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Thursday, February 23, 2012

It's all about design - the start of a new painting

in progress

I've been entering some art shows lately.  Some of my art friends suggested I enter my "Koi Ripples" in some big shows.  Unfortunately, the rules are they must have been painted within the last two years.  "Koi Ripples" was painted 3 years ago now.  (My, how time flies!).

That painting was so much fun to paint, and since it was so well received, I've decided to do a different one with the same technique.  I am using a terracotta colored La Carte paper.  This color is nice for the fish which are predominately orange.

When going through my photos of koi ponds, I spent a few hours looking for a good basic design.  The fish had to be in an interesting arrangement and there had to be interesting negative spaces.  A big bonus was interesting color patterns in the fish.  A very important factor I look for is contrast (really dark areas, some medium values and some very light value areas).  These are all design elements which can make a painting powerful if done well.

It is very rare that a photograph is perfect.  I do a lot of cropping variations in photoshop until I hit on a composition I like.  Sometimes it is a very small section of the photograph.  

1 comment:

Sharon said...

Oh, I really like that not-so-literal koi fish! You'll have to let us know how it does.