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Training the Artist Eye - part 2

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Here’s the part two i promised you last week.

Let’s continue our exercises from last week, but this time focus on Temperature.  If you missed last week’s post, please view it now so you know what the hay we are talking about here!  Miss Part one?  Here it is.
The pretty blah image we used last week…..this time with temperature changes.
The original google image.
Click on the COLOR tab, using the Temperature scale on PicMonkey, I turned the Warm way up. This adds yellows and peachy tones.  Can you see it? It does warm up the white background as well. See what it does to the violet vase (yellow + violet are complementary, so it “dulls” it slightly) and the greens are a bit more yellowy.

COOL IT DOWNThe cool temperature slider was used in this one below.  Blue background,  The pink flowers no longer feel warm and inviting, but the coolness makes them feel….well, cool.  Sterile, cold, funereal. But that’s just me?  color is so personal…what do these FEEL like to you?  That’s the only thing that’s important. If you have a bias toward cool or warm, just know that.  I paint with lots of blue, green and some violets which are on the cool side of the color wheel, but I go through phases.  And I’m in a WARM phase now. All colors are wonderful and enriching……even dark, muted tones.  Can you imagine a world with NO COLOR?  Aaargh, bless the stars for color, my friends.
Go to the Color tab, and with image on the screen take the slider all the way to the left.  Watch all the color disappear!  Now you can have a good look at the value of your image – the darks, midtones and lights.

Use that same slider again, but don’t take it all the way to the left.  Oooh, look at those soft antique tones.  I’m kind of loving this. Once again, we each go through phases….sometimes we vibrate to bright and vibrant colors (or sometimes the subject matter calls for that) and at times we might want to soften things up.  Pay attention to the MOOD you want to EXPRESS in a particular painting.  (Spelled “desaturated” wrong in image above….sorry about that! Me, a former English major, shame shame.)

Ok, this is it.  After all this playing around, which I deeply enjoy ever so much more than sketching the dreaded thumbnails, and what started out as a totally uninspiring centered static cool (in temp) vase of flowers, is now ready for me to paint.  I’m inspired, the soft antique-y muted tones, the mere hint of a vase, and the shapes and variety of angles of those flowers.  Ok, let’s see how I do.
Now I save this version, upload to my cloud server, (or you can save locally), then I pull it up on my tablet (invaluable artist tool) and set it in a plastic ziploc to protect it from paint splatters, and paint away. The REVEAL below.

CAVEAT – In general I use my own photos – an extremely important case in point.  This image I found on google and when I paint it it will be altered to the point of being pretty non-derivative.  I believe deeply that each artist should be a picture taker, and image capturer, a photo collector.  Use your smartphone or a fancy dslr, or like me, an advanced point and shoot, but collect and organize your images….they will feed your inspiration in the days to come, and you will have no worries about infringing upon another artist’s copyrights.
I was hoping I would have time to paint this little floral but alas, Life got in the way this week.  Why don’t YOU try it??  Smile.
Actually I DID paint from this compositional idea, one I showed you last week, and another one I did during a private art lesson.  Here they are from my cell phone…one a commission that went off to its new home, the other I turned into a Get Well card for a friend who had surgery.  See what I mean though?  One could do a SERIES of paintings on the exact same composition, but DO IT differently.  What do you think?
Blessings and Paint On! Joanie
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Design out of the FlyBird's Box.