Monday, July 13, 2009

Making decisions with technology


I often have a love/hate relationship with technology, but I do sometimes use it to help me see potential in drawings or paintings. With a few tweaks in Photoshop I can have a glimpse into how a photo reference may look in different mediums, before I start investing time and materials.

This image is a photo I took early Sunday morning just after sunrise in Flatrock. This old abandoned boat has sat there for years with weather taking its toll and it makes an ideal subject for drawing and painting. I liked this shot that shows the ribs of the boat and some of the effects of age on the wood.

This first manipulation is done using 'fresco'. I like the soft colours contrasting with the darkness and it could be recreated using watercolour and ink.

The second is a simple paint manipulation and that has possibilities too, depending on how impressionistic I would want it to be.

The final manipulation is graphic pen and I like this a lot. I think it adds to the overall feel of age of the boat. Its a piece that would easily translate into pointillism instead of the diagonal lines used here.

I do have a graphics tablet but a finite amount of patience as to the steep learning curve around creating something vaguely acceptable on it. While those competent can produce wonderful art digitally, I am a traditionalist and like to get my hands dirty!

So now I have some ideas that take the guesswork and some of the decision-making out of medium choice and I may decide on one or more of these when using a reference. Despite some of its drawbacks, being able to play with images digitally is a bonus and a shortcut for artists.

8 comments:

Marsha Robinett said...

This is fascinating...I will definitely be looking into this concept. I look forward to seeing the finished piece and note how your 'digital' experiment influenced your choice of medium and style.

Jennifer Rose said...

that graphic pen manipulation looks really neat, going to have to try that one on something. it does give it more of an old look to the photo

Jeanette said...

Marsha, it takes some of the guesswork out of the 'I wonder what it would like in...?' ideas that float around in my head when I'm looking for inspiration. Sometimes a push in the right direction is all I need.

Jennifer, yes seeing it in black and white gives it impact. I love pen work as well, so it has appeal and I think it would work well in some technique using pen and ink.

sue said...

That's fabulous! What a good idea.

Ginny Stiles said...

What a nice idea to do this. I have photo shop elements on my iMac but have not had time to play with it yet. Do you know if I can do this kind of manipulation with that program? I'd love to try this.
ginnystiles.blogspot.com

vivien said...

lovely thinking-arounds :>)

I do especially like that fresco one

Like you, I find thinking around ideas using the computer can be really helpful and creative

Jeanette said...

It saves me some time and gives me food for thought to manipulate potential pieces this way Sue.

Ginny, I'm not as familiar with Photo Elements, but I do believe they have similar features to Photo shop so you should try and see what you can produce.

Vivien, I love the colours in the fresco piece and think watercolour and ink or cp and ink would work well. I also love the graphic pen too.

Computers, while frustrating at times, can be quite useful in art.

Chris Beck said...

Great photo and very cool computer manipulations. (And glad to hear somebody else has a graphics tablet sitting mostly unused for lack of time to learn the intricacies!!) Looking forward to seeing what you do with this image.