Wednesday, May 23, 2012

On the road again

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From the Sea-to-Sky Highway above Squamish
Watercolour sketch
©2012 Charlene Brown

‘On the road again’ usually implies you’re going somewhere, but this is not the case here… in fact I’m back in Victoria at the moment.  But I was over on the mainland for the Mothers’ Day week-end and had the opportunity to drive up the Sea-to-Sky Highway again, a road where I did a series of paintings, such as Howe Sound, and Horseshoe Bay, three years ago during the run-up to the 2010 Olympics, which took place in venues at both ends of this highway.
This view shows the iconic Stawamus Chief rock face, a popular spot for climbers and vertical dancers, Shannon Falls, now swollen with a huge spring run-off and visible for miles (though not as visible as I’ve shown it here) and the head of Howe Sound, the southernmost fjord in the Northern Hemisphere.  (Pay attention there will be a test!)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Turning Paintings into Posters III

Here are the posters I generated in Photoshop using the two large paintings I described.  I hope you’ll agree they go together surprisingly well considering the dissimilar landscapes involved.
Posterizing a picture greatly increases its impact.  The process causes portions of the original image that contained gradual colour transitions to be replaced by abrupt changes in shading and gradation from one area of tone to another. 
Specific colour sets (roughly the same for both pictures) were assigned to these sharply defined image portions.  I mentioned I’d gotten so I didn’t even notice the paintings anymore, even though they are full sheet size (~ 75 cm. in height) and hanging in our front hall… It’s pretty hard not to notice these posters!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Turning Paintings into Posters II

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Sunset in the Gulf
Watercolour and marker
©1998 Charlene Brown

This is the view of Dubai looking northwest from our favourite Tex-Mex restaurant. (Yes, we ate a lot of Tex-Mex in Dubai when we lived there) The large Jumeira and Iranian mosques, as well as the smaller neighbourhood mosques closer to the beach can be seen lined up facing Mecca, almost directly west of Dubai.
This small version of my full-sheet watercolour belies its rather pale presentation of what was a pretty spectacular sight…  
Tomorrow I’ll outline the ‘posterizing’ process, and show you the (surprisingly) matched pair of posters that ‘Banff at Night’ and ‘Sunset in the Gulf’ turned into…

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Turning Paintings into Posters

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Banff at Night
©1991 Charlene Brown

This is one of two framed full-sheet watercolours I did several years ago that I’ve grown a little tired of… in fact, no longer even notice, despite the fact they’re hanging in our front hall.
As I mentioned in the introduction to my Poster Project  last year, the purpose of posters is to get people’s attention and deliver a clear, concise message – or sometimes they are simply intended as ‘art with impact.’
My art supply store has recently added digital printing to their repertoire, so I decided to have my Photoshopped paintings printed as posters of exactly the same size and to tape the posters onto the glass over the framed paintings.
Tomorrow, I’ll show you the other painting, ‘Dubai at Night,’ and the next day, I’ll write about the two posters.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Reality in Representational Art

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Olympic Sliding Centre
©2012 Charlene Brown

Representational art is defined as work that depicts something easily recognized by most people. This painting was supposed to be representational, titled ‘Olympic Sliding Centre, from Whistler cable car’ as it is based on a photograph I took from one of the Whistler ski lifts. Here is what happened instead…
I decided to ‘improve’ the picture’s composition by angling the cables differently and taking out an unattractive vertical one on the left – then realized, too late, that I had removed the cable that had been holding me up!  I’d painted over the pencil lines at that point, which makes them impossible to erase, so I couldn’t get things lined up properly to get myself back on the lift.
I don't always concern myself that much with accuracy (or even reality) but I want to get this one 'right' as it's a gift, so I will start over and either line up the towers and cables as they appear in my photograph or – more likely – leave them out entirely, and call it ‘Olympic Sliding Centre, from Whistler Mountain.’

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Virtual Paintout in Jerusalem

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Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives
©2012 Charlene Brown

The Virtual Paintout is in Jerusalem this month, and finding a Streetview to paint was quite a bit easier than last month. I really didn’t know where to start in Gdansk, but in Jerusalem I knew I wanted to include the Dome of the Rock, which I first painted fifteen years ago (rather more precisely than I paint now) and wrote about last year.  All I had to do was look at the Google Satellite view of Jerusalem to find a blue street (indicating it had been covered by the Google camera car) with an unobstructed view of the Old City, and quickly found an excellent location on the Mount of Olives.  Here is the link to it.