Weekend Graphic Novel Segment

Tiina Lehtoranta

I love Film Noir, the old films from the 1940s, with wisecracking Femme Fatales and sarcastic detectives. I also like illustration and art that takes its inspiration from cartoons and graphic novels. I’m combining these two interests in my hobby: turning old photographs into illustrations. I use quotes from classic Noir films and (mostly) old photographs of my mother  (well, she always looked fantastic on camera, and some of these old photos lend themselves quite easily to this project), although I have worked on a few pictures of  myself or some friends, too, as well as some modern photographs of buildings, scenery etc. What you see above is an example I put together for this blog.

And these are the original photographs. I photographed the “Slippery when wet” sign in San Francisco in 2011.  I just put it through a few Photoshop filters to make it look like an illustration. This is something that anyone can do in an hour or two.

The photograph on the right dates back to the early 1960s, and the woman in the picture is my mother. The cartoon version is a drawing (made using Photoshop Elements, working on layers but no filters. Very complicated and technical, also time-consuming, we won’t go into details here…) .

What do you think, how long did it it take me to finish the picture on the right? 

Have a nice weekend, 



  1. Connie
    18 July 2014 / 4:14 pm

    Just amazing. Your mom is clearly an intelligent and beautiful woman just like you!

    • Tiina L
      20 July 2014 / 4:59 pm

      Thanks, Connie. yes, my mother was a really beautiful and elegant woman. I have always found it difficult to live up to her example when it comes to being put-together, so I pay tribute to her memory by including her in my illustrations.

    • Tiina L
      20 July 2014 / 5:01 pm

      Thanks, Robin. I only wish I had more time (and skill) to focus on illustration. I fnd old films so inspirational.

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