

Flat colour layers created for the environment.

Finally, the text layer is created.

Basic painting done on the background. I'm going with a very dark space to really let the lighting from the glowing text be the primary focus of interest.

Floor painted. Already the basic colour scheme of the cool background with greens in the foreground is starting to work its way into the piece. My intent is that the text will be glowing green, so that needs to be reflected in the environment.

Small blue light sources dropped in for contrast.

Basic metal painting on Monique, showing the primary lighting coming from the text of the hologram, with additional lighting from various blue sources off-panel.

Finally, the internal blue lighting on Monique is added, as well as the glowing green text on Kelsie, with additional polishing and lighting effects added over the entire piece to tie it all together.

The finished piece can be seen (and prints of it purchased) on my RedBubble gallery.