Oh hello, this is my first official art-time submission! My name is Travis, and I like to ruin other people’s art or photos. In other words, I play with photoshop to transmute a thing or combination of things into something else, sometimes something completely different. You may already be familiar with my ruined version of Tom Nagy’s “No Go Solo” painting, but now I’m here officially, muahaha.
Guess what, it’s Rob’s birthday… so for my first submission I’ve decided to ruin his art! (Alright, so it was a week ago but I was ready on time. I just didn’t have the user rank to upload and post images until today.) I enjoy Rob’s infamous Awkbird™ painting, which to me is a perfect example of classic Rob Nagy artistic styling that I remember from many years ago.
So here’s what I did with Awkbird, it’s called “Mother Awkbird“:
Mother Awkbird found hungry baby birds and she’s feeding them with a regurgitated rainbow, the spew of choice for awkward animals. Clearly not the same species, but Mother Awkbird doesn’t mind because her maternal instincts have kicked in. She has also provided honorary baby party hats for the baby birds so that she doesn’t feel weird being the only one wearing a party hat.
why Travis, why?!
Awkbird reminded me of how awkward baby birds look in their nest when they’re eating regurgitated food from their mother. They’ve got long necks with chicken skin-like textures that they stretch as high as they can, with beaks open wide like a snake, with their lack of significant feathers, squawking away in unison.
I’ve seen a drawing or three of animals puking out rainbows, notably a unicorn, and I’ve found that it makes them look awkward and awesome at the same time. So the idea came to me that it would be fun to draw baby birds in their nest being fed by a bird spewing out a rainbow, and no better bird than Awkbird is up to this task. (despite being wingless)
- Awkbird was extracted, tilted, feet were redrawn and tilted, lower beak was extracted and tilted to open the mouth, party hat was distorted because I didn’t have enough vertical space at the top and also to look like it’s going backwards to add depth. Some lighting/shadowing and colour retouching was added to Awkbird for depth.
- Baby birds were extracted, edges were hand-modified, and a few layers were involved to get the overlapping that I wanted.
- Background nest image was enhanced and the front part of the nest was extracted to a new layer so that the babies could be placed inside. Many parts of the front nest were hand-made transparent to be more real. (Babies visible through gaps in the nest material.
- Baby party hats were created from the top portion of the original hat, color modified, base formed by hand, shape heavily distorted to fit their heads. Baby hat tassels added.
- The rainbow is from a fill gradient using a modified version of the default rainbow gradient, circle gradient was used, cropped to an arc, stretched and distorted to follow a suitable path and then fan out as it leaves the insides of Awkbird.
- There were I think 13 separate layers used to accomplish this image.
optional options that were optional
Even larger resolution than the linked high res image is available on request. Modifications are also possible without much difficulty.
My alternative idea for the nest was to go even weirder and use the Bird’s Nest Stadium from the Summer Olympics in Beijing, which would then make the birds giants. I was also considering using a heavily modified Awkbird to create the babies, or twiggy looking stick figure baby birds, but I decided to go with real baby birds. Another crazy option was to give the babies velociraptor heads, but that might have been enough awesomeness to cause injury to viewers so I didn’t want any potential lawsuits.