No Woman No Cry. Implementation

Bob Marley. No Woman No Cry

Implementation »

The Song title No woman No Cry means No Woman dont cry. The first no is emphatic. She is being consoled as can be ascertained from the repeated line

everything’s gonna be alright

My guess is about dealing with the hardships of life.In other line he say

My feet is my only carriage So I’ve got to push on through

I think it means even thought things are difficult, there is nothing in the way of help. I must rely on myself so must persevere.

This composition make use of thresholds.The representation is the style of stencilled wall art. The way in which many disadvantage with no other means of outlet have their say.


The hardship is expressed through the grittiness of the piece, the cracking wall, the flaked stripped paintwork.

More directly the woman s hardship is conveyed by a woman carrying a baby is a tradition wrap look rather disconsolate.

Starting with Bob




Applying a non destructive dodge to create some separation between the hair and background using a new layer above the image, blend mode set to overlay and 50% grey color fill. I remove the remainder with the lasso tool. ending up with the image to the right.


To get a reduced version I opted for the stamp filter over threshold. The result seemed much smoother.

Now for the woman and baby. Getting a threshold representation on the base image was a little tricky. An attempt to make the face light would blow out most of the details elsewhere. Trying to dark the wrap to get a good representation made other areas solid black.




The first step was to remove the background with quick selection. Was the cleanest method but that wasn’t important as the imperfection wouldn’t be noticeable in the threshold image.

Getting a good threshold image needed to be done in several steps. Making multiple copies of the base image, setting the adjustment layer correct for a particular part, and masking out the rest. Next combining the results portions using merge layers, holding Alt/Option to get a copy.



The various wall paint were taking from marking trials. Using the magic wand-tool to select random ad hoc portions, finally using techniques such as color overlays and then soft brushes with reduced opacity to get the desired effect.

What surprised me is how the paint highlighted key areas of the woman and child giving life to the stencil.

The paint colours were specifically chosen as reggae artists tend to use a lot of red,yellow and green. Here the yellow is mostly represented by the underlying texture



The flaking in the top corner is paint, but with the multiply blend mode and appropriate layer mask, adjustment layers looks like cracks in the wall.

I didn’t give much thought to the text other than the fact I didn’t want to use a stencil font. There was enough stencilling in this piece already. I chose a colour from the background as a stroke colour to make it sit a little better against the wall. Final Work

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