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I thought you might want to see how I composed a recent photomontage.

First, I had no plan to make this composition. I didn’t think “Gee, I’m have this composition in mind with a woman in a gown standing in the desert with a coyote.” No, with this, as with most of my compositions, I saw an image that grabbed me and it grew from there.

I was browsing an online fashion and home decor catalog (Stylehive, if you really want to know), and I came across this image that really caught my attention.

I usually try to use my own photographs whenever possible, but since I have no plans on selling this piece and I composed it as a mere amusement for myself and a few others, I grabbed the image. As you will see in the finished piece, I heavily manipulated the image using Photoshop.

Next, I needed a visual context for the woman. I reviewed all my personal photographs and found nothing suitable, so I opened up Terragen, a landscape generating program, and crafted this background. This was perhaps the hardest part of the composition.

Next I pulled up two of my own photographs that I took at a local nature reserve that seemed to be an appropriate fit for the desert background. I extracted the foreground shrubbery in one and the background trees in the other.

I started putting these images together in Photoshop, moving around the layers until I was satisfied with the balance. However, it seemed a little unexciting. After thinking about it for a few minutes, I realized that the woman needed a mascot and that the desert scene suggested some sort of desert animal. The coyote popped immediately into mind. So I started googling coyote images until I found one that would fit the composition.

After putting together the elements, making sure that shadows were all falling in the same direction, I began applying Photoshop filters to give the feel of a painting. There came a moment when I thought, “that’s it; it’s finished”, and I was left with this final composition that I entitled “Desert Muse.”

I hope this little demonstration has been helpful to you as you construct your own compositions.

L.Gloyd (c) 2008


I was playing with the watercolors and the salt eraser in Painter, and then decided to paste the negative of an image traced from one of this past autumn’s raven photos, and came up with this. I though he was kind of fun!

-She Wolf(c)2008

Painter of the desert, done by using airbrushes and blender from Corel Painter

Mud Eyes
For this montage, I started with mud and a pair of eye balls. Intuitively, I placed the eyes in the mud. Everything else came as I was pulled more into the montage and what it was speaking to my soul. The picture was created in Corel PhotoPaint and Adobe Photoshop. I usually like using two to three software programs when creating a photo montage or digital painting. Here’s the poem that was written after completion of the montage that tells the story:

languid in the sun
memories fly with the wind
pregnant with meaning

while brown earth and me
shape form and creative mind
into molded myth

and mud eyes that see
principled composition
captures the fancy
with moist lips of red,
soft and sensual movement,
evoke artful dreams
free and powerful,
a prophetess of stillness
expresses innocence


This is one of my very first creations using Photoshop. I’ve learned so much since 2003.

Lori Gloyd (c) 2003, 2007

“Where is the World is Lemuria?”

Lori Gloyd (c) 2007

Digital Construction

The photographic elements are the map and the raven, to which various filters, color adjustments, and type were added in different layers.  The bamboo wall is a custom pattern fill.


I created this montage of images in Photoshop and Terragen.  In Terragen I created the mountain, sky and lake, which I then copied into Photoshop as a background layer.  The woman, cat, tree, pillows, rug, and wallhanging were photographic elements.  The walls, floor, and curtains I drew by hand.  I used a number of texture filters to create the fabric, tile and plaster textures.  The woman was a black and white image that I hand colored.   This image was created in over 30 layers and took 8 – 10 hours.


Lori Gloyd

(c) 2007

Blackpool Towers

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May 2020

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