Why not take a peek at the
summer issue of Leisure Painter out now and read my article, Acrylic-Like Oil, here’s the
blurb for the article:
A set of
acrylics in your paint box gives you two media for the price of one. In the
previous two issues Steve Strode looked at how this versatile medium can be
used like watercolour. This month and next he takes advantage of it textural
quality and shows how to use it with oil painting techniques.
We were working from photographs in class this week and I
used this picture from a much visited site I have painted at many times in
Kynance Cove Cornwall.
Why paint from photographs at all?
Photographs are a great reference as to what was actually there and can
so often be the only way of recording what may have been a fleeting effect. The
subject could be moving so fast, the lighting conditions fading quickly, or the
opportunity to paint just not possible.
Use your own photos.
Using other people’s photographs lacks so many other additions to the
scene. You were never there and the photograph is all you have to go
on, at most your painting will be a competent copy. A photograph cannot call to
mind the experience, the smells, the sounds and the weather that all go into
the creation of a piece of work. I still recall these experiences from looking
at many of my outdoor paintings, but find it hard to remember even snapping a
Don’t be a slave to copying.
Lose the detail, alter the edges, colour, tones and shift around the
composition to suit the painting not the photograph. Don’t feel the need to
copy everything. Shadows and light can be bleached and black. True colours and
contrast are easily lost in the cameras effort to record light and dark.
If you are you are using the camera to gather information to paint at a later
date, it’s a good idea to make notes or do quick colour studies as well.
Set yourself a time limit
I find this to be one of the most important things to do if I have to
use a photograph. If I paint outdoors I know I’m usually done in a couple of
hours. However the temptation with a photograph is to keep going because the
weather or the light is not changing. The shadows are not going to disappear,
or the colour and values alter. Don’t be tempted to take your time, chances are
the painting will become overworked with far too much detail and lose any
vitality you strived to attain.
The benefits of dating your work to assess your progress really hit home today. Clearing out some old stuff in storage I came across what was probably my first still life back in 1983. This was done using chalk pastels and precedes any work I later did with paints. I can compare it to the effort I have on exhibition with The Artist and Leisure Painter 2013 Open Art Competition.
How time flies.
The Artist and Leisure Painter 2013 Patchings Open Art Competition140 selected paintings from this year’s competition shown in two of Patchings galleries. Prizes and awards. Full exhibition also online
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