After experiencing the incredible storytelling and costuming in Hamilton, I was inspired to create some self portraits that replicate classical oil painting portraits. I figured, who wouldn't want an old-fashioned portrait of themselves looking powerful while rocking 18th century attire? I know I certainly wanted some.

How I built it

For this project I researched how artists in the 18th century composed and painted portraits for their rich patrons in attempt to emulate their visual style. To accomplish this, I created a makeshift costume reminiscent of 18th century fashion using an overcoat, a bathrobe, khaki pants, a button-up shirt, a frilled scarf, dress shoes, and my brother's basketball leggings. From here, I took photos of myself posing with various objects in front of a blank wall and then loaded these photos into Photoshop to begin my edits. For each image, I determined the specific color palette I wanted to work with and proceeded to change the colors of my clothing to have them complement the rest of the scene more effectively. While doing this, I would replace the floors of my original images with more realistic hardwood textures and I would replace the walls with combinations of period-appropriate tapestries, paintings, and billowing curtains. When coupled with the real objects I used in some of the photos, I felt the portions of the photos I edited actually blended in really well and helped make my scenes look relatively realistic.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

When using Photoshop to edit pictures by adding in new objects or scenes, it is often very easy for these images to appear unprofessional and clearly manipulated if the artist is not careful about blending the new objects in with the existing image. I felt that I did a pretty good job with this, since I think the paintings and curtains I inserted into my images blend very naturally even if they aren't super realistic.

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