Transforming Myself Into Miss Harley Quinn

I was inspired to create this art piece whilst researching the character of Harley Quinn to create a comic as a part of my Narrative college project. I stumbled upon a poster of her that was used to advertise the 2016 movie 'Suicide Squad' when I realised 'I could do that'... and so I did!

After analysing the poster I dressed myself up and gave myself a red and blue, Gotham City makeover. I set up a simple black background in my bedroom and put my camera on my tripod to take a self-portrait. To create even lighting, I used my remote flash and trigger. I'm no model so it took a few tries to pull the right facial expression and match the poster, but I soon worked it out! After my photoshoot, I uploaded my photographs onto my laptop and searched through them to find the most suitable one. I then uploaded it into Photoshop and set to work.

The main things I knew I had to do were to crop it, add the red and blue gradients, darken some of the contours of my face and enhance the coloured make-up. I constantly reflected upon the poster I was copying as I wanted to make them as similar as possible. I realised that I had to make my face paler and remove the pink tones from my hair and replace them with the red and blue colourings as these were the most important things I needed to change in order to look more like the real Harley Quinn.

I added my own touch by creating lens flare to make my image more cinematic and to give it an open composition. What I like most about my art piece is how I coloured my eyes and used the dodge tool to lighten parts of them. This draws in my audience's attention and becomes the place where their eye will rest. Once I was close to finishing my art piece, I realised that I had to improve the shade of blue that I had created. It was too dark and needed to be more of an aqua/turqouise shade in order to match the colouring in the poster. I used Lightroom to help me do this as I find it easier to use the colour adjustment tools in it compared to Photoshop.

Whilst I was editing my photograph I decided to do a screen recording so that after, I could speed it up to create a video which shows the steps I took to create my final piece. You can watch this video below through YouTube or on my Instagram as an IG TV video.

Below you can see the RAW photograph that I started with & the poster that was my inspiration for this piece.