Friday, January 30, 2009


My first series that I did in Mike Bailey's fabulous course "Watercolor Beyond the Obvious" (see sidebar for a link to Mike's blog) was "Vern". These two images in the series were inspired by a landscape by Wolf Kahn. Kahn is a master of incredible color. I analyzed his painting, deciding which watercolor pigments would reproduce the colors I was seeing. Then I determined the value number for each color and lastly the percentage of the painting each value had. I loved the results...the painting "glows" and it was one of my favorites in the series. Unfortunately, I was never able to adjust the color in the photograph I took so it always looked dreadful on my website and anywhere it appeared. Until today!!! It was a gorgeous sunny day, so I took the painting outside and re-photographed it. I am thrilled with the results. Looks like I will have to do more serious photography of paintings outside. I do have a setup of special lights, etc. for indoors but it is a total pain in the ____ to do, so I usually just prop the painting up on the kitchen counter and take the photo. I re-photographed another painting so I could enter it into a national watercolor show.

The second Vern painting is a different value pattern using the same pigments as the first. I loved how these color came together. Now I have a "pair" that I like to hang together. I need more walls!


Ruth Armitage said...

I love hearing the inspiration and the process of coming up with these paitings... and I totally agree with you that photographing artwork inside under lights is a total pain.... in the ..... Well done! I so enjoy your blog!

Joan Sandford-Cook said...

Wonderful pair of portraits in stunningly different colours. Thanks for the explanation of how you tackled them. You sure are right about the 'glow' and I love the textured effect on the skin in the first one.

Ambara said...

this is an absolutely gorgeous painting, I guess photgraphing the painting sometimes doesn't do it justice, you are lucky you could take a photo outside in the sun, I will have to wait till March to do that otherwise with two feet of snow on my patio I wonder what the effects will be :)

Peggy Stermer-Cox said...

I'll echo the previous comments -- wonderful paintings. It's interesting how the completely different color schemes work. They both add mystery and reinforce the thoughtful pose of Vern. I appreciate your generosity in sharing your artistic process.

Constance said...

Dittos to All of the Above-
These are colors that excite me-
Thank you for the inspiriation!

Kay said...

I find that I get truer colour if I photograph outside, but not in direct sunlight. Sometimes it means waiting a few days and trying to remember!

When I have rather exacting commissions I like to photograph every step of the painting, and find that looking at these photographs on the computer gives me an objectivity I don't have when I am working closely with a painting.

For tonal value checks, if you are not quite sure why something isn't as convincing as you think it should be, drop the photo into grey scale on the computer, or photocopy it. Suddenly tonal variations masked by colour become obvious.

Nick said...

Both of those are killer, I'd have a hard time choosing! I'll see what's going on over at Mike's, looks like I better check out his workshop schedule. Wonderful Myrna!

Related Posts with Thumbnails