Monday, November 19, 2007

Practicing perspective

8 x 10 WIP
Miki Willa
This morning, I decided to work on perspective. I selected a photo I took a long time ago while I was on an Alaskan cruise. I have always liked the photo, but it is small and presents quite a challenge. The most obvious is that the boardwalk on the water side of the buildings is not in a straight line leading to a distant point on the horizon. I can see in the photo, I still have some alignment work to do before I go much further. I haven't even started on the water. Each and every piling and building has a wonderful reflection on the fairly still water. I have to figure out how to convey watery reflections without making them muddy. I also need to pay some attention to the sizes of the pilings. Right now, they all look the same width. I wish I had better light to paint by.
I paint at my desk in my library very early in the morning. I go to work very early because I want to miss the dreadful traffic. When I get there, the first thing I do is set up my portable studio on my desk. My space is very limited, but I make due. The lighting is the most difficult thing to overcome. It is still dark when I begin to paint, so I rely on the standard overhead recessed bar lights covered in nice plastic protectors. As the day dawns, I am often surprised at my hues and values. As my scheduled starting time approaches, I hurry to put everything safely away, stand the painting in the window behind my desk (facing away from the light, of course), open the doors and start my day. On Friday, I pack all my pastels and paintings into my studio on wheels, and head home for the weekend painting in my studio. I am glad I am able to paint every day, but I would love more time each morning in my studio. Some day, that will happen.

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