Venetian Spectre

If there’s an introductory course to Photoshop you better believe that there are going to be at least a few watered-down Dave McKean homages to emerge during the semester. It can’t be helped.

When asked to create a Photoshop collage this week for homework I found myself floundering. After all, I’m an accidental photographer and a scavenger of images; I don’t create them from scratch! Not since art school have I been required to generate something from nothing! Then, to my horror, I realized: I am in art school again.

Because the possibilities within Photoshop are limitless I decided to set some parameters. Firstly, I would only use imagery from my recent trip to Italy and secondly I’d create something “in the style of” the aforementioned Dave McKean. This seemed fitting considering that for many who came of age in the 90s McKean’s covers for Sandman where the first indication of the imaging power promised by Photoshop.

Furthermore, I’ve been slowly building up a repository of sketches for larger drawings inspired by the artworks and heritage of Italy. Venice left the deepest impression. It exuded an odd allure coupled with a mysterious foreboding. This underlying sense of dread was cemented by a startling nightmare I had during one night of our stay. While the image above isn’t a part of these initial sketches it does manage to capture some of the same unsettling qualities. Here is my footman for that opulent epicenter of decay. He seems a fitting guide for the quiet narrow streets and crooked, shuttered, homes.

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