Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Ready To Move On. I Think...

Original Background

In the previous post about the new painting I was working on, I was struggling with the background. Since then I scrapped that background completely and started over again. I realized that the rocks in the painting and the fact that you could see the horizon might skew the perspective and scale, making the curlew appear to be a giant species. I checked my hunch in Photoshop:

Isn't Photoshop an artist's best friend?

As much as I liked the background, it wasn't going to work for this painting unless I made the curlew very small, which I really didn't want to do. I spent the weekend repainting the background and then redoing major parts of it to try to get everything to make sense visually. I thought the scale on this version was acceptable, but it just wasn't a terribly dynamic scene:

Background Attempt II

This is what I finally came up with, below. I am hoping that all the foam and multiple layers of water will be interpreted by the viewer as being close in to shore, not breakers viewed from a distance. (What IS the technical term for that final, very shallow foamy part of a wave as it skims the sand, anyway???)

Final Background?

Using Photoshop again, I double-checked how the scene would play out and I didn't see any glaring problems. However, I've been staring at this for a while so I might have missed something. If you see any problems, let me know!!!

Through the wonders of Photoshop, I added my model to check on scale and perspective before committing myself to painting it. Seems pretty good.

Once the curlew is in place in the actual painting, I'll probably add some strips of wet sand and maybe a hint of a reflection, too.I just don't want to make the painting too busy. Funny, I started out with a vision of a very minimalist, abstracted background...


Sherrie York said...

Clever you! I liked the original background, but the new one is really lovely, and more harmonious with your model. And now the fun part... painting speckly shorebirds!

Gabrielle said...

Hi Sherrie,

My husband loved the original background and was horrified at the thought that I was going to paint over it so I started on a new canvas. Someday perhaps that original background will make a reappearance. Or maybe I'll just frame it, as-is, and give it to him as a gift. (Shhh!)

On to wonderful speckly shorebird painting. Whoo-hoo!

Vanessa said...

Hi Gabrielle! Great use of your artist's tools! I like the new background because it brings the subject closer in the water washing onto the shore is beautiful!

Gabrielle said...

Hi Vanessa, thanks for your comment! I've been trying to visit your blog but it seems to not be working. I hope you get it sorted out soon as I'm anxious to see what you've been up to!