Typically a vanitas is composed of symbolic objects that represent someone that has died, but for this project I choose objects that I believe represent myself. This challenged my skills of observation, patience, and discipline. I started by composing a still life with objects that resonated with me and that had interesting textures and colors.
After shooting them in a variety of different compositions I went to work. I sketched the objects and then began the painfully (paintfully...haha) time consuming layering of the different colors. I blocked in initial values, then added shadows and highlights.
Layering and Layering and Layering. The beauty of painting in photoshop is that you can layer and develop the rich color of the object, similar to oil paints, but it's more forgiving. This project took approximately 50 hours, with over 150 layers.