Mercury II: an insight

Mercury was the second part I did for this series but is the one that starts the story line. This particular artwork was done after I could define colors and elements on Mercury I (which I have yet to show), and the main idea was to deliver a very dense atmosphere, with strong shadows depicting the core of an organism and its more internal organs, which are part revealed and part unseen as Mercury itself, a dark sleeping fire waiting to be sparked inside every living body.

As some of you know masks have been part of my late works, and from the moment my HD crashed 2 years ago I decided to make them myself and be part of the handcrafted elements around the digital enhancements and automatic tools, this series was the perfect excuse to make all the props myself.

This mask in particular was part inspired by insects and armory as for vegetal features that could blend with the surroundings. It was done with wires as base structure, paper-mache to give volume, plaster gauzes for covering, and cold porcelain to fine details and finishing the look. That’s basically how I make all my masks. The ones for this series are very simple, I only added the fancy elements digitally because I did not want them to break or fall off during the shooting and is always more inspiring to see a basic shape and change it later or add up something in photoshop as I did in this image.

And these are the pictures I took for this artwork. I’ve got some comments of people that couldn’t say what were those branches surrounding her, all those are bones, deformed and re colored. Some lost their shape completely, others I decided to left them as their original pictures.

I have to say the process of this one was quiet different from what I do usually since I was entirely based on the original photo as you can see, and then added the elements. Not like in most of my works where I assemble from scratch the background and objects. There’s no sketch either for this image, one thing that changed completely my view on this photo and inspired me to keep on working on it was to rotate it vertically, suddenly every element I had in my head fitted the composition.