Award-winning digital artist and creative director Pete Harrison first created this experimental piece as part of his latest Fractured series. “Fractured will be similar to my Beauty series, but will concentrate more on concept and execution,” Harrison explains. He aims to experiment with this style further, creating work that focuses on fracturing forms of beauty in a more modern and refined way while still keeping the piece’s simple yet dynamic aesthetics. “In Fractured 02 I wanted to play around with a few new techniques, mainly paint manipulation as an extension of the model’s figure and form,” he continues. “I used only Photoshop for the piece and freestyled a bit as I went along with no difficulty, just by trial and error and seeing what worked and what looked good. I definitely achieved what I wanted to and I look forward to working on my next piece.”
Setting up I started off with the base photo I would work from. I wanted to create a piece from the side view as opposed to straight on. My image was black and white originally, but I added my own colour later.
Masking the model I began by cutting out the model with the Pen tool so she was on her own layer. Next, I added a coloured background and masked out the areas that I wanted to add effects to. The coloured background let me clearly see which parts I had masked.
Emphasising the fracture Once this was done, I duplicated the model layer and applied a Hide All layer mask to it. Next, I hand painted areas on the mask that I wanted to keep to further emphasise how her skin was going to be fractured.
Splatter effects I converted the background back to black and white and applied a layer mask, then added some gradients to the background and added noise to those. I followed this by adding some paint splatter effects to the image, erasing areas I didn’t need.
Fracturing the model I added some effects underneath the model layer, so it looked like the inside of the subject’s body was being fractured and torn apart in some areas. I also worked more on the head and got some of the main background structures down on the model.
Adding particle effects The next step was to blend the paint splatters into the skin, add noise and texture so they looked more like skin, and add some dust particles falling off from the model. I then painted in some fake hair around the head where it had fractured.
Final gradients To create the finished piece, I applied several gradient maps and large colour spots behind the subject, making sure all the gradients were smooth and then finally cropped the image.