Planing a Painting step 1

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I need to escape the dreariness of mid winter. Like everyone else, I feel cooped up due to the extreme cold outside.  I use this indoor  time to organize not only my studio & supplies, but to organize my reference photos. I sort through photographs  looking for images that I feel would be of interest, looking for something I feel a desire to paint. I will then play with these photos in a photoshop program working with  different tools, trying to see values, contrasts & compositions.

Here is an image that I’m considering turning into a watercolor painting.

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Original Photo of stairs in Central Park, NYC

This helps me see the edges making it easier to draw the subject.

This helps me see the edges making it eaasier for me to draw the subject.

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Here the photo is broken into 4 different values helping me see individual shapes.

Here the photo is broken into 4 different values helping me see individual shapes.

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B&W helps me see the shapes & the darkest darks and lightest lights.

Black & White helps me see the shapes, rendering the darkest darks and lightest lights.

I enjoy the planing stages that go into making a painting. Not all paintings are planned out in this process. When I’m working outdoors paintings are sketched and a small value study can be done to work out the composition. When I’m in the studio and the subject matter is from a photo, it’s great to have these additional images to help me remember what it was I felt about each place I photographed and why I wanted to share it with you, the viewer, in a  painting.

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I will post this painting and share with you the beginning steps I take after I’ve chosen the subject and worked out the composition.  The next step will be the small studies I do as I work my way towards the larger completed painting. I offer these photos to you to work from in creating your own painting. Send me any of your artwork and I’ll be happy to feature it here on my blog.

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Paint with Me

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~ by Lorraine Rimmelin on February 2, 2010.

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