I have a fluid process. With layers to create the setting, individual characters, lighting, filters, camera height and settings, there is lots of play prior to getting the shot I am looking for and many surprises.
I begin making my works with thumbnails and concept drawings and I write a few words down about the atmosphere I am hoping to create. I then begin to build my layers. I use Yupo paper, a plastic paper. It has strength, allowing it to bend without creasing, and it stands up easily. It also catches the light quite beautifully and takes ink well. I have found that some interesting effects can be achieved with it if you spray it, roll over inked areas with other colours, etc.
Once I have some layers I begin to install them in my ‘theater’, a sweet little one that my husband made for me. The image above gives a sense of the scale I am working with. The theater is open on all sides, allowing me to light things from any angle. I use parchment for skies and often place coloured tissue behind it, to create distant landscape or clouds. Due to the open sides and bottom, I have wires to hold everything in place.
Some of my portfolio pages show multiples that demonstrate how the lighting can change the feel of the scene.