Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Shutterbug

  I like the thoughtful expression, the modern watch, the way the right side of her head fades into the dark, and
the fac tthat I didn't get all made up or even comb my hair.  I used to be one of those gals, but I outgrew it. 

I spent the AM playing shutterbug using myself as (disheveled) subject with the single light coming from a window.  This was the first of many shots taken using the timer. It's not my favorite, but the natural lighting is relatively okay and the contrast and clarity is good.  It was about 9:00. I should have taken notes.  Each photo taken from then on needed more adjusting as the natural light kept increasing.  I really could have used a stand-in, but Ellis doesn't like to play shutterbug. 

I decided to use myself because I am accessible. Portraits hold my interest for long periods of painting time. Fleshtones  are always a major concern; it wouldn't hurt me to take some time on them. The Venetian Technique suits portraiture.  The general public probably appreciates the style's realism more than they do my favorite, the more painterly gestural style.  And my family might hold on to this painting after I'm gone, whereas a still life they'd probably let go in the estate sale; I would. ;-))

Here's a couple of more shots that have possibilities, but must be reshot; the sun had risen and with it, glare increased.

Not so natural here. I changed my tank top just to see what a more muted tone would do. Also put on some blusher and shouldn't have. Portrait artist/photographers  need a bit of the stylist in them. I also enhanced the photo and shouldn't have.

.Another shot washed out by too much light. The face of the watch must be visible.  This pose might work better using a lamb in an otherwise darkened room?  It's also very, and maybe too much so, Chuck Close?  I think the watch is an important prop though; it balances the composition. (I wonder why I kept punching myself in the cheek)?


 
After making my decision on subject and spending the morning running around the tripod, it occurred to me that I might just swing the Venetian way. I forgot how much I love photography. And it is a very important skill to have, if portrait painting is a calling.  All of these photos have been sized in proportion to the size of the linen canvas I will be using. 

"A portrait is a picture in which there is just a tiny little something not quite right about the mouth." --John Singer Sargent quoted by Robert Genn in his newsletter, "Portrait", on November 3, 2000


That's the truth, but maybe not so much using the Venetian approach and the grid, which "simplifies our drawing process and removes issues of perspective and scale." (Todd Burroughs).

18 comments:

  1. Lovely photo with good lighting. I also like the design flow.
    The real question is... will you still be able to look in the mirror after 12 weeks!
    The painting behind reminds me of the old tapestry hangings. beautiful.

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    1. Thank. That's the largest painting I ever did. It's twelve feet by six feet. No preliminary drawing was done, just a starting series of marks that evolved into vague figures dancing across the space. The process was conversational. I said/did something. The painting said do this. I started out with acrylics. Then I went to house paint and followed that up with oils. So far no paint has fallen off. The painting is forty years old. And now here I am going for exact representation. How's that for the evolution of an artist?

      The nice part of doing myself is that it's not myself while I'm painting. I don't really recognize that old broad I see in the mirror at all!

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  2. I agree the watch is a great focal point... I think if u angle your wrist slightly down u can catch the face of it w/out glare... Love your painting behind u!.. The last photo is just slightly too bright... love the slight shadowing @your neck and chin...

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    1. The light brightened up so fast. Tomorrow I'll start at first light. Tonight, I'll try incandescent light from one lamp.

      I really miss having a stand-in for focusing. It's hard rushing around the tripod and taking position in just 10 seconds. Thanks. That's a free expression mural I did forty years ago. I had a "gallery wall" in the house that needed something; I prefer one grand painting instead of a whole bunch of little paintings. It was a great opportunity to work large.

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  3. I do like that top photo, though I'd lighten the very dark shadows on your right temple, neck and crease at left elbow. And the muted, abstract background is perfect.
    WHAT is the Venetian technique???
    Kathryn

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    1. High contrast of dark and light values. Light comes from a single source. The full description is in my last post titled What Have I Gotten Myself Into?

      I think I like that one too, but I'll mess around with the camera a getting the sharpest image I can a bit more--same pose eyes lifted just a bit. She looks a bit sad in this one and she was not--maybe that's what old looks like?

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  4. The first photo would make an excellent portrait, Linda!!! and if I had your hair I wouldn't comb it either..LOL. I do hope you use that first photo...the shadows are wonderful.....Love the pensive pose and the lighting is perfect by the window!!!!.

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    1. After many shots taken, it is turning out to be the best. It is absolutely amazing how fast the light changes. I am getting exhausted from setting the timer, running around it and plopping myself down on the sofa in relatively the right spot and striking a nonchalant oblivious to the camera pose. I tried it again this morning, but started earlier. Ellis thinks I'm out of my mind--but will he sit in for me so I can set the camera more accurately? No.

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  5. Bonjour,

    Toutes ces photos de vous sont belles. Chacune est unique cependant je suis d'accord pour dire que la toute première serait parfaite pour un autoportrait.
    J'ai hâte de voir les étapes d'une oeuvre qui sera très certainement fascinante et réussie mais pas sans le risque de se détester parfois car faire un autoportrait ne doit pas être aisé.

    ❁ Gros bisous ❁

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    1. Merci Martine. à ce jour, le premier est en passe de devenir le meilleur. Je n'ai aucun problème faisant un auto-portrait. D'une certaine manière, je peux me regarder de la même façon que je regardais un étranger - individuelle et sans porter de jugement, ne s'intéresse qu'à la structure de yhe personne en face de moi. Il ya beaucoup de construction qui va dans un portrait - mesures et la relation entre les points, à en juger valeurs et en les mélangeant avec précision - même comment vous laydown la brosse sont toujours en cours d'examen. Il ya vraiment très peu de pensée donnée à l'expression ou l'émotion d'être exposées, toutes les pensées sont dirigées à obtenir l'image vers le bas. quand cela est fait, c'est quand vous prenez du recul et voir ce que l'image a à dire.

      Thank you Martine. so far, the first is turning out to be the best. i have no problems doing a self portrait. Somehow, i can look at myself the same way i would look at a stranger--detached and nonjudgemental, interested only the structure of yhe person in front of me. There's a lot of construction that goes into a portrait--measurements and the relationship between points, judging values and mixing them accurately--even how you laydown the brush are always being considered. There's really very little thought given to the expression or the emotion being exhibited, all thoughts are directed at getting the likeness down. when that's done, that's when you step back and see what the picture has to say.

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  6. Linda, I like the photos a lot. I love love love morning light… it is one of my favorite things in the world… it makes everything it touches beautiful, from coffee cups to dirty dishes.

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    1. Now you are the gal with the right camera! It is so odd setting the timer and running around the tripod to jump into position before the shutter snaps. You could give me a few tips. I am so envious of your Tokyo trip. That's one we had to cancel. I've been remorseful ever since every time I see photos like you are showing.

      The first one was taken between 8:30 and 9. You can only take a few shots before the light starts to get too bright-- and it was a f-stop 5 light, not f-16--not that I was using my film camera, but I am thinking of it. Trouble is film takes five days to develop at a lab. I did email that top one to the instructor, (another color translation); he has all of Photoshop. Maybe he'll be so kind? If I knew I was getting into photography, I would have upgraded my equipment before I put all the money into the paints. It seems like the quality of the reference is the key to a successful painting. All this just to be more social and a bit more informed!

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    2. I'm no fan of self timers Linda… you can buy a remote for like $5 in Target, it works with most Canon cameras… or just have someone else take your photo?

      Tokyo was fun. I'm in the Dominican Republic now & like it a lot.

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  7. I also love the first photo, but prefer the green vest. Can't wait for more tomorrow!

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    1. Nah, the white is better. The green ties into the background too much. The white connects to the couch leaving the skin tones more prevalent. If anything different, the top should be a value in-between the darkness of the background and the back of the head and the couch, which is darn close to the lightness of the skin tone. If anything, the photographic section of this technique sure does get the artist to analyze the values in the composition. That's a good thing.

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  8. I love the pose, the contrast of the first pleases me best. If shutterbug means playing with a camera, I have become a shutterbug too lately. Have fun!

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    1. I hope it does--that's how I meant it. I've been playing camera ever since Monday--learned everything I should have known about my digital camera and the color changes that go on between the camera, the computer and the printer. It has been fun. I've always loved photography.

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    2. I found this online photo editing program, that I like very much. For when a photo needs editing. Endless fun! http://www.picmonkey.com/

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