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Occupational Hazard by DeepBlueDesign (print image)


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Artist's Statement

I’ve walked around with this idea for a while now. That’s what happens when you watch too much CSI ;).

I started with tracking down stock which would fit in with the idea I had in my head. I never make a sketch upfront, probably because I’m too lazy. I always start throwing elements at a blank canvas straight away and see what happens. I don’t pay too much attention to technical details such as composition. I work on the principle that “if it looks right, it is right”.

Most of the stock images I used have been heavily modified. For instance, the door was originally a double door with a cute little puppy on the door step… Needless to say you do not want cute baby animals in a piece like this. So, I took the doggy out and put it somewhere safe; next, I chopped the door in half, moved the right hand side door frame over to the left and added a window (there was no window in the original door). All stock used comes from StockXchng and

The arms sticking out of the dumpster are 3D objects I made with DAZ 3D.

After all the elements were cut out, modified, desaturated and put in place, I used Levels, Curves and layer masks to blend everything together and make it look like one coherent environment. With hindsight, working in grey scale was the right thing to do for this piece. If I had started in colour I don’t think it would’ve come together as well as it did. Bringing back just two colours — a very desaturated brownish grey and a bright red — helpled to illustrate the uncomfortable and disturbing atmosphere I tried to achieve.

Unusual for me, I also did a lot of hand painting. All the blood, dirt, cracks, shadows (even the creepy guy shadow) and the lamp glow have been painted in by hand. I adore my tablet! The blood layers have a layer style with a very small Bevel & Emboss applied to make the blood a little shiny and gloopy. This effect is not immediately noticeable, but when you remove the layer style you can see the difference.
Lastly, I applied a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to make everything just a little bit darker, then I flattened the image, duplicated the resulting background layer and ran Unsharp Mask at 50%, 1.5 px and threshold 0. I set this layer to Luminosity. The sharpening brings out the details a little more. I flattened the whole thing once more and decided that enough was enough. Finished!

I really enjoyed this little project. It didn’t take too long to make and it came to fruition very quickly. I like playing with texture and this scene certainly has tons of texture.

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