My Tiny Studio ~ Priscilla

Based on the musical Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. This particular project turned out to be a mammoth task, not only due to the eight hours that it took me to build this scene, but because of the fact that I had two false starts which resulted in me trashing both efforts after speeding at least four hours on each “edit”, and finally getting it right on my third attempt; 29 hours in total.

I envisaged two main core elements for this project, firstly the “high tech” glowing chrome ball pyramid, and secondly the bling decorated “high heel shoe” flying through the scene with flowing fabric. As always, the project starts off with an empty cardboard box measuring 500x500x500mm in size into which I then physically build up my concept theme.

Next step was to create a shopping list for the required props. In this regard, I thank my daughter Marcelle for suggesting the “Cake Shop” where I was able to find a suitable size plain white icing sugar “high heel shoe”.

Why a “Behind the scenes” look?

I am a strong believer in not showing the “behind the scenes stuff” since it potentially removes the mystique behind the final Artwork, but again in this case, I believe that you will find it all rather fascinating, more so when I tell you that everything you see in the final Artworks was sourced, built, photographed, and then finally “digitally massaged” into forming the compositions. No additional external digital content was used at all, and this is how I would like to keep it for future “My Tiny Studio” projects, i.e. “virgin content” that has never been used by anyone else.

The Shopping List

These items formed the core ingredience for this project, although I did also incorporate a few additional props from my existing stash.
Construction started by creating the landscape of the desert scene which was formed by polystyrene terraces covered with 5kg 
"pure grain sorghum mabelle meal", and finished off with 300g Rajah Medium Curry Power, with a final top coat of 200g Chicken spice.
Needless to say, the whole house now smells like an Indian Curry Bar, and I have been sneezing ever since.

Included in the list were some chrome beads (large and small), straws, spray paint, a new craft knife, a LED light unit, glue sticks and
then of course the plain icing sugar "high heel shoe".

Building the Scene

Left image shows the creation of the "moon". I used my round yellow filter covered with transparent plastic which I then spray 
painted to simulate the surface of the moon. Right image shows the initial construction of the landscape in polystyrene to 
simulate the desert. STOP PRESS: This moon did not work, so I trashed it, and in the end scene, I decided to rather use a 
MagicBrush from RAWexchange to create a more realistic looking moon.

Building the “high tech” pyramid

To create the pyramid, I fed the chrome bead balls onto a plastic straw, glued each end, and then reduced the number
on each row until the final single ball on top. The orange glow was produced by the LED light placed inside the pyramid.

 Preparing the “high heel shoe”

Preparation of the "high heel shoe" began by painting the plain icing sugar shoe I sourced from the Cake Shop
with various colors of "glitter glue", followed by gluing on the small chrome balls, some pink fluff, and finally
the small polka dot bow tie.

Making Camels!

I first created my "caravan of camels", then printed them out onto a sheet of cardboard to enable me 
to cut them out to form the silhouette. And of course, once again I had to rush to the first aid kit 
for a plaster to stop the bleeding. YES I DID IT AGAIN!!!

 Setup to shoot the required image

As already mentioned, having scrapped the first two “editing sessions”, this was now the third time I had to setup and fine tune the lighting. It is a painstaking process to get it just right, but oh so rewarding when you do finally do. As you can see in the images below, I only used two penlight torches to light the scene. Shutter speed, 30 seconds!!!


Okay, I am done with you!

And as at the end of each project, so the biodegradable cardboard box with it’s “non required contents” is relegated to the dustbin because it’s job is done! NEXT NEW BOX PLEASE!!!



Camera gear and software applications used

  • All imagery was captured using my beloved Fuji XT1 and my Fujinon 10-24 Ultra Wide Angle lens.
  • As previously mentioned, the lighting I used was very basic DIY, but highly effective.
  • Photoshop cc 2017
  • Exposure X2
  • Manfrotto Tripod 055PROBX with 804RC2 swivel head
  • Ariana FalerniWall Display Collection
  • Auto FX Mystical Ultimate Suite 11 x Pack Bundle
  • RAWexchange Magic Brushes



This is no doubt the most challenging, time consuming, brain wracking, yet creative and rewarding Photo Artistry project that 
I have tackled to date. This particular composition, now my tenth in this Series, was rather taxing and time consuming. 
I trust that you have found the “Making of ~ Priscilla” most informative and inspiring.

I am looking forward to sharing my next “My Tiny Studio” project with you soon. DID I JUST SAY THAT?

The Final Composition


My Art ~ Your Wall




Previous “My Tiny Studio” projects

  • You can view “The Making Of” my First Project entitled “The Awakening” in this new series of works right here
  • You can view “The Making Of” my Second Project entitled “Forbidden Fruit” in this new series of works right here
  • You can view “The Making Of” my Third Project entitled “Light” in this new series of works right here
  • You can view “The Making Of” my Fourth Project entitled “Ninja” in this new series of works right here
  • You can view “The Making Of” my Fifth Project entitled “Message in a Bottle” in this new series of works right here

Do you want to learn how to create Digital Art like this?

And hey, if this field of Creating Digital Art interests you, why not take the plunge, and start learning how to create beautiful imagery just like the ones in this magazine by Registering on the Sebastian Michaels “Photoshop Artistry Grunge Course” just like I did almost four years ago.