Sunday, March 1, 2015

Painting From Photos

Though 99% of my work is painted outdoors, there are times when painting on site is impossible. Traveling with non painters or with people who are anxious to get from point A to point B in the fastest way possible, usually means I need to take a photo if I want to preserve an image I wanted to paint. It amazes me that such travelers fail to realize what unexpected treasures they miss in their single minded focus!

Here's a 24x36 I started from a photo during this past week. Though I have paintings waiting that were started on the beach and need  to be finished, wind, rain and cold kept me out of the dunes all week. This one still has a long way to go.

And here's the photo reference I started from.

I knew I wanted a yellow sky reflecting into the water, yet I didn't want anything in the background to overpower the boats. I'll see how it all evolves and if I succeed with it.

Photos can be an exciting resource when used as a jumping off point. They're also useful for unfamiliar details. But copying a photo verbatim as a standard practice, cheats the painter of the experience of seeing all the subtle color shifts and experiencing all the intangibles that find their way into a painting done on site. 

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