Photos as Reference

Long time readers may attest that I take a fair number of photos. It’s true. Not all the photos are great – some are taken to capture a bit of light or something interesting or just as an aid to memory. Lately I’ve been taking more photos as reference.

I was thinking about this as I watched a youtube watercolorist show how he auditions and “edits” photos. He prints them out and doesn’t worry about sharpness or perfect lighting. Obviously there was something about the scene that grabbed his eye but it doesn’t mean it is a composition worth painting. He uses a really soft pencil and a white pencil to move trees around, add some shadows, establish where the light is coming from, all the while considering how the eye will move in and around the image. (If you like his video, watch this one next for some amazing cloud wet in wet painting)

When he was done, the view was indeed more interesting to look at and still bore a strong resemblance to the original photo but it wasn’t the same.

All this is a way around to saying these two groups of photos aren’t the best I’ve taken but they were taken to show the scene. The sheep photos have some really dark ones because I wanted to show the clouds. The sunset photos aren’t very crisp because I only had a few minutes before it was too dark to shoot and I didn’t have time to set up a tripod so I was bracing against things. But, I hope the ideas will be useful.

Local Sheep, Landscape and Clouds//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

sunset 16 August 2017//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Sunset and Clouds July 27th

As I drove home I saw and passed under a HUGE cloud as I went east on I-90. I could see the sunset shaping up behind me, but mostly I wanted another view of that immense cloud as I headed to my sunset-watching spot in East Greenbush. Here it is, seen while going east. 

massive cloud seen from west

This was the view, looking west from East Greenbush. Here are all the photos, on Flickr.

The Joy of Summer – (almost here) – Late Sunsets

Click below for a Flickr album of last night’s photos.

sunset 12 June 2017//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Tonight’s Small Painting

adventures in blue and yellow – now dry

but this time in paint. They change so much in the first 24 hours and of course scanning is better than handheld photos. First one is a quarter-sheet size – 12″ x 16″, second an eighth or so. Third one is still being experimented on.

Sunset, October 11

I did spend some time at home and all but the trip to Ghent (all those squirrels and all the rest and even a couple groundhogs) this morning and the trip out tonight to check out clouds was well worth it. Click on the photo below for the whole album.

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

TGI… um what day is it, anyway?

Yes, I had that moment today. Thought I was going to writers’ group after work, thought I was off the next day… only to realize that it wasn’t Sunday after all, that it was Saturday and in fact I get to go to work on Sunday (all over again).

I made a quick stop at the Nassau Post Office on the way home and finally caught a Pikachu! Only the second one I’ve ever seen.

Then I came home and started a small sunset scene in watercolor. I’m trying to teach myself to wait, to let things dry before going on to the next part. Do like how the clouds came out though.

Then I looked at the little Windsor Newton Cotman travel kit I have and decided to add it to my color swatch page. It has half-pan colors in not a half bad array although if I was filling my own half pans I’d have different colors. I’d found some of the plastic corrugated board I’ve been using to tape paper down to and cut it to match the size paper I’ll be traveling with. At that point I didn’t have much oomph left so I watched a few “traveling watercolor kit” videos, two of which showed taping down a stack of paper to a board. That seems a little excessive. I don’t mind packing some tape. I was thinking of cutting some Arches paper to bring and that could go sandwiched between the two boards. We’ll see.