Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Just for fun

Terry Miura set a "simplify" challenge on his blog.

The main thrust of the challenge is to simplify a photo Terry posted and produce a painting using any medium.

I chose Photoshop.

Digital streetscape painting, Yourk Street, Albany by andy dolphin
(Streetscape after Miura. Digital. © Andy Dolphin)

I had intended to save the image in stages - but forgot so this is all I have.

My process was to crop then convert the original image to greyscale and use that as my starting reference. I wanted to warm the scene up a little so, using a Wacom pen and tablet, I "underpainted" in a warm sepia tone. I then switched the reference photo back to colour and finished my painting from background to foreground.

I painted in the large shapes first with little concern for absolute accuracy. The rough shapes were initially tightened by working back into the negative shapes, painting the road around the cars for example, then strengthened by the addition of mid-tones and highlights. I finished with the brightest highlights, including the "pure" colours of the traffic lights and vehicle tail lights.

No tracing is involved in the process. The two images sit side-by-side, with the photo kept small to avoid getting bogged down with detail. As you can see below, I took liberties with several aspects of the scene. I was more interested in capturing the feeling than producing a replica.

There's about half an hour to 45 minutes work in this. I used a standard Photoshop stipple brush (and forgot to change the angle jitter setting) for this one. I usually use a custom brush from Chris Wahl but was almost finished before I realised what I'd done (I work zoomed out, so the stippling doesn't show).

My digital process almost exactly matches the way I work with oils - but I don't have to wash brushes when I'm finished - and I don't ruin another shirt or get paint on the carpet!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Summer Shadows - landscape in oil

Here's my latest painting.

Landscape oil painting by andy dolphin
(Summer Shadows. 40x30cm oil on board. © Andy Dolphin)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Summer Shadows - animated landscape

While looking at photos of my last painting, brilliantly titled "Farm Track", a cropped version of it caught my eye.

Landscape oil painting by andy dolphin

I liked the cropped image so much, I grabbed a hand saw and cut the top and bottom off the original!

Not really.

But I did cut and prime myself a new board and created a whole new painting using the cropped horizontal format. I've made an animation of the stages and will post the final image as soon as I can get a properly lit photo. The animation image is about 2Mb so it might take a little while to load.

(Summer Shadows animated stages. © Andy Dolphin)

To do this painting, I cropped the original photo of the scene and painted from that without referring to the previous painting at all. I wanted this to be a painting in its own right and not just a copy of the previous painting. Now that it's done, I think it's turned out faithful to the first painting but quite different in the detail.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Farm Track (Evening Shadows) - landscape in oil

Here's three stages and a close-up of a painting I did yesterday.

Landscape oil painting, step 1 tonal map, by andy dolphin
Initial under-painting.

Landscape oil painting, step 2 mid tones & local colour, by andy dolphin
Half-way there.

Landscape oil painting, step 3 final, by andy dolphin
(Evening Shadows. 40x60cm oil on board. © Andy Dolphin

 Detail of landscape oil painting by andy dolphin

This draws on all the experience I've gained doing outdoor sketches in the last couple of years, combined with my love for farm tracks, grasses and trees.

I am really pleased with the way the abstract brush strokes fall together to create a believable scene that I think would be familiar to a lot of Aussies.

The title is temporary. If you have a suggestion for a better one, feel free to let me know in a comment.

UPDATE: I've settled on "Evening Shadows" for the title. A few minor adjustments were made later but I didn't get a photo. Sorry.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Scattered Showers

My latest painting shows summer showers passing over the Porongurup Range.

Rain over Porongurup Range. Landscape oil painting by andy dolphin
(Scattered Showers. 70x37cm oil on board. © Andy Dolphin)