I have hit a plateau in my painting for the last few months and whenever that happens, I find it helpful to do something else that nourishes my soul. By a plateau, I mean that I feel like I can't find anything inspiring to paint, I don't know if I even remember how to paint and I will probably never paint again. But I know that feeling and I also know that it will pass with time.
Then I realized that I needed an "assignment". You know, something to paint and learn from. I love painting people and animals so I decided on collecting 100 photo's of "faces". There are two online photo archives that share photography with artists for free that I use. One is Morgue File which is a strange term but they have high end photo's that are free to both businesses and the public. The other is Paint My Photo which is a gallery full of both photo's and artwork. The photo's are taken by both professional photographers and world travelers with just their cell phone. After just a few days of collecting photo's from these two sites and my own photo's, I have close to 372 photo's!!!
I decided that I would paint from one of these reference photos every day that I don't have something to paint for a show or a commission was so freeing. Mostly because it's both fun to paint again and it doesn't have to be perfect!
If you look at the two photo's above, you will see that the upper one is the original, cropped to fit a 6 x 6 canvas panel. The second one is one that I have played with in Photoshop and "posterized". It gives me an idea of interesting colors to add while I am painting. I used the same method for my Portal Series of windows and doors.
|My regular photo of Elvis|
See how it takes a fine ho-hum photo (these are both mine) and gives it a certain zing that makes it fun? So much richness and pops of color!
|Elvis - my chicken with a hairdo and attitude!|
I have four paintings that are finished from this last week and I started one today that I ended up wiping the paint off the panel at the end of the day because it just was turning into mud. But I am excited to start a new one tomorrow! I will post the finished ones on Sunday! Stay tuned.