My summer has been consumed with grandchildren and
with maintenance of a home
that has gone from just the two of us to the seven of us!
I think you might say "growing pains" but it has been good.
I started a painting a couple of weeks back of my son with his son fixing a child's stroller.
It is a watercolor based on a photo I took in November.
Here are some things I have picked up from working with photos:
- Start by manipulating the photo and ignore the parts of the photo that are unimportant to you. This is different than manipulating for printing. You want to enhance the exposure, contrast, tint, and saturation, and do some cropping, etc. Maybe you are pushing the warm colors so that the resulting image is more colorful than the original photo. Now, the focus is on shapes and values.
- Another example of this color manipulation is seen in my April 29, 2011 post of a Waterlily (right) in which I showed an example of boosting warm colors in a fairly neutral photo.
- Change things at your discretion: Now, about the background in that top photo! Yuck! Who wants to see a background in a painting like that? You don't have to use the background from the photo! Ignore it! Put in a wash of color. I decided that with the white in the stroller and the white of the shirt I needed something with more color for the background and washed in a quick wash of cadmium yellow, Prussian blue and an occasional burnt sienna for contrast.
- Strange perspectives: Here is another problem with working with photos...sometimes, the camera catches something in an odd position like this child's foot in the picture. What a challenge to paint. I am going to put a sock on his foot instead of figuring out the angles of each one of those toes.
- Light and Shadows: Also, watch for the direction of the light and shadows. Make sure your shadows fall opposite the light source.
- Composition Manipulation: One of the benefits from working from photos is playing with the composition and combining photos and moving around figures and objects. In a post from years ago, I used about five photos and arranged and rearranged photos until I decided what was best over a period of several posts. See New Idea and Idea Reworked and the completed painting A Day at the Beach
I hope everyone is finding their inspiration on this fun Friday!
Be sure to check in on all the different artists today!