Thursday, October 15, 2009

Some editing

Here's a photo I took today. I love the fall. I like fall best when it is past its peak, then I see about half leaves and half dark branches. This year I have taken a lot of photos and although I seldom paint from photos I may make an exception or two this winter. The fall is so short and I really like the moody feeling of it and I like using the colors . I can subdue them a bit. That way my paintings are the color of 500 dollar suits!
Here is how I am thinking of the painting. I am going to lose the phone poles and I am going to change the road from blacktop to gravel. I think both detract from the scene, here's why. I like the romantic look I get by not indicating that it is in our current time. I think that allows the viewer more of an opportunity for a kind of wistful longing to be in the place. But that is a personal choice of mine. You might want to leave the telephone poles in. Even I could leave those on the left, in the painting as they aren't too assertive.

I would have taken the right hand pole out even if it had been a natural object, like a birch tree. It is jammed against the picture plane and attracts too much attention to itself, it looks so huge that close in. But it also does another thing, it doesn't seem like real vision, we don't see the same way a camera does. A camera sees everything with the same amount of clarity. A viewer looking at a painting which copies the photo might subconsciously feel they need to turn their head and refocus to see the pole, after they have looked at the house. We tend to read from left to right, or at least design that way traditionally, and so after you look at the house your attention then moves over to that pole. I would rather you looked at the house and then into the distance beyond it.

I changed the road for the same reason as above, it is more evocative to me if I make it look a little "old timey" some of you will find that too sentimental and that's fine. I am showing you how I do things more than how YOU should do things.

But there is another important reason I have removed both the telephone poles and the blacktop and that is this. Both are super hard edged. I know I don't want that. My road is softened into its surroundings with grass and leaves and other incursions that blur its edges. You could probably soften up the blacktop road with leaves strewn at its edges and leave it paved though.

I also reworked the sky a little bit, I felt I could improve on the shapes of the clouds and sky patterns up there. I made them more similar to the background, just a little. I like to do that sometimes, make them compliment each other.

Tomorrow I am gong to go out and give the thing a shot in paint if the weather holds, I am excited as it looks like it will make a pretty good painting. As I work on the thing I might find I need to change a lot of other things, but I will see what happens out there.


Philip Koch said...

I enjoyed watching Stape's editing ideas in the photo.

Confess I got nervous though when you talked about going out and trying these moves in paint. Maybe it's just me but every time I've told someone ahead of time what painting I'm going to do, the Muse gets wind of it and turns my talent switch to the "off " position. I'm kidding, but not by that much.

willek said...

Seeing how you go through the process and hearing your thoughts as you go is really helpful. What did you mean by Making the clouds conform to the distance.

Deborah Paris said...

I am new to your blog Stapleton- I am really enjoying going back and reading through your archives. What tool in Photoshop are you using to edit?I've looked in some of your previous posts but didn't see a reference to it.

JT Harding said...

another good reason to change the road into gravel is that the viewer would be afraid of being rear ended by a truck. good choices!

Paul said...

A few weeks ago you showed us a great trick when you cropped a larger painting that did not sell down to a smaller painting. You remarked that the area behind the house did not add anything. I wonder if this scene wouldn't also benefit from cropping much of the right landscape behind the house. I guess not cropping would convey the feeling of a lonely rural homestead while cropping might convey a warm feeling of "going home." I love all your blogs and ideas, Stape, and hope you don't mind my amateur suggestions.

Anonymous said...

I happened to come across your blog and was interested by your approach to editing this image. I can also see a painting in just the road and the poles, cropping the buildings out.

Michael said...

The Photoshop tool to make pavement into gravel and remove telephone poles has to be the Clone tool. You carefully select areas to grab and replace moving the source around so it does not look like a direct copy spot for spot.

I like the edited version for a painting.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Working in my gallery with all of those people looking over my shoulder for all those years and painting on the streets so much I think I have grown sort of nonchalant. If the painting isn't great, the next one will be better. I have made and shown thousands. I feel more like a musician, I show up play and the gig as well as I can.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I had planned to make them out of similar sorts of shapes. As it happened on location a different plan emerged.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I am absolutely cluless when it comes to photoshop. I use the brush tool and the clone tool. I am working in Photoshop express.I am using mt painting experience and not any particular photoshop ability. There are many photoshop tutorial sites.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Those darn trucks, you try dodging them out, you try cloning them out.....

Stapleton Kearns said...

Paul: I am going to post the painting I did tonight. I think I did some of that.

Stapleton Kearns said...

You are free to use the image to do it, good luck!

Stapleton Kearns said...

Yes that is it. I expect folks who are expert at photoshop have far better ways of doing things like that.