Sunday, February 5, 2012

What Do I Paint?

What Do I Paint?
Sometimes one of the hardest parts of a painting is selecting WHAT to paint.  Many people paint only one type of painting:  portraits, landscapes, still lifes (sounds wrong doesn’t it, but it is proper English for this type of painting), etc.  However, many artists paint a variety of different types of paintings, while other artists specialize in only one.    The more one paints, the more one tends to lean toward one type of painting over another. 

Once you have determined the type of painting, then picking one subject is the next difficult task.  I say, paint them all…………….in time!  J   

Once the subject is selected, then one must determine how to present that subject…..up close, distant, a part or the whole?  It is a matter of preference and what one is trying to convey in the painting.

There are many ways to paint the subject:  from memory, on location, or from a photo, picture, etc.  I like to use photos when painting landscapes – IF I can’t paint on location.  Even painting from location, it is hard to complete the entire painting at the scene and a photo can be used to finish the painting or to deal with occasional bad weather. 

If photography is not one of your many talents, a photo book or even a post card is an excellent way to paint a landscape.  Many times, photos are taken from an angle that would be difficult, dangerous, or impossible for the artist to produce, but a professional photographer has the wherewithal to do so. 

The photo book piuctured at the top of my blog  was a gift from my daughter-in-law and will be an excellent source for many of my landscapes.  My watercolor above, Rushing Waters, was based on several photos from this book as well as a photo taken on location.  Each of the photos offered a different perspective for the rocks, the tumbling water, and the background.   Many thanks, Abbey, for this wonderful, thoughtful gift!
Regardless of the type of painting, the subject, or the method – just paint!

Happy Painting!


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