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.

 

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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