The South Shore Conservatory in Hingham, MA is having a fund-raising art auction on January 29. The art has to be inspired by music. Makes sense. If you’re in the area, it’s a great chance to bid on some nice art. The attached are my three contributions. Any guesses about the tunes they represent?
If any of you artists are interested in having a book of your work printed in China, let me know via the comments below. I am more than happy to share the process with you.
When we shoot photos for painting resources, we often end up with a short depth of field. In the case of the bird photo above, it is extreme, less so in the faucet photo and barely perceptible in the basket photo. Does your eye actually see the world this way? Try this. With one eye closed, focus an object that is several feet away with your open eye. Hold your focus on the object, but note that the background is out of focus. Now shift your focus with that same eye to the background. You are actually changing the shape of your eyeball. Keeping your eye focused on the background, note that the foreground object is now out of focus. Did you realize you can actually do this with your eye? In fact it happens a thousand times a day, we just don’t realize it. So yes, it’s okay to paint a foreground and/or background out of focus.
Fog is great for everything except plein air watercolors. That is unless you have a battery-powered hair dryer.
Painting tip: Note that in one scene, the foreground is darker than the background while the entire area in the other photo is the same degree of lightness. Sometimes a darker object in the foreground helps to enhance the feeling of fog.
Ever wonder what depth of field means? These two photos are a good example. They were shot at f:2.8 with a 55mm lens. The result is a very shallow depth of field, which puts part of the photo intentionally out of focus. In one photo the focus is on the clothespins. In the other it is on the basket rim. Unfortunately this effect cannot be achieved with a point and shoot camera. But it’s a pretty cool thing to do if you have an interchangeable lens SLR camera.
If you are ever in California on the coast north of San Francisco, take some time to walk along the cliffs above Dillon Beach. The crashing surf and misty views up toward Bodega Bay are breathtaking. Note the longitude/latitude markings on the surf photo. Plug those into Google Earth and you can look right down on this rock formation.
I shot these used paint brushes in a boathouse on Great Spruce Head Island. I’m looking forward to painting them, although they may very well fall into that category of images that translate much better as photos than they do as paintings.
The top photo is the original view. In the middle photo, I experimented with creating a larger reflection in Photoshop. I also raised the tide a bit to account for the larger reflection area. In the final painting at the bottom, I took a few more liberties: I brightened the day and added about ten years of growth to the trees in the foreground.
These three photos illustrate the use of Photoshop when shooting resource photos. The top photo is the original. It was on the dark side when I downloaded it onto my computer, so I clicked “auto tone,” which brightened it as per the middle photo. However, in the middle photo, the camera adjusted the exposure for the brighter sky, thus making the beach too dark. So I highlighted the beach area in Photoshop, shown in the bottom photo, and increased the brightness to where it appeared the way I would have actually seen it.