Thursday, November 29, 2012

Experimental sun-lighting for beginners

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September snowfall
Watercolour, crayon and computer
Charlene Brown

I painted this a few years ago from a photo of famously-turquoise Moraine Lake, taken after an early snowfall before freeze-up. The painting was nowhere near as spectacular as you’d expect, because the sunlight wasn’t strong enough to cast nice sharp shadows. The only good shadow reference photos I was able to find were taken in summer under a much higher sun.  So I decided to make some up.
In order to keep my options open, I put in the shadows on this jpeg file only… the original is still its same old flat white self.  Someday, when I’m a little surer of the shadows, I’ll use actual paint (Daniel Smith Moonglow, I think) instead of just Photoshop Polygonal Lasso Select>Edit>Fill.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Cutting-edge design (not)

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Computer montage
©2012 Charlene Brown
When my sister asked me to paint a picture of our childhood home, I decided to compile a QR code-derived arrangement of dozens of tiny pictures mounted on a watercolour painting.  It was to be a very cutting-edge, 21st century design of family photos from the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s.  Here is what happened instead…
It turned out I was the only person in my generation or the next generation of our family who could find any photo albums from the old days, and I didn't have 'dozens' of photos taken inside or near the house. Everyone's photos had been de-cluttered or stashed or had otherwise become at least temporarily inaccessible. So I decided that this layout, pretty much along the lines of a regular photo album, might be of more interest.
Technical note: The newer photos (only 50-60 years old) were sort of in colour, so for consistency, I rendered them all into gray scale, then sepia.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Painting in the Bugaboos IV

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Beyond this point be grizzlies

Watercolour and crayon
©2012 Charlene Brown

This is the ‘snowbank-encrusted pond’ I referred to in my last Bugaboos painting.  It is the only location where we saw evidence of the recent presence of bears (not the still-steaming kind of evidence, just some roughly overturned rocks and up-rooted bulbs).  All hikers and painters are accompanied by guides with radios, air horns and bear spray, but close encounters are rare as the bears leave the areas where they know the helicopters will touch down as soon as they hear them coming.
I’ll admit right now that none of the flowers in this tundra-like meadow where we did our sketching were glacier lilies  – which bloom in early July – but I decided to include some anyway, after figuring out how to paint them using masking fluid a couple of years ago.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Virtual Paintout in New Brunswick

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Water Street, St. Andrews-by-the-Sea
Watercolour and crayon
©2012 Charlene Brown

The Virtual Paintout is in New Brunswick this month. I’ve never been in the southwestern corner of the province, but everyone who has says St. Andrews is a lovely little town, so I headed there first to find something nice with a Bay of Fundy background – and then found this delightful Streetview that runs parallel to the water, and doesn’t show the Bay of Fundy at all.
If you click on this link to it, you can swivel the Google camera to the right, and see how close it is, if you like...