Roberta Marley, graphic design
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Adapting Artworkfor website graphics

This is one of the most challenging and fun parts of creating graphics for my clients. With my background in art history, when I work with historical fiction writers I know exactly what period or specific artist that will work when an illustration is needed for the graphics. If I don’t already have something suitable on file, I know which websites have the best free public domain or low cost and high resolution, royalty-free graphics.

Usually, an image only needs to be trimmed, resized or other minor tweaks made to use it on a webpage or book cover. But sometimes that’s only the first step because of the nature of historical images. If a painting is unrestored (paint flaking - and there are lots of distracting little black or white dots) or a photograph is in poor condition, I can do “repair” work on the digital image to hide the flaws.

And sometimes, almost everything about a particular image would be just right for it’s intended use, but there’s just one glaring detail that makes it wrong for my client’s story. That’s where the challenging and fun part of my job comes in. Here are the before and after images to illustrate how this works.

Header for Juliet Waldron’s Nightingale

Nightingale coverdetail of Copley painting

For the “Nightingale” webpages, the book cover image really wasn't suitable for a title graphic at the top of the page. I discovered the John Singleton Copley painting (detail above) and thought this would work perfectly because of the blue and rose silk (to complement the colors on the cover) as well as the birdcage. For texture in the background, I used a detail of an 18th century music manuscipt for voice.

original header for Nightingale

Artwork adapted for “Angel’s Flight” by Juliet Waldron book page

When artwork was needed for the “Angel’s Flight” book web pages, it was a challenge to find an 18th century painting of a young blonde, blue-eyed American patriot. The closest candidate was John Singleton Copley’s 1772 portrait of Mrs. Richard Skinner (Dorothy Wendell). Obviously, the problem is that Dorothy is a brown-eyed brunette. A little tweaking in Paint Shop Pro and Dorothy can now sit in as Angelica.

Copley's original painting of Dorothy Skinneradapted painting for Angelica

Artwork adapted for “My Mozart” by Juliet Waldron book excerpt

Romney lady original artworkoriginal painting with skull by Enckell

Here was the challenge: illustrate an excerpt from Juliet’s book “My Mozart.” It was posted for Halloween 2001 on her Mozart’s Wife web site. The novel is the story of a young singer who was in love with Mozart. In the excerpt, she posthumously rescues Mozart’s skull from his pauper’s grave. The catch phrase for the link to the page was “Whatever happened to Mozart’s Skull?” Obviously, I needed a late 18th - early 19th century period portrait of a beautiful young brunette who would look comfortable tenderly holding a skull, and as well as a painting of a skull at just the right angle.

adapted Romney paintingfinished button link

I realize the skull is floating just above her lap, but it seemed appropriate given the otherwordly circumstances of the tale. And to create a small button for the link, I wanted the image to fit inside a small oval - just a glimpse of the woman cradling the skull against her cheek.

Creating a logo for the Georgiana Institute using the client’s artwork

Georgie by Georgie
original Georgiana Institute logo 2003

redesigned Georgiana Institute logo 2015

My original business logo

original itpwebdesign logo