003 | Visualization and Stock

One of my favorite ways to get inspired is to host Post Your Pony. Each month, all members are welcome to enter a horse into the contest for a chance to win a free horse avatar. I love seeing their creative ideas and fancy ponies. January’s winner was Rocky Mtn Paints with her mare, The Morrigan. In this column, I will explain how her piece was created.

Google is a valuable tool in researching ideas for a work of art. However, images and ideas can’t be used straight from the search. Instead, collect key information and jot it down on paper, scribble it into your editing software (like PhotoShop or Gimp), or sketch out your idea.

The Morrigan is a Celtic goddess of a darker nature, representing both life and death, a shape-shifter who features wings and has crows for companions. She also keeps watch over areas of water such as lakes or rivers. Keeping this in mind, I looked for stock that went well with this vision. Free sites like DeviantArt or Unsplash have plenty of stock to choose from. Also available are sites like AdobeStock or Shutterstock which are pay-to-use sites. In order to see whether or not pay-to-use stock works for you, you can download the previews first so you don’t waste money. 

Here, you can see how I laid out this piece using the watermarked preview images. To represent The Morrigan, I wanted to portray her as darker, more stoic character so I chose a pose with minimal movement where her face is pointed more towards the viewer. It’s also possible that she sees you, the viewer, as an intruder in her hidden oasis. Keeping her position in mind, I found a set a crow wings that were in a similar pose to represent her shape-shifting abilities. When using wings, making sure the position matches the subject helps to pull the piece together better than a mismatched set. The finished background is made up of 3 images: foreground (grass), background (waterfall, river, and rocks), and the sky. Because I was headed for a darker character, the background setting should also be of a darker nature. Lighter elements such as small flowers and light rays also represent The Morrigan since she is also associated with life. To see the completed version of The Morrigan, please catch her here.

Each site or stock provider can operate differently in the way they want to be credited. For some, you may only need to credit the actual site, like Shutterstock or Adobe Stock. For others, like DeviantArt or Unsplash, you will need to credit the stock provider (or username) and the site. Also, each stock provider may have their own rules about how and where to use their stock.

Several stock photos went into creating this piece and they must be credited appropriately. In the planning stage, if I find myself using quite a few stock photos, I will generally try to use the same providers. This decreases the amount of credit text on the finished image. For The Morrigan, most of the stock came from Shutterstock and Adobe Stock. The only exception is the horse, who came from ElaineSeleneStock on DeviantArt.

Below are some helpful forum threads regarding crediting:

How to Credit Art on Horse Eden

Stock Providers and Stock Usage Tips

Not Allowed Art Sources

If you have any special requests you would like to see included in The Art Corner, please contact me through Horse Eden (#28845).

Until next time,
Coldwater Meadows

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