Monday, May 29, 2017

From Abstract to Representational

Recently I participated in a challenge on an artist forum.  We were given several photos to choose from to use as references, the catch was the photos were all very blurry and just contained abstract shapes.  From these reference we were to come up with all the details.  This is the photo I chose to base my painting on;

art reference black white blurry challenge


Of course I picked this one because it immediately suggested a landscape to me.   I could see a tree and bushes bordering the right side and pine trees in the distance, but what else?  I started the painting by blocking in using a brush and only the abstract photo for a reference.  Doing that was kind of an exercise that jump started my creativity and the rest of the image came into focus in my mind.  This is the result;

art painting palette knife lake mountain wilderness nature
Click on image to enlarge


"Mountain Lake"

Acrylic on panel
Prints Available


As you can see I modified the composition a bit and switch to palette knives.  I moved the background tree shapes a but more to the left and extended them to the left edge.  I also added the distant mountain shapes and altered the foreground shapes a bit.  So, from a blurry photo of nothing emerges a mountain landscape with a lake and evergreen trees, who'da thunk it?  That's the advantage of having spent a lot of time painting and sketching from life, I've got thousands of images embedded in my brain for helping me come up with something to fill a space when the photo reference is lacking, and in this case the reference was lacking just about everything.

Here are a couple of detail close ups;

art painting closeup texture palette knife acrylic
Click on image to enlarge

art painting palette knife detail texture closeup
Click on image to enlarge

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