Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Day #22 Belfast Boat House, Maine. 5x7, oil

Original reference photograph.

Cropped version.

It is important to decide the theme of your painting and crop your photograph accordingly.  My theme was the white boat house, so I cropped the photo in this manner.  The original photo gives more importance to the feeling of distance and less to the boat house, and I might paint it that way for another painting, but since I have chosen the boat house for my theme, I need to be sure the building is the main attraction.  The horizontal format also helps.

The initial sketch to check my placement and composition.

Beginning to paint.

I indicate my focal point at the beginning  so I can be sure that nothing will compete with its importance.

Massing in.

The photograph shows the distant trees the same color and tone as the foreground trees.  We know from the rules of aerial perspective, that this is not possible.  So I have lightened and cooled the distant trees to make them recede.

Belfast Boathouse, 5x7, oil
I tell my students to look at their photographs and remember what first caught their eye. What made you stop and grab your camera? Keep that feeling in mind and forget all the little details that you can see in the photo, but that you didn't see when you first came upon the scene.  And to remember that the camera sees with a mechanical eye, altering colors and flattening perspective.  That is why it is so important to work from your own photographs.

This is such a beautiful scene.  I think I will paint these two versions in larger formats and with more time.  And when summer comes, I hope to paint there in person.  But for now, photographs will have to do.

This painting is sold.

Thank you for visiting with me.

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