Showing posts with label composition. Show all posts
Showing posts with label composition. Show all posts

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sneak Peak Video

Here's a sneak peak of what I am working on today/tomorrow. I made one of these videos before and I think they give a little glimpse into what goes into composing a still-life. For me, it starts out with an idea, a format, and some objects and usually looks terrible at that beginning stage. Then I find something that works and keep that the same and change things around it until I hopefully get something good. Hope is very important in the process!

I also threw a few images of where this still-life is taking place... in a big mess and a terrible corner of my studio! Its amazing what cropping does!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Autumn Commission

the joy of still-life...

video
this is what I did today... set up autumn still-lifes and photographed them for a client's approval.
It looked fun in my viewfinder so I made it into a movie.
if it is not working above, you can see it on you tube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ID07qenzX-w

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

two ways to pluck a chicken

I've always liked still-life because they don't require anything that you can't obtain (especially with the help of Ebay). Unless of course you add something like a landscape behind it like in my Monadnock Berries piece two posts ago. That one I got lucky with. I went blueberry picking with my kids and in the little house you pay at at the farm, they have a balcony overlooking the fields and Mt. Monadnock. I plunked my blueberries and leaves right on that railing, squat down to get the right vantage point, and took several photos. When I went through the photos when I got home, one was perfect for drawing (the one that didn't have Christmas lights in the view).

Now I want to do several more still-lifes with landscapes behind and the berry place I believe is closed for the season. Plus I don't know if they would like me to bring other fruits to photograph on their railing... and I'd like not every one to have Mt. Monadnock behind it.

So this time I bought some raspberries and I believe blackberries from the grocery store, went in the backyard and picked some dying raspberry plant leaves and set up a little still-life on my deck. The view however from my deck isn't so good... the tall trees are just too close. I decided to take some landscape photos for the background, but quickly learned that what worked with the Monadnock Berries was that the landscape was from a high vantage point so I could see the soft blue mountains. So, instead of planning a day hike up a mountain, I went to Flickr and looked up NH hills in the Creative Commons.

Creative Commons provides copyright free or limited copyright of images by normal everyday photographers. Since my composition is just using a portion of the cc photograph, cropped and with other things added, it falls under the guidelines for most creative commons copyright photos.


Original Creative Commons Photograph which happens to be an anonymous photo taken in the 1950's.

& here is the photo reference I will use adding my grocery store raspberries in the foreground. I used Photoshop Elements to add the pictures together very roughly since the drawing will correct any problems. Notice how the original photo looks completely different from the end reference photo?

Now today, as it is my birthday, I thought I would go to Alyson's Orchard since it is high up on a hill and gets just the types of views I like for the background. So I trudged around the orchard and picked the two types of apples available right now complete with leaves, and looked for places to set up a still-life with an instant backdrop like at Monadnock Berries. I brought a piece of wood to set the apples on and placed it on a pole in the ground. Crouched down looking through the viewfinder until I got the correct vantage and snap! no photoshop necessary!

the finished reference photo.
here's the post I set up the still-life on.

Either process works and probably a trip to the farm and going to the grocery store, picking leaves from the backyard, and photoshopping - both probably take the same amount of time. I prefer taking the reference shot on location and not piecing it together, because the lighting always works for the two together and the camera creates some of the soft edges between the foreground elements and background that a pieced photoshopped image won't have. Plus it just seems more authentic.

Monday, June 22, 2009

& the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon


& the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon
well that's the title anyway. :-)

This was a lot of fun... albeit time consuming for such a small piece. There is so much going on in that little square. I almost think it doesn't work, its so busy... but hopefully I managed to pull it together by lumping values together (sort of like Hopper did) and simplifying where needed. I think you can see what I mean more in the .jpg below where I used the cutout function in Photoshop Elements to lump the major value shapes in the piece. I used the shadow down the center of the cloth as a dark shape leading the eye up and framing around the coffee cup... which actually mimics that long black shape in Hopper's Chop Suey picture on the table.

One of the most fun things about this was getting to know Hopper's painting better. He used objects, color shapes etc pointing this way and that all over the picture, which I tried to mimic in my drawing. Other things I mimicked was the writing on the cup with the sign in the painting, and the resting areas of the white of the table. I'm sure there's more - and you can let me know!

I had to change the Hopper painting a little. The Chop Suey painting has two focal points - the women in front and the couple in the back... well when you add my focal point of the coffee cup and spoon - that's just way too many focal points... so I decided to fade in the couple in the back of the Hopper painting instead of having them stand out... the same thing for the big yellow square next to the girls on the right... I just made it stand out a little less to keep the focus on the girls.

& I just got back from getting a nifty matt cut around the corner at Creative Encounters so when it is at the Silent Auction (during the CPSA Convention) it will look nice and tidy. They helped me pick a matt and showed me this green core black matt... which seemed to work. It didn't occur to me until I got back from the studio how the green core really made the green lines on the cup and saucer really work!


Wednesday is the last day of school for the kids which means my studio will stay mostly empty for a while. If anyone want to see/reach me just email me and I can come in. As far as blog posts go... they will be fewer and farther in between probably for the summer and may include more sketches (from our trip to Maui we are taking in July), but don't worry I'll be back in full force in the fall for sure... and will be here. If you haven't subscribed or "followed" me yet nows the time to signup so you won't miss when I start posting more again.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Three Little Pears

Three Little Pears
6" x 18"
$650


I spoiled myself a bit for my birthday and bought myself 2 72 count sets of Derwent Coloursoft pencils and a bunch of replacement colors for ones I use all the time. I just love these pencils and I was getting worried when I saw that Dick Blick was out of many of their open stock colors. That feeling of needing to stock up over came me! I received the box of them last night and did this picture of the pears using only the new pencils - I usually mix the coloursofts with prismacolors. The experience was good but felt odd as I know the prismacolor colors so well I can pick them up without thinking.