Sleeping Unicorn and girl - Imagination Session

February 12, 2019  •  1 Comment

Many people ask, what exactly an "Imagination Session" really is and why they cost so much. Well, thanks to my daughter I had the chance to capture some screen shots during the process of one of my latest images I created.

I don't know about you, but the Unicorn craze has hit our home like wildfire and everything on Raelee's I want list has a Unicorn involved. So when we recently purchased her new bed we told her that we would redecorate her room to turn it into her "big girl room" and asked what she wanted for a theme. Of course the answer was, Unicorns.

In the past she was into Superheros, so for a while we had all her Supergirl photoshoot photos put on canvas and placed them in her room. However, now...well lets just say Supergirl doesn't mess with sparkly Unicorns lol.  Anyhow after some thought I took Raelee into the studio and took some shots of her reaching out, acting like she was around a imaginary unicorn and I happened to take a shot of her laying on one of my prop chairs. This image turned out to be the image I decided to go with for this design. I had the perfect idea in mind for her snuggled up to a beautiful white unicorn.

Once I had my image of Raelee, I then moved into my files and took a look at what backgrounds and horses I had available to me. I ended up choosing a very cool forest scene and a beautiful white horse.

And of course I needed my unicorn horn overlay.

Once I had these opened in my program my next job was to remove the background from my image of Raelee. This is done, by selecting my subject, refining the edges so I don't loose details, and then creating a copy of my selection, resulting in the image below.

Now it was time to add my images together. This typically takes a very good eye and understanding of distances and details to make sure your combined images look correctly. One simple mistake could throw the whole image off. For instance, if I make the Unicorn to big for the background and Raelee, then it won't look real. If I make Raelee too big in comparison to the Unicorn, it will make the Unicorn look fake. So on and so forth.

Once I was happy with my sizing, I then decided I wasn't too happy with how square Raelee looked leaning on the Unicorn, I felt I needed to shift her upper body to make it a little more believable.

After I was happy with the look of her positioning, I then began to blend the Unicorn and Raelees dress into the background by using my grass/fur brushes. And added some shadowing to give Raelee and the Unicorn some more depth. This is another very important factor that needs close attention. As if your lighting is coming from behind to want to make sure the shadows follow the light source you are using or going with, if you don't... you guessed it. It won't look real.

Now that I was happy with my progress, Raelee and the Unicorn we blended, and so was my shadows and background it was time to turn my attention the my Unicorn horn. My horn (as seen above) was more of a gray so I ended up using a gold texture to make the horn more Golden and magical. Then once again blended the horn in with the hair of the Horse.

At this point I was very happy with how my image turned out, but felt it still wasn't totally blending and giving the all over Magical feel I wanted, so I went in and added some foreground as well as distinguished some lighting  in the background to help tie it together.

Then added a little spot lighting effects to give that beautiful subtle vignette I wanted to finish the image off.

Finally I was left with a very beautiful image I was very proud of. I'm sure Raelee will be thrilled and surprised once this canvas arrives and is placed above her new big girl bed.

I hope you all enjoyed this little glimpse into the process of an Imagination Session.

Remember, anything is possible when you use your imagination! And I would LOVE to bring your own dream to life.


This is amazing and explained perfectly! Love your work!
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