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 Beginning Of Winter

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Jim
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PostSubject: Beginning Of Winter   Mon Dec 27, 2010 8:15 pm

Even though this already is posted as a Christmas card on the December general chat, I'm showing it again here to make a few comments.
Perhaps the most important thing to comment on is the diminishment of the range of darks and lights that appear in nature when attempting a painting and also the loss in (I think they call it) gamma range that can be captured with a digital camera.

Looking at the scene outdoors our eyes adjust to some extent as we focus first on highlights and then perhaps look into the shadowed areas. So maybe we don't "see" well into the shadows while looking at sun-drenched snow and conversely the sunny-areas may actually "bleach out" when we focus into the shadows. Our mind-eye magic (as I call it) remembers what we just saw and to some extent overrides what we actually view. Yeah, I admit this may be a tad far out Smile.

Secondly, I think I remember that the range of values that can be captured with paints is relatively limited, compared to what is in nature. Now in this painting I kind of lucked out and managed to give the impression of a wide range of values. The distant ridge at the left is tucked right in back of some very dark evergreens. A touch of yellow ochre in the white made it sparkle.

Okay, so what happened when I photographed the painting? The photo of the original scene appears to have a wide range of values, why not as wide in the photo of the painting itself? I'm kind of guessing here, but I think there are several factors involved. One is I wasn't able to adjust the colors well enough in the photo, the second is that the value range lessened in the painting and then I lost some more of that range in the digital photo. I suspect the third thing is that the same color may not show with the same brightness in both paint and a digital image. So while white with a little yellow ochre may look very bright in paint, it may appear to be more of a dull white in the photo.





Viewing the actual painting, I am very happy with how it turned out and very disappointed with the photo of it. The painting looks as if it has a wider range of values than shows on the photo of the original scene. In addition to the sparkle in the sun-lite snow, there is sort of a glow in some of the shadows. I think the bit of Pyrrole red in the third or fourth layer of paint applied to them did this; a very happy accident.

A while ago I think Dale mentioned she had gotten into the habit of staring at her paintings (analyzing them?). I do that a lot too, but especially on this one I find myself trying to imagine walking into it. There are tracks coming into the painting from the right, but those are probably moose tracks and I haven't had to paint out any human footprints yet! And no, I haven't tracked any paint across the studio floor Very Happy. I'm working on another painting now, and may have to turn this one to the wall as I find myself looking over at it when I should be paying attention to business.

Part of that is because of my attraction to the Big Horn Mountains. This is the first time I have done a second painting of the same area (but from a slightly different perspective). I have several photos of other places up there that I would like to do paintings of. Anyway, the photos of the original scenes versus the paintings show what I chose to include, fudge and leave out. Ending on a very strange note, most of us hope to sell our paintings. The summer one is going to an auction. Now that the winter version has been completed and the other possible paintings identified, in a strange way I sort of hope the one going to auction doesn't sell Embarassed. Yeah, weird I know.
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judyfilarecki
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PostSubject: Re: Beginning Of Winter   Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:56 am

Jim,

Even with the photo of the paintings, you can feel the touches of warmth that make the paintings more inviting then the reference photos.. the hint of ochre in the snow, the coloring in the rocks, the beautiful sky in the summer scene along with the wonderful variety of color in the shadows...all combine to make two beautiful paintings.

Don't worry about the photos as long as you are pleased with the outcomes of the actual paintings.

judy

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Last edited by judyfilarecki on Fri Dec 31, 2010 6:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Janet
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PostSubject: Re: Beginning Of Winter   Wed Dec 29, 2010 8:39 am

I find taking a photo of a painting always very challenging. They're both very beautiful paintings. I can understand not wanting to sell a painting. I think the whole process of paintings is very personal and as such is difficult not to become attached to some paintings. Smile

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Dale

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PostSubject: Re: Beginning Of Winter   Fri Dec 31, 2010 5:46 pm

Hi Jim,

I especially like the winter scene but think it was a nice compositional change in the summer scene to move/add the foreground trees.

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Jim
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PostSubject: Re: Beginning Of Winter   Fri Dec 31, 2010 10:39 pm

Thanks so much all! I'm looking forward to starting another Big Horn painting next year (right after the hockey game)!
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Dale

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PostSubject: Re: Beginning Of Winter   Thu Jan 06, 2011 5:31 pm

ugh - poor Canada missed the gold
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Sofie
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PostSubject: Re: Beginning Of Winter   Thu Jan 06, 2011 6:27 pm

I really like the compositional changes you made in both the paintings, and the range of values works very well. Very nice work! Smile
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Dana C

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PostSubject: Re: Beginning Of Winter   Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:04 pm

Jim,

I love the change of season and how you captured the feeling of that time of year.

Great composition & depth and your colors & hues work nicely in each painting.

Look forward to seeing your next piece - but after the game, Dana
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watermixableguy
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PostSubject: Re: Beginning Of Winter   Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:03 am

Jim, I love seeing how you can photograph a scene, then move the elements around, change the shadows, and generally 'renovate' the place to suit the painting. Fascinating!

I think that digital cameras have a more narrow gamma than film cameras, and film in general. In my photography program back in the 80's, we were taught when shooting film, to expose for the shadows, and print for the highlights. In other words, the film negative could store a wide range of tones that could be printed.
Today's digital cameras do not have the same characteristics, and while I haven't done all my homework on this yet, I suspect the best prints are coming from a combination of good camera and Photoshop where they are calibrated to each other to expand the tonal range.
(did I bore everyone yet? ha ha)

We all connect to our paintings, and have difficulty in letting them go. After all, we invented them and brought them into the world! I try to distance myself from mine a little bit when I complete them, but still hope they will all age gracefully and find a good adoptive family. But there are a few that I have grown attached to, darn it.

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