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Head Jazz - Variations

Here it is, all my talk of using layers writ large and obvious. Five layers, four rotations, with a decision each time as to what mode each layer should be. That's nine steps from the original, ten if you include cropping. The result is, I think, one of the best things I've made during this recent personal creative renaissance. This design is called "Head Jazz 3," so named because of an earlier version of this work.

The source photo for this series is pictured here in its unedited, straight-out-of-the-camera form. This photo was taken, as with all my shots of Europe, during the trip in 2005. What we're seeing here is a view from a wee rooftop patio atop a really good hostel in Granada, Spain, at the closing of a good day. I can say the "good day" part with confidence because all of my days in Granada were good days. Hot, though - high thirties, low forties.

From that original image, I made the following design more than a few years ago - "Channel 8." Really just fooling around and trying stuff out. I wanted to try texturing the gradient a certain way, and also increase the density of the silhouettes. This is the result.

Last week, I was strolling down memory lane via my old Flickr page when I was reminded of Channel 8, and decided to use it as fodder for some new work.

I have been making so many mandalas lately, I wanted to try something less balanced and symmetrical. You can hardly be more successful at this than "Head Jazz," an exercise in colourful chaos:

I named it "Head Jazz" because it reminded me of Disney music visualization animations, I really like this one; it's very unlike me, and getting out of the comfort zone is very important. As with all my recent work, the colour palette is a result of the original image and subsequent layer mode manipulations. In other words, the colours are emergent, rather than imposed.

Naturally, I was curious as to how this one would look turned into a mandala. I made a lot of versions, and I like this one the best. Not a true mandala, mandala-esque. A good mix of chaos and order. "Head Jazz 2":

After that one, I want back to the original source photo and put together "Head Jazz 3." Let's have another look at it, just for the sake of the narrative sequence:

What we're seeing here is me starting to make a mandala with the original image and then stopping when I reached this point. Sometimes you have to know when to stop.

And because sometimes curiosity gets the better of you:

Head Jazz 4

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