Tuesday, February 07, 2012

"Swan Valley" ©

This blog post is about painting Swan Valley, Idaho, from a photo.

This is a great example of painting from a photograph. People ask me all the time if I paint from photos, as if to answer yes, would somehow be a negative blow to my artwork. You can't tell me that if cameras had been available to all the artists in the past, they wouldn't have taken advantage of the technology. Sometimes you just have too, whether it's because you were driving to a destination without time to stop to paint or the light was just so fleeting the only way to capture it is with a camera. I believe it's just fine for artists to use photos, as long as they own the image or have permission.

In the photo above the painting is just staring out with my "line" drawing and the photo on the top of my easel. Sometimes I use the computer next to the easel if I want to see the image in a larger format.

At this point I have paint all over the canvas, in the general value of each area. I can stand back and see if it's going in the direction that I envisioned .
I have this painting as far along as I can go wet into wet paint. I'll let it set up for a few days and go back in to do all of the dry brush work. I can hardly wait, finding all the brush in the foreground is truly a labor of love.
About 7:30 in the morning as I was driving home from Driggs Idaho, last August, I saw this scene in my rear view mirror. Thank goodness for digital cameras, I stopped and took a shot of the valley. Ever since I have wanted to paint this scene and finally I had the chance and loved every minute.

Oil on Canvas, 24" X 36"


Susan said...

Beautiful, moody painting. Love it.
I paint Idaho from photos as well as en plein air also. You have done a wonderful job with the light/shadow contrast. Love those soft shadows.

Nancy Van Blaricom said...

Thanks for showing your step-by-step. Your work is beautiful and to see it in different stages is really nice. I agree about working from photos... a blessing.

ggoodrich said...

I'm really amazed whenever I met artists who can paint perfectly from what they saw on photos. Don't worry, painting based on a photo doesn't sound negative.
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Laura Wambsgans said...

I am so glad that the idea of painting from a photo didn't put anyone off. Thank you all for the very kind comments!

Marian Fortunati said...

It is absolutely gorgeous, Laura!!!
Exceptionally well done!

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