Coffee Picker


coffee picker original photograph

This was the base photograph, from the University College Dublin online journal, the University Observer. I loved the composition, and the palette. For the purposes of the poster I decided to go with a two-dimensional, more abstract version of the image.


coffee picker image stage 1

stage 1

The first thing was to lay out the trace of the coffee-picker's body with the pen tool. I knew I would be laying in a lot of foliage later in the construction, so anything that would be covered up was just kept to a minimal amount ot shape detail to save time.


coffee picker image stage 2

stage 2

Next, still using the pen tool, I added the head scarf, and the detail of the ear. I chose to draw in an earring not found in the original photograph for the hit of color. Although the lights and shadows in the photograph are lovely I opted to do minimal detail work, suggesting fabric folds with abstract lines and shapes rather than using blends and blurs for realism.


coffee picker image stage 3
stage 3

For the fabric of the dress I wanted to use the photograph as inspiration to add texture, so I made a simple pattern and saved it as a swatch, then traced out the shapes and used the swatch as a fill.


coffee planter image stage 4
stage 4

The sash and the collar and cuff of the dress were the last things dropped in. To keep the workspace clean, all of the layers for the coffee picker were grouped together in a master layer.


coffee picker image stage 5
stage 5

I made five symbols for this image from two basic shapes. Again, I wanted to k eep everything clean and abstract so shading was only suggested with traced shapes. I adjusted the colors on the leaves and coffee berries to give a little variation.

I used multiple layers over and under the coffee planter to give depth to the image, then used the symbol sprayer to scatter the leaves. I used the rotate tool to make the foliage more random, and lightly applied the symbol stain tool to lighten and darken in a few areas for added contrast and depth.

I created more layers, interwoven with the leaf layers to spray in the berry symbols.


coffee picker final image
final image