Genesis of an image

I’ve read a lot this year about the organisation called Birthrights. They seem to have been featured in may publications, probably because there is always a story about a woman who has been poorly treated in pregnancy. (You do seem to lose a lot of control and a lot of basic human rights when pregnant.) And perhaps also because their CEO, Rebecca Schiller, is a good writer and passionate about the cause.

Anyway, I was inspired to create an image that, for me, sums up the facts of women often being sidelined or even completely shut out of the decision-making process when pregnant.

I sketched my own pregnant lady, stylising her and patterning her in both pink and blue (how trad!) in Illustrator, including indicating the baby. I imagined some relevant human rights being showered down – so for this I used one of my own photos of a fountain at a famous garden I’d visited.  I wanted the rights to be padlocked with no visible key, which explains her stare.

I then drew a maze in graphite and coloured it digitally, and added some sea for it to float on, from another of my own photos.

The chain is one of the brushes in Clip Studio Paint. CSP works well with .psd files but in this instance it  lost my top black-and-white layer – the layer was there but turning it on or off had no effect. I use the top layer for checking my values. So on return to Photoshop I simply added it back 🙂 Masking is so much easier in PS too.


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