Elements Series – Aura (Air)

Elements Series - Aura (Air) by Erin Applebee | Life of Dahlia

In today’s post I’m sharing with you my image inspired by the Air Element, this image is called ‘Aura’ which means Air. I have had the concept for this image in my head for quite a while but I never did anything with it until now. I knew the concept or idea I had in my head would fit well with this image. I imagined this light airy creature floating in the clouds and I knew it would be perfect for the ‘Air’ Element.

Aura (inspired by the Air Element)

Elements Series - Aura (Air) by Erin Applebee | Life of Dahlia
Aura (Air) by Erin Applebee – Final image copyrighted to Erin Applebee
Background image by Tom Barrett on Unsplash. full credits at the bottom of this post.

I already knew this concept would take a bit to do but I knew I wanted to finally take on the challenge for this image.

I decided to order a new wig (which I had been wanting to do anyway and this just gave me the excuse to do it) so that I could have a decent quality wig to work with as my older one is cheap and just doesn’t look that nice without a hat on. I order the wig pictured and my green wig from my earth image off of amazon.com.au they are both great quality and only cost me around $50 each.

I also knew that I wanted to include wings in this image because I wanted my character to have a fairy or angel look to her. I decided to go with some realistic fairy wings that I purchased a few years ago, these things are like my pride and joy they are stunning and just add a whimiscal look to an image.

Who says your to old to believe in fairies?

For my dress I decided to go with this light purple one that I had in my waldrobe, all the dresses or garments I use in my work are ones I picked up from second hand stores and (opshops) thrift stores. I’ve found some real gems this way.

Elements Series - Aura (Air) by Erin Applebee | Life of Dahlia
Aura (Air) by Erin Applebee – Final image copyrighted to Erin Applebee
Background image by Tom Barrett on Unsplash. full credits at the bottom of this post.


For the makeup for this image I wanted to add some light blue or purple tones with some white lashes and lots of sparkle. Even if this doesn’t show of in the final image I still love it and again this is why I like to share makeup images along with my work because then I can share more of my concept with people.

Elements Series - Aura (Air) by Erin Applebee | Life of Dahlia
Makeup for Aura (Air) by Erin Applebee – image copyrighted to Erin Applebee
Background image by Tom Barrett on Unsplash. full credits at the bottom of this post.

I went for a bleach brow to help better match my wig because my brows are naturally dark I needed to lighten them a bit and for my lashes I wasn’t sure what to do initially but I ended up adding some white to them with a white eyeliner to enhance that light and airy look.

I also added lots of sparkle to and under the eye using some shimmery eyeshadow and sparkly eco (cosmetic-grade) glitter.


This image like I said I have actually had in my head for a while, I remember seeing a piece by artist ‘Selina Fenech’ in which she had a character in the clouds and I think that image just stuck with me. Her piece is called ‘Eye of the Storm’ and has a more stormy look to it with lightning and stormy clouds (You can find it and all her work via her website selinafenech.com) but I definitely wanted a more light and airy look to my image.

Elements Series - Aura (Air) by Erin Applebee | Life of Dahlia
Behind The Scenes of Aura (Air) by Erin Applebee

The Photography Process

The photographing process for this image actually took the longest out of all the images in this series, I had to photograph my character and then photograph extras. I knew I wanted to have my character floating or levitating in the air so I needed to photograph hair and fabric movement to edit in later on. (If you want to know more about how to composite or photograph hair or fabric I recommend checking out Brooke Shaden I learnt alot of this stuff from her.)

I photographed all these on a black background because it was a good contrast to my subject and It would make it easier to cut out later on in Photoshop.

Taking the hair and fabric photos definitely took up a chunk of my time during the photographing process, it had been a while and I was out of practice so it probably took me an hour and a half to photograph everything.

Video Edit Walkthrough (find all credits at the bottom of this post)

The Editing Process

The editing process on this image took a while I was probably working on this for a few days until I was happy with it plus I was having computer issues at the time so that made it take a little longer.

In the video walkthrough you can see that I started with the background layer which is a photo by Tom Barrett on Unsplash.com, I don’t show it but I actually edited that layer and gave it some adjustments including colour adjustments as well as applying Topaz Labs Impressions, because the image was a bit grainy when I imported it but I also add this over my whole image later on.

Then I brought in my subject or character, I cut her out of the original image and then got rid of all that unnecessary black background. I also decided to scrap the wings and add in as a separate layer because they were askew in the original image. And also so I could add extra movement to make them look like they were moving.

I then extended the hair and fabric on the dress so that it looks like my character is floating. From here I add shadow, highlights and smokey textures. Then I add colour using Photoshop Actions From Fineartactions.com and a Sun Flair using Photoshop Filters.

And lastly, I add glow & painterly effects using plugin’s from Topaz Labs (Glow & Impressions (painterly effects)) and added in a texture layer over the top to give a canvas look.

Every time I get to write about the pieces in this series I just leave with a feeling of happiness and contentment. 2015-16 was a year that I felt happy to be creating and in 2017 & 18 I felt like I had lost the inspiration to create this way. I think because of my health and mental health I felt lost and uninspired or unsure how to execute the ideas in my head.

I hope that in the future that I can find my groove again and keep feeling inspired to create this way.

Thank you for continuing to read my blog and follow me, you can see my whole series on my Instagram pages, I’ll be sharing this on both of them and you can find all the other posts on my blog.

Beauty Insta: @ erinappbeauty , Personal/art Insta: @ erin_applebee

Until next time, I hope you have a lovely day.

Image & Music Credits:

All Photos other than the ones credited below were taken by me (Erin Applebee)

Background Photo used in my Image is by Tom Barrett on Unsplash.com

Video Intro Image Credits:
Candle: https://www.pexels.com/@tuca-bianca-116780
Bonfire: https://www.pexels.com/@vladbagacian

Video Music Credits: Meadow by Density & Time

Disclaimer โ€“ This post is not sponsored and doesnโ€™t contain any affiliate links, links included are for reference only in case your interest in checking out anything mentioned in this post. Read full Disclaimer here.

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