Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Rose in progress - First steps

O.K. I promised awhile ago to show my step by step process when I start a painting. So, here goes.

I decided to enter a "Black, White, and Gray" show. I have an old used frame used for oil painting with some black velvet and silver on it, so I thought it would work well for a B&W piece. The inside dimensions are 8" by 6". Not very big so it should not take too long to finish.

I know what size I want the piece to be, and I know what colors or lack of, it will have. Now I need a subject. My search begins with a trip through my hard drive going to all those photos I have been taking thinking I may want to use someday. After perusing my photos I found a rose picture I shot in the park one morning after a frost. I loved the way the frost lightly coated each blossom and I took several photographs that morning. This is the one I decided to work with.

Next I opened the photo in a photo manipulation program (like Photoshop or GIMP) and started playing with it to get a good design for my picture format. This is when all those design principles come into play. I am looking at what will be my main subject, where I will place the main subject. I am also paying close attention to the negative space and the edges of my picture. So I flip and turn and crop till I find something I like.

Next step is to convert the image to black and white. Now that I have a subject it is time to think about the surface. I know that I do not want to use a glazzing surface over the painting like glass or plexi, so I decided on illustration board. Illustration board can be sprayed with varnish to protect the surface. It will also hold up to all the abuse I might give it. So, off to cut some board!

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