Since releasing the first images in the Newborn Masterpiece Collection in March I have received numerous questions. The most often asked query is how the backgrounds are made. I love that several people have asked if the backgrounds are actually painted. While that is definitely the look I was going for I cannot profess to be a talented painter in the least degree. In this post I will be sharing some of the behind the scenes secrets for how I created these masterpieces and incorporated them into my newborn photography.
If you missed my earlier post with the behind the scenes video you can find it here. Special thanks to Renee Angela Media for the awesome video.
Each masterpiece starts off in the kitchen believe it or not. I am not much of a cook but I have gotten quite good at dyeing wools and fabrics. My sweet daughter loves helping me in the kitchen wether it is cooking, cleaning or dyeing wool. It’s important to wet the wool first before putting it in the pot with the dye. This helps the colors soak in evenly.
These materials are touchy and if you are rough with them you actually can inadvertently cause the wool to felt (which is an amazing process and I occasionally will felt wool for use in my photography). So I’ve taught my daughter to handle it gently.
To properly dye wool you need to pay attention to how hot your water is.
Once you’ve achieved your desired color remove from the pot and allow to dry completely.
Once I have my pallet of colors ready to “paint” with I set out the base for my backdrop.
I suppose there are a hundred different things I could have used for my base. I just used what I had on hand that was flexible and could be rolled up for storage. Here my kids are helping lay the first pieces down for Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers.
I use a process of building upon colors to gradually add depth and shadows to the image I am trying to create.
I use darker pieces to add shadows and lighter for highlights and attempt to mimic the painting as far as is possible and will work with a newborn in the mix. Add a darling baby and you have a newborn masterpiece!
Thank you to everyone for your support. I am looking forward to creating the last three images in this series.