3D graphics airbrush | collage | fotomelt



Fotomelt: clear and accessible, combines photography and drawing. 

Fotomelt is a great style that newly literate adults and children can understand more easily. In South Africa there are many cultures. Books in the local African languages are usually written and drawn for that specific culture. So the little details need to be correct. This is where photos capture the details that one may miss when simply drawing a picture. Children especially, like to see familiar details from their own homes and towns, in the pictures. Let’s face it, we all like to be reassured with the familiar when entering the new.

Fotomelt is a great way to illustrate stories with a degree of realism. One can include well-known faces and places drawn from manipulated photographs.  Once the necessary elements have been put into a background, (again, this can be drawn from many sources) the main characters can be added too. These can also be in the Fotomelt style or in a different one, e.g Zen Zany as happens in  Chicken Pox and Honey Baby. There are also Fotomelt backgrounds in a book by a North American author, Lisa Suhay: ‘The Mermaid who came in on the Tide.’  

The only thing with Fotomelt is to make sure the light-source comes from the same side onto every object and every person. If it doesn’t, I flip the element so that it ‘works’ convincingly. People do notice this subconsciously. Often, shadows have to be added too.

Once everything looks like a convincing photograph of an actual event, I add lines. Then the entire thing is knitted together with a few more processes. Thus the picture is seen as a whole, a painterly drawing of a moment in time, not a pastiche or conglomerate form of collage.

Clients who commissioned work shown here, include Cambridge University Press and Shuter and Shooter Publishers (Pty) Ltd