Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Blog 14 Become a master of the computer's MANY tricks!

The computer  has many MANY tricks to learn, not just those we'd find in art programs. Here is a photo that I felt sent a strong message about Arizona's heritage, the "Wild West".This is the final product portrayed on an easel.
      This painting has one thing deliberately missing.  Paint!
 It begs for sharp edges; it has great texture.  Also, paintings are a bit unbelievable...cleaner and more beautiful than reality could be in a capture. .. and this image is unbelievable enough!  The only paint brush work I did was to eliminate some background clutter, clean the eye sockets,  and relocated some of the elements (Ex: the little blue mask).  I punched the color and used Photoshop's Filter\Artistic\Dry Brush 2  8  2.  That's it.  No more. 
      My Point:  When a photographer goes from "Photo to Canvas", I think the aim is a bit different than a liquid media painter who goes from blank canvas to creation.  In the "Skulls", an incredibly hard outline communicates the harshness of the environment better than a soft brush ever could.
      I want you to FEEL the prickly red cactus.
      It's not what TOOL you use to get your message across, it's that you DO get your message across. 
      I was one to immediately embrace the digital age back in the 80's when many of my photographer friends were using the words "isn't using the computer cheating?"  Nonsense !  Art is about communication and learning the language of the computer is quite like learning how to express yourself with liquid paints.  It's just different.
     Here is a gallery I made in the late 80's.  It was one of the first I put on the web in 1997.  It was made long before I could admit that images like this were painterly...  so I called it "two view". (Far away it looked like a photo; up close it looked like a painting)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Blog 13 Painting rocks of Arizona's Tuzigoot NM

 Every gallery I make ( 16 large wall prints for business walls) tries to include the essence of the space...a smattering of everything found in the region.  "Painting Arizona" would not be complete without paying respect to Indian heritage.   Tuzigoot National Monument, a well preserved 3000 year old Pueblo, presented a difficult task...making rocks come alive!

The distant brown Verde river should be honored too, for without it, no culture could survive.
    The colors have been reduced in number and saturated to start me thinking about the possibilities.   I painted the background trees rather quickly.  The rocks took a looooooong time.
Here's a closeup of the original rockwork.

As you see, the colors have been saturated and reduced in number.  But what would make them really stand out??? 
I decided the MORTAR was the key.  With a Blenders\Pointed Stump brush in Corel Painter 11, I made even FEWER colors in the rocks...and mimiced what it might look like to swish them with a brush. But even more energy went into the "negative space"...the mortar.
I exaggerated the size of the Verde River and the closeness of the autumn trees.   After painting that many rocks, I not only SAW Tuzigoot...I FELT LIKE the persons who placed each boulder into that wall! A big shout out to  http://www.nazstuff.com who is now following my social media attempts. 
Here is my gallery of New Mexico...
http://www.strengthinperspective.com/Pictures-USA/NewMexico-51/NewMexico.html and soon I will post my Arizona work.