Monday, 30 May 2011

Painting from Photographs

Storm breaking @ Loch Shiel - Glen Finnan

When painting from photographs firstly it is always better if you have taken the picture yourself or have a very good knowledge of the area or subject which you are going to reproduce. I would usually use photographs as a back up image to a site sketch however there are times when when a sketch is not practical. This doesn't prevent the artist from using the digital image/s to create their own sketch prior to applying paint to paper and it also helps to plan the final piece.
For this particular subject I wanted to convey a low horizon and not to get bogged down with the detail of the near shoreline trees but still portray a likeness of the original scene. I decided on the nearest headland as the focal point and I used a strong tonal balance to emphasise this by juxtaposing the headland and the distant mountain. The reflection was painted wet in wet, just as the shine had dissipated from the wash of the loch, controlling the reflection with an almost dry brush. Just before this had dried I used a slightly damp flat brush to pull out the break in the water.

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