Behind the Scenes Look!

One time, I was talking with someone about the Illustrated Rosary books and what I did to make them. His response?

“So… you stick pictures with prayers?”

“Uh, well — yes, basically, sure, but –”

“That’s it?”

At that point, I realized that he was basically uninterested about the entire idea and a bit annoyed that he was even talking to me in the first place, so I decided to just drop the conversation and politely bow out.

But, oh boy! Did I want to respond! Because, yes, the initial premise is pretty basic, I’ll give him that. When I first had this idea of pairing every prayer with the Rosary, I thought this would be a fairly easy project that I could do in a couple weeks! However! As with anything, once you get past the basic premise, it can get a little more complicated…

For instance!

When I first gave a sneak peek into The Glorious Mysteries in this blog post, I left you on a bit of a cliffhanger! I told you that I had a hard time trying to find an artwork for the Ascension that would fit into one of the pages!

See, the artwork that pairs the scripture readings is a full page artwork that fills the entire page. That means that there are certain requirements for the picture:

  1. It has to have certain dimension and proportions to completely fit a 8 inch by 10 inch page properly.
  2. It has to be super high quality to fit a large page.
  3. All the important parts of the picture has to fit within the croplines.

Well. This was my first attempt of trying to fit the page. And it almost worked! The image was high quality! The proportions were right! The only problem? Apparently, Jesus’s head was juuuust in the crop lines. And, as you can see, it cropped off the head of Jesus.

…oops.

Not good!

Clearly that wasn’t going to work. So! I scoured the internet for pictures of the Ascension for an image that would fit and not have Jesus’s head cropped off, from museum websites to Wikimedia Commons, to Pinterest to anything in between.

Nothing.

All the Ascension images that I found had Jesus’s head at the very top. Or, the proportions

Finally, in an act of desperation, I looked at through the listings of auction houses that specialize in fine art. And…. finally, I found one picture that fit! And it wouldn’t crop off Jesus’s head!

Hooray!

Here is the picture:

The Harrowing of Hell with the Three Marys at the Tomb; and The Ascension of Christ, by Thomas Schick II, c. 16th century. Private collection. Via IllustratedPrayer.com
The Harrowing of Hell with the Three Marys at the Tomb; and The Ascension of Christ, by Thomas Schick II, c. 16th century. Private collection.

So! The new plan? Crop the image of the Ascension, enlarge it, and put it in the book!

How hard could it be?

Well, as it turns out! It was actually pretty hard! Because as soon as I enlarged it to the proper size that it needed to be when it was printed, the image became pixelated and awful. And, when I tried to smooth out the pixelation, the eyes of all the apostles and Mary basically disappeared, making them look creepy and strange.

Did I mention that this was the only picture that I found that even remotely fit?

So! Desperate times call for desperate measures. And so I proceeded to digitally hand paint all the eyes back on all of the faces. And, since I had to edit the picture anyway, I brought out the gold paint that surrounded the apostles’ heads and cleaned up the picture.

This is what it looks like now:

The Ascension of Christ, by Thomas Schick II, c. 16th century. Private collection. Via IllustratedPrayer.com
The Ascension of Christ, by Thomas Schick II, c. 16th century. Private collection.

And it looks beautiful.

 

A look at the final Ascension picture from The Glorious Mysteries, by Karina Tabone. Via IllustratedPrayer.com
Yay!

And so, yes. Sometimes it is a matter of just putting images in and making sure they look pretty. But! Sometimes it is… a bit more complicated. And, when that happens, sometimes I end up digitally restoring religious artwork made in 16th century. 🙂

This blog was a behind the scenes look of the making of The Glorious Mysteries! If you’re interested in the book, you can take a peek at it and buy it here!

 

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