|'The Other Side of the Island' 8x10 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
purchase this painting $125
There are three things that I have found to cause the most problems in a painting. The photo below is a good example of all three!
|Bad color, too sharp and needed elements|
- Photos don't always capture true and accurate colors. Often the typical point and shoot camera set on auto doesn't capture the subtleties of the colors in the landscape. Green is a typical example. Often photos of green landscapes show the greens to be the same color and value from the foreground to the background. If we copy this color it can lead to a flat landscape with no depth or atmospheric perspective. Photos also sometimes don't get proper exposure for the darks and lights in the same picture....this leads to overly light skies and shadows that are too dark. My photo has all of these issues...lack of true colors, no change in the greens, darks too dark and lights too light.
- Cameras record things as they are, not how we see them. The resulting photos often have detail and clarity everywhere. In reality our eyes focus on only one thing at a time the rest is out of focus (we don't even realize this unless we stop and focus on one thing and try to see what is around it) If we paint everything in crisp sharp detail it doesn't feel natural. If I want to have depth in my paintings I have to over ride the photo and make sure things in the distance have less detail than things in the foreground.
- Photos often include elements that don't translate well in a painting. There are often things that are better left out. I call these things 'half trees'. These are objects that appear unnaturally on the edges of a photo...maybe half or less of a tree or bush, or maybe an overhanging branch. I ask myself if the element needs to be in the painting (hold my thumb over it) If it does I make sure I put in more than half. Most of the time I leave it out. My photo has a branch coming in on the left and a big weed sticking up from the bottom. I don't need either element.
|first version of the painting|