Saturday, 13 June 2009

Digital imagery - using the computer to think around ideas for painting

Dawn at Sennen. Digital image, Vivien Blackburn

Sometimes I like to use the computer to work out ideas for further paintings using the sketches and paintings I've done plein air.

These are 3 I've done that may well find themselves developing into oil paintings.

The top one is a combination of the pearly dawn sketches and the wild seas - which were in a totally different light but the movement of the waves was beautiful, as were the dawn colours. Result = wild dawn :>) - I can definitely see this one being developed in paint.

Rainy Day at Sennen Cove, digital image. Vivien Blackburn

This one would lend itself to being developed as a a watercolour and coloured pencil piece don't you think?

Stormy Day, digital Image, Vivien Blackburn

With its muddy colours this one has more of an east coast feel - again it could be interesting in oils.

What do you think?

Do you use the computer this way?


Making A Mark said...

Can you explain what you're doing. Is this you checking out what sketches look like as a digital image or are you creating something new with digital technology?

vivien said...

it's me combining images, erasing parts, tipping colours, using the dodge and burn tools and generally mixing things up to create something that doesn't exist anywhere else .... but coming out of sketches I've done.

I'm not really interested in using painting tools to paint onscreen as I like the 'real' thing - but for playing around with ideas I LOVE it!

It's a way of working through ideas for me - like the calm version of the dawn that I put on the blog today - I think to myself,
what would it be like if it was wilder?

so .... try out wild sea with it, tip colours to more suitable ones for wilder day, mix it up ....

I really think I'll work from some of these and develop them - not simply copy but move them on another stage hopefully

Making A Mark said...

How about a demo at some point about you start with an image and what you do to it - showing us how it changes as you use different tools?

Lindsay said...

Everyone else's digital images look like, well, digital images. Yours look very painterly.

Are you using layering? Photo past, layered with a drawing? Yes, would you consider a demo?

I love all the different colors you have pullled from your sketches. I'd also like to know how you get such beautiful wave marks in your plein airs. I'm having a hard time adding streaks of sparkle to my river paintins...everything is just too wet.

vivien said...

yes - lots of layers!

I'll have to work on a tutorial - but it's very much trying things to see how they work like painting. I don't remember everythng I do!

big brushes Lindsay and for fluid marks a little Liquin to help the flow and a lot of my colour mixing happens on the painting, not just on the palette

Making A Mark said...

Maybe wait until you have the time and then make a note of what you did/what you decided to do next and save image files as you go. Then you'll have all the material for a tutorial.

Jeanette Jobson said...

these are great pieces and I can see how being able to play with digital effects is useful in examining colours options.

I have VERY basic knowledge of Photoshop so my ability to manipulate images and create paint effects is limited even though I have a graphics tablet.

Perhaps I'll have to dig it out and have another go!

Africantapestry and Myfrenchkitchen said...

this is an interesting concept vvine, one I have never tried! I thibk I would also like an abc from you as to how you go about this. I van think that it can be very helpful in leading your ideas into a definite direction - I completed a plein air at the Loire today, which turned out completely opposite as to what I was after, but I'm not exactly sure whayt it is I want different? So here I can see help in this method of yours.

Lindsay said...

Ronell, I'm nodding my head yes with your note about your painting not coming out exactly as planned. Photo shop might be a nice idea to figure out what went wrong with mine.

Plein air is so challenging!!!

annie said...

I agree. Please, when you do have time, a tutorial about thinking and experimenting with digital and bits of real paintings.

Sarah said...

Thats interesting Viv, I sometimes try out things digitally before making a paint commitment, I think it is a very useful tool but I think doing a tutoriaql would be tricky because part of the process is that unplanned experiment and trying to record what you did would halt that a bit. The programme that I use for illustration (Corel painter) has a recording system called scripts I think and you can replay all of your moves, like a film, that would work for a tutorial especially if you recorded your thought process as you watched the playback.

vivien said...

exactly Sarah! I wing it as I work and it would really slow things down to try to keep track - I'm horrifically right brained with an atrophied left, organisational brain! Katherine can confirm that!

I will give a tutorial/step by step some thought when I can.

Basically just layer elements from your sketches that you want to combine and play with all the possibilities and adjustments

Tweaking brightness and contrast,levels, curves, saturation/desaturatin, colour balance etc can often point out what you need to push in a work in progress that you aren't happy with

Making A Mark said...

Vivien - would recording yourself - saying what you're thinking out loud help? How about if you did a video?

Shanna said...

I find these images very compelling!! You are really breaking away from conventional ways of picturing. And I agree with whoever it was who said that most computer art looks it. You are really using the computer as a tool and you have a very real sense of both the movement of your subject and the movement across the picture plane.

Wonderful work!! I look forward to seeing more.