Saturday, August 27, 2016

From a photograph to a painting

Several weeks ago one of my friends posted a photograph which spoke to me and inspired me for a painting. It had a special end-of-the-day feeling (Oh, I love sunsets so much!)

Photography by Olga Pasikova
What I liked about this picture was:
1) the landscape;
2) the evening light;
3) the atmospheric feeling;
4) the tree (which looks like it's dancing).

First thing I wanted to change was the size of the image - instead of square I chose portrait layout (14"x11"). The reason for that is to improve composition (which I still had to correct later while painting).

Also, I wanted to paint the sky with fewer clouds to show the blue colors of the evening sky and half-transparent evening moon (shown below). I always start with the sky as it serves me as a background; then I paint everything else: trees in the background, a house, road curve...
 Next, the "dancing tree": I started with the trunk and branches carefully choosing the colors to show the sun lit parts and shadows.
 Covering the tree with leaves I kept in mind that I wanted the sky to be visible through the leaves. For sunlit leaves I used Cadmium Yellow Deep Hue and Light Yellow.

 Once I was able to see how the layout of the leafage, I painted the moon. I also decided to make the house roof red which didn't satisfy me at all. I saw a problem with the composition: the roof was aligned with the tops of the trees making a one boring line. And no matter what color the house is, there still would be feeling that something is wrong with the painting. 
 So I decided to break that horizontal line by turning and changing the house completely. I also added some puddles on the road to connect the blue sky to the green foreground. It still did not satisfy me and I put off the painting for several days...


Every time I passed by the painting I was thinking about what to do to bring harmony to the visual image. I liked the tree, sky, the moon, just the awkward house would not sync in.
So I decided to paint not a house but an old weathered barn to stress the feeling of the coming to an end day. As for the composition, I painted the barn and the a small structure in the shadow on the side as well as a wood wheel to create a diagonal line crossing the horizontal and vertical ones which made the painting look more interesting. And here is the final result - "Lost in time" (acrylic on board; 14"x11")

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Process of painting flowers

It's been a great summer full of events, beautiful moments and inspiration for painting!

While away from my studio for several weeks, I  continued to work and was able to finish two floral paintings - "Poetry of flowers" with beautiful hydrangea in a white pitcher and "Peony cloud" with light pink peonies that I'm so crazy about. Both flowers are growing in my mother's garden and both my mother and grandmother take care of them so every year they bloom bigger and better than before.

I love flowers and painting them brings me lots of joy, however they are challenging to paint and every time I struggle with some details. Despite my wish to paint more expressively, I find it hard to go away from painting details in realistic manner. But I'm trying and I think that with the second painting "Peony cloud" I was able to leave some detalization out and made it more loose painting. 


The short clips below show the development of the paintings: