Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Blogging changes… and painting from photos

A word to my email subscribers:  welcome to my new blog!  The only change is that I’m now publishing my art journey from  I tried to make the transition as seamless as possible for you all.  However, Feedburner, my email subscription service, picked up not only my “Paint Small…” post but added what appeared to be a digest of the entire blog feed as well as a google subscription button!!!  Just to be clear – you don’t need to re-subscribe if you are already receiving these posts by email. 

Now, on to the purpose of this blog – ART!!!  Today I continue to chronicle my learning from the Carol Marine workshop I attended last week.  I hope you’re not bored with this – it was a milestone week for me and as I blog and paint this week I’m realizing just how much I learned.  It’s exciting!

Wednesday Carol spent some time instructing us how to paint from photos.  This was a really useful topic for me.  There are times when I’m just not physically up to tromping around in the woods dragging my painting gear, not to mention days when it pours pitchforks points down for days!  Sometimes a still life just won’t cut it and every artist I know gathers photos to use in just such circumstances. 

It’s important to know what the limits of photos is. Courtney Jordan summarized the important concepts in her piece “How to Avoid the Pitfalls of Painting from Photos”.  Once we’d discussed these things it was time to paint.  I chose to paint Spirit Island, a most magical of Alberta places found in Maligne lake, Jasper National Park.  My painting [left] and my photo reference [right] below…

spirit island paint from photo spirit island (2)

This isn’t the most recognizable point of view for Spirit Island but I like the light water shining through the trees.  I found it hard going to paint from this photo after painting from life for a few days.  One has to make some assumptions and push a bit harder to make painting from photos work. In the case of this little painting, Carol commented that background mountains and hills are often bluer and lighter than a photo shows, and pushing the values lighter will further emphasize the recession into the distance.  Good tips!

Carol did a demo of one of her favorite subjects – a truck.  She starts painting at the windshield and works out from there…  The first photo is Carol’s computer monitor with her photo reference, second photo is her completed painting. 

IMG_0518 IMG_0525  IMG_0519 Carol, thinking hard as she paints for a crowd…  nerves of steel that girl :-) 

One of the most important things I must constantly remind myself of is to leave the nitty gritty details out.  Carol is a master at making every stroke count and not overdoing the detail! 


  1. Ohh hhhh, I'm so jealous. I would love to take a workshop w/ Carole. I'm happy you got to and I love your blog posts about what you learned. So just keep 'em coming!

  2. Hi Cheryl
    It was wonderful to meet you at Carols Workshop and thank you for adding my blog spot to your list it made me realize that a lot has happened since South Carolina in the winter. Ok so I guess I better get serious about this blogging. But first maybe I better get painting!!!!