Thursday, February 7, 2013

Pretty as a Picture

You have probably heard of the old saying "Pretty as a Picture".  Up to this point in my painting, I have spent most of my time using reference photos to base my composition on and that has worked pretty well for me.  I really like using 5 x 7 photographs and normally will take a number of different images and use them as my inspiration. 

I recently used a photo taken by a fellow artist that was posted on facebook (very important that you obtain permission from the owner prior to copying a photo) and I painted it as a close rendition to what I saw on the photo.  I was so taken by the brilliance and color of this photograph.  It is an amazing shot full of cheerful bright colors.  There is just something about sunflowers that warm the heart of any country girl.

Original Photo taken by artist Janet Paden of Ohio
This was my original oil of the reference photo

My corrections so far have been removing the dark center under the butterfly and adding more blue to the background

The adjustments I made from my original painting was to remove the dark center that overshadowed the butterfly causing him not to stand out like I had intended.  I changed some of the background tint by adding more blue and lightened the centers of each flower by covering the paynes gray that I had over used in my first rendition. Still with additional critiquing done by a friend and an accomplished artist more changes are apparently needed.

    1.  The spent sunflower in the upper left corner has to go.  It is obvious that my intended focal point of this piece is the butterfly and yet the dark center of this sunflower draws your attention away from the butterfly.  My options are to paint it out completely or to reduce the size and add some petals of it's own so that it blends in with the rest of the composition.  
     2. I also plan to make the sunflowers less orange and more yellow so that the butterfly stands out even more.

As an artist, I needed to take a little more time considering the focal point of my composition.  Take the time to really look at your composition and consider your focal.  Ask yourself if there is there anything else in this composition that is overpowering or taking the attention away from that point?   A good suggestion is to have someone else take a quick glance and find out what they first noticed.  Which is what I did yesterday when I took my painting over for my friend to see.  I have also seen it suggested that you can also view the composition in a mirror and by seeing the image that you have grown so accustomed to backwards that it allows you too see the image from a different prospective.

The photo was an excellent start but my goal should always be as an artists to make my end result- PRETTIER THAN A PICTURE!

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