Friday, November 13, 2009

Drake and Girlfriend

I attended a demonstration by a fellow artist last week, in which he demonstrated how to create better reference photos for paintings by using Photoshop CS4. I took good notes of the terms he used and searched through my Photoshop Elements 7 that I used. I found I was able to do much the same thing with this program and am happy with how this Notan turned out. A Notan is an improvement to the grayscale photos I used to print to show where the lights and darks are in a photo so I can save the white of the paper in the best spots. In the Notan above, I was able to see if I had the center of interest in the right place and had the darks and lights next to each other to enhance each other. I liked doing this and will continue now that I got it all figured out. My blogger-buddy, Rhonda, did a Notan earlier this year of some Flamingos, I think. It was good to have seen hers develop as the demonstration went on last week because I already had seen the benefit of doing this.

This is the underpainting and first phase of the painting, using the Notan to preserve the lights. As you can see I have covered the lights with green on the grassy area where these birds are standing, but I wanted the lights bouncing off the birds to be the whitest whites of the painting so decided to tone that area down below the birds and go darker when I put in the grass clumps.

I still have to apply quite a bit of modeling shading on both birds, but will finish the water areas, extend that "island" on the upper right past the tree a bit so it doesn't just end behind the tree. Bad move there, compositionally!

Busy weekend ahead, but I will try to work on this more.


RHCarpenter said...

Wow, the notan photo really shows the white of the ducks against the darks of the tree trunk so well! Looking forward to how you finish this one off, changing and composing as you go.

Watercolors by Susan Roper said...

Rhonda..It remains to be sen how I work with this Notan and preserve the whites! I do want to preserve those shapes while painting the shapes of the shadows. We will see how helpful that will be. But I do know how I want to paint the drake and the hen in this, so we will see how it all plays out....Me