Master and Servant 2D Entry: Martin Constable


Martin Constable has entered the Master and Servant 2D.

Challenge Page

Latest Update: Final Image: My Rebellious Self

Here it is. Wrote a small thingy on its making: Mostly stuff I found out whilst posting to this board. I have decided on a title: “My Rebellious Self”. Ambiguous, but hopefully it encompasses all my ideas and expectations of it.


I think my first posting was a bit thin on detail concerning the genesis of this piece. One benefit from this challenge is that it obliges one to account for oneself more fully. This can be a learning thing.

First: the idea. Being an art historian it is only natural that some of western art history has found its way into my thought processes. Without thinking too hard I can mention The ‘Flaying of Marsayus’ (by Titian), just about any painting of St Sebastian, various saint martyrdom images, the beheading of Sampson etc.

There is also quite a bit of ‘Mr Creosote’ exploding from Monty Python’s Meaning of Life (brilliant!).

Finally there is all the stuff out there in web land. I am a big fan of Ogrish. For anyone needing a source of really extreme images this is a one stop shop (warning! Not to everyone’s taste!).

As I mentioned, the emotional relationship between the two characters comes from the brief. That has developed since its first inception, I am now decided that the little man inside the first is the master. I see clearly now that it is a refference to the notion of body and how easily it rebels from being something that we master into something that masters us. The spaceman figure itself owes a lot to Caspar David Freidrich, one of my favourite Germans.

Second: realizing the image. I owe a lot to the ‘vista’ artifice in classical landscape painting.

Here is one by Gainsborough. I am addicted to this wonderfully effective yet simple device: a dark frame leading to a light toned centre. Many variations are possible within that basic set-up.

I am also indebted to those wonderful people at The Project Apollo Image Gallery. I do not know what I would have done without this incredible resource.

Third: the source material was the easiest part. I used stuff I already had lying around. This is one of my favourite ways of working.

The chest was from a self portrait project I have abandoned. The original image was simply a scanned photo. Not an ideal way of working as the resolution is only just big enough to print to the size I want . The insides were a re-hash of material I found when I was making ‘Loss, Pain and Regret. But Mostly Loss’

Assembling the first draught only took about an hour. Very simple. Been working at it pretty much 24/7 since then.


Well. Stating to warm up. It was my friends idea to remove the body altogether beneath his shirt. Works better I think. Worked out some of the formal issues in its construction. Most important was getting the planes right. From my diagram you can see that I set two planes going into each other leading towards the light source, much in the manner of the classic landscape vista.

The lower plane was set at a lower angle than the upper plane. Again, much like sky and ground. haven’t worked on the inside figure much.

Also worked on integrating the insides with the outsides. had trouble finding a good looking spine. Does anyone know a REEEEELLY good anatomy site for such stuff?

Browsing through the forum I see that other people have very different ways of working and there are also some interesting responses to the brief are going down. Going to have a better look when I have time.


Had a look round the forums. Some dam fine preparatory drawings out there. Never been much of a one for them myself. Prefer just to jump straight in. However, I attach one to to show the low expectations I place on my drawings. I made it an animated giff so people can see what bit of the photoshop it reffers to. Think it might not have been obvious otherwise!


cool beans bro. very interesting! the moon man does kind of gets lost in the guts of the pic.


interesting concept and gory man~ :thumbsup: love it


Yeh, yr right about the inside figure. Been working on it some. Also the general tone/colour of things. As you can see from my initial reference photo, I’ve had a long way to go in that regard. Been trying to do the Remberant thing on the light which means many, many tone adjustment layers. Still unsure of what exact direction I should go. The light looks a bit vague in its structure at the moment. Would welcome input.

Each little addition requires a separate adjustment layer. I would love a way to globally adjust several selected layers at one and this capacity is rumoured to be in the upcoming Photoshop. Cant wait.


Well… now I admit to being officially knackerd. That’s English for tired. The more I work on this thing the further away it seems to get. Bills are going unpaid, important emails unanswered. Thought I would take a break to do some posting.

Been looking at the colour. Want to share a tip with folks and also a feature request for the next Photoshop: the ability to view a file as HSL. Ironically this was in the first version of Photoshop, something I happen to have. When I am unsure as what to do next colour-wise I check out a flattened version of the file in Photoshop 1, looking at its Hue, Saturation and Luminescence channels. Somewhere in the hallowed boards there is a thread on duplicating the same effect in PS CS. Haven’t made it work yet.

HSL channels are very different from RGB. For my purpose, the two most important channels are S and L. L gives a tone overview of the whole thing (you can achieve much the same thing from de-saturating the image in an adjustment layer). Looking at it can tell you if your colour hasn’t distracted you from establishing a good tonal backbone to your image. Painters often check out their painting in a darkened room for much the same reason.

As you can see I still have some way to go on blending in those dark edges into the background (especially on right side).

The S channel is where all the goods are concerning your colour intensity values (the brighter, the more saturated). I have tried to concentrate those into the centre of the image. Might offset all this red with some sort of green later on. Might not.



and all of ur submissions including concepts must be sent through the cgtalk database,go to the main challenge page and click on submit entry.


i thought i was a goreholic.


Had a look round the forums. Some dam fine preparatory drawings out there. Never been much of a one for them myself. Prefer just to jump straight in. However, I attach one to to show the low expectations I place on my drawings. I placed it next to the source so people can see what bit of the photoshop it reffers to. Think it might not have been obvious otherwise! Bad though they are I am very fond of my scrappy drawings and keep all of them.

What the drawing is actually saying is that the three arrowed areas need working on. The cast shadow on the ribs need establishing, the edge of the hanging shirt needs lowering and the lung thing needs attention.


Thank you for telling me. I have done everything wrong. Doh! Will re-submit stuff in proper way.


dude haha,thats sick!

i think its against the rules to show this much gore!


Well I hope not. Though it might look a bit extreme you will notice that the guy doesn’t look too concerned at his situation. This, for me, exemplifies the metaphorical nature of the image. In other words it is a state of mind that the thing is ‘about’ and not the situation itself.

I have thought a lot about what the image comes from. Though I am loathed to get personal I can tell you this: that some years back I was chronically sick. I could not work for about three of four years. In that time I was obliged to no longer take my body for granted and to treat it as a thing in revolt. I could only sit back and become a passenger to its dysfunction.

This was neither a good thing or a bad thing. Everyone will eventually face something like this in their lives.

That is where this image comes from. What do people think?

(PS I am better now).


haha i hope u are better,i thinks its great,i’m just worried that it might conflict with the rules.

but lets hope its ok.its an interesting concept.


Here is the image further down the line. In the forum I have posted a little thing on colour. For me it helps to separate the tone from the colour and to do this I use the HSL capacity of Photoshop 1 (other application have this like Apples Shake).

Looking at what I have done so far I can see that the edges are still too dark (especially on the left hand side). Also the specific light condition is still a bit primitive.

For the flare I used Knoll Lens Flare. This is a tasty little plug-in that was invented by the same guy who invented Photoshop (we are not worthy! etc).


:eek:, well what can i say… is a very original concept i’ll never think i something like that.


Wonderful work man. Quite a delight, something fresh and interresting.


hey, great idea, so schizophrenic… keep up good work


Well here is the image further down the line. The colour has been greatly rationalised since my last posting.

I have separated it into two to demonstrate the following:

Previously: most local (ie arm layer, head layer, chest layer etc) tone adjustments were done via a topmost adjustment layer set. This was uneconomical and confusing. I have now separated local adjustments onto local layers (seen in the left half) and the global ‘tweaks’ onto the topmost layer set (right half). It helps to keep a tidy file.

I have, in the process, tidied the file up visually. I shall post some before and afters in the forum to show what I mean.

I still have a long way to go. My progress is slowing down considerably (the last %10 takes longer than the first 90 etc) and I do not expect to have it finished until at least a weeks time.


wow, i really like the flesh and organs:thumbsup: