Saturday, March 8, 2014

Painting Updates: After School and Mermaids


(Prints are available for sale...somewhere...in storage...ask me if you're interested.)

Don't get your hopes up - I still can't show you the mermaid. Sorry :-(.  BUT I am taking pictures and writing notes about the progress so that at the end, when it's DONE, I can share the process, and the thinking behind it, with you.

Above is the VERY first poster the very first year of the festival! We stuck with this image for a couple of years. You'll see, in future posters, that we changed the look of the festival grounds through the years. The carnival eventually was taken out, a BIGGER stage was added, and the "craft area" moves to the other side. This was made easier because the four main pieces of the poster were painted separately – the festival grounds and water, the sky, the mermaid, and the moon. This was to allow me to change the proportions for ads in various newspapers, magazines, flyers and postcards (always different sizes and proportions). Some alterations were made only in photoshop and sometimes I had to repaint things.

I will show you a little more of the "After School" painting and how I solved a lighting problem.
(Click here to see where we left off.)

Here goes...

Here are a couple of close-ups of the painting with colors sort of blocked in.
I moved the sunflowers from under the window to the right to "cover" 
an electrical box on this corner. 

That chicken kept popping up everywhere. She was very inquisitive and bold.

As I said in the last blog post, the early evening became very overcast (and rainy) shortly after I sat down to work on this scene. When I started to work on it at home, I really wanted there to be some late afternoon/early evening color in the sky and reflected off the building. In pictures (taken when the sun was actually out on Monhegan) the northern sky is quite gorgeous with pinks and lavenders and the ocean horizon line is a cool blue.
Defining the trees and the sunflowers behind the chicken. 

I had to be careful to not make a blob of darkness in the dark areas of the pine tree/s and keep them interesting. The window screens are very dark too – darker then the other windows. But, this is sort of where I got stuck because my reference photo of the building is very grey – the western side is darker than the front of the building – and that's just not right if the sun is setting. Soooo what do I do?

I started looking through my other photos to find clues about the light. Despite the cloud cover, I was lucky enough to have been treated to late afternoon sun on my first day there. The goal was to find a similar building at a similar time of day. I found this picture of the lighthouse keeper's house in the late afternoon.
Granted this is looking south, with the west to the right, whereas the painting is looking north with the west to the left... 
but if you flip it...you can see the similarities more clearly. I did check Google maps to verify that the two buildings are at the same angle. (There's even a pine tree in nearly the same spot!)

Original photo (as a reminder): 

BIG difference!

Looking forward to painting those shadows behind the sunflowers (a la Sargent).