I have taken a photograph of mine, a very typical scene from my life, of my husband waking just in front of me with our dog. This happens every single day, twice a day.  I am interested to see how I can manipulate this scene into something different.



I took three areas of the photo and just sketched them into squares, drawn around beer mats, and found the square a comfortable format.



Continuing this line of thought I traced them and put them on top of each other.


Trying also with each layer in different colours as the black tended to look muddled.


Quick sketch in acrylics.  This looks very messy.  Hate the colours but then its acrylic in a sketch book so not great for colour choices.  This makes me think there’s something but I cant quite pinpoint it.  Do all the objects need to be there? Do they all need to be opaque. Should they be more realistic or less?

I appear to have transposed the diagonal row of threes too….not sure what happened there , this has made all the trees one side which might be why I don’t feel this works.

As a side note, there is a degree of separation that is quite useful when you take a picture of your sketchbook/paintings and upload to the blog.  It has a similar effect to leaving the room for 30 minutes.  You see it slightly differently, with fresh eyes and can be slightly less attached helping with the decisions sometimes.DSC_0038DSC_0040DSC_0042

Using the square format and water mixable oils I applied a very thin layer of burnt umber and then a thin blue and white mix which I had intended to scratch into.  the water mixable oils turned out to be not as good for the scraffito, so I went back over the tree area again.  Working on a paper  is now starting to prove not sufficient as I am being much more quick and rough with handling the paints and scratching. As can be seen from the picture above the paper was starting to give way in places.


I decided to at the figures next and then the further tree shapes.  I did this in green and then wondered why?  I was slavishly following my sketchbook and not using it just as a reference.  I wanted this to be the finished stage, but it doesn’t sit right with me.  I have had to use the rule of thirds here as the golden ratio isn’t right in a square format, so the positioning of the figures felt ok but the top trees have divided it too much .Man & Dog

I have now toned down the trees and am a little bit happier with it.

IMG_1827.jpgOriginal Photo

I have aimed to combine elements from the photo to convey a walk and the different parts of a wood all combined. My final picture feels “end of the day” in terms of colours. I have not  attempted to be accurate in my rendering of the shapes and amount of branches but tried to convey a feel.

It was tempting to refer back to the photo but I instead used my sketches as my reference.  Its been an interesting exercise and I find I have stepped even further away from the literal in this exercise.  Using just a few elements and not the whole photo was a deliberate decision and one I am pleased that I stuck with.  I have also learnt to not stick with my first idea of the end result and am glad that I went back in and played with the colours and scraffito again.  I am less content with the figures as they are a little naive.

As I mentioned earlier I think I will have to start using some more substantial surface as it is clear that it needs to be able to take more punishment.