Snowy Header

Here is a little bit of the process behind the creation of our new header image for Mertens Creations:

My original idea involved snow and a road stretching across the foreground, so I mocked up an idea and added a house and tree


  • the road looks like it is made of chocolate
  • the building looks like a generic farmhouse
  • the sky looks out of place
I adjusted the image a bit
  • The sky still looks wrong
  • The horse and rider look weird
  • The image looks incomplete
I scaled down the rider’s size to match the proportions of the house, I added mist, and I added snow to the roof of the farmhouse
  • The farmhouse doesn’t look right
  • The shadows in the foreground are too harsh
I lightened up the foreground, rotated the house, and added a windmill in hopes of “spicing up” the picture
At this point everybody agreed the picture was starting to look good, but I still wasn’t completely satisfied, so I tweaked the image some more
I added a fence in the foreground, I widened the base of the windmill, I added windows to the house, and I increased the amount of mist in the foreground.  Also, I made the image more “blue.” While I didn’t like the contrasty shadows around the fence, I wasn’t sure how to fix them.  I exported the result into Photoshop Elements, where I painted extra details onto the horse/rider and tweaked a few other things (including some of those contrasty shadows)
So that’s the final result (click the image to see a larger version).  What do y’all think?  Does the header still need tweaking?  Is there anything that would make it better?

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