Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Working from a Photo

The Small Pond Culzean

Oil on board  24 x 20"
Bridget Hunter 2012

I've been searching through sketchbooks and photos for a painting subject and found this one taken on a walk at Culzean Castle. I've always wanted to paint the shadows and reflections there but thought it might prove too tricky to get it right.

First a few thumbnail sketches to decide on the composition.

Then the exciting part - blocking in the main shapes.

 Palette - Ceruleum, Ultramarine Blue, Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Yellow, Burnt Sienna, Permanent Rose, White.

After that it all went downhill as the struggle with the foreground meant I kept wiping paint off and adjusting the plants and resorting to lots of coffee breaks and getting totally scunnered with it !

In the end the large mass of pale plants at the bottom disappeared as it seemed to work better with a darker area there. Then it seemed best to darken the tones of the left side to emphasis the light areas at the end of the path. It now sits facing the wall so I'm not tempted to do anymore and so overwork it.

However, I love the work of Ivon Hitchens and would love to be able to reduce the scene as he does in this painting.

Drooping Trees over Water
Ivon Hitchens  1957


  1. Bridget, I too have one facing the wall! I like yours but I hate mine! I'm even contemplating cutting it off the frame and making a door mat out of it. :(

  2. I'm sure I'd find yours wonderful - you have a great design eye. But think of Monet whose friend kept dragging paintings Monet was adding to a bonfire because he disliked them so!! Its heartening at times to think of how he must have felt - the same as us mere mortals.:>)) Now back to the easel.

    1. Thanks Bridget. Monet is one of my painting heroes. Have you ever been to his house and garden? I was fortunate enough to go a few years ago. Absolutely beautiful. My friend took a photo of me on "the" bridge. His house was a huge canvas!

    2. No - I've never been there. It must have been amazing. If you're ever this side of the Atlantic again - come to my bit for a stayover :>))))

  3. So sorry to hear your frustrated and your painting is in time out, I think it's beautiful!!

  4. This fantastic journey around a painting is really rewarding. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Thank you for sharing your process. Lovely painting, too. I'm always impressed with your ability to abstract the landscape while communicating its beauty and your response to it.

    Some of the best paintings go through many iterations before they are done. It can be a good thing--just not while we're struggling with them!

  6. Hi Desiree - thankyou for commenting.

  7. Thankyou Jean-Baptiste - I'm using photos a lot just now - its very interesting to twist them into something !!!!

  8. That's a great way of putting it Melinda - struggling with them! Went to a local church yesterday to lay in a painting - but struggled so much later trying to finish it at home. It's the waste of paint I get annoyed at :>))))

  9. I have got to say I did this for a school project
    even before finding this trend online. I use two Picasso paintings from his
    blue period. This has inspired me to post them later on, and maybe create some more. :)
    I loved the Mondrian one by the way. Very clever!

    Pictures to paintings
    photos to paintings
    photo to painting
    picture to painting
    painting from photo

  10. I used to paint outside more but it's an age thing and a safety thing - not as easy now unless you have company. So photos sometimes the only way to gather resources.I'd be interested to see your posts using the Picasso works. Thankyou for commenting.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...