Saturday, September 11, 2010

Using Photoshop to think things through & starting my studio clean-up

This is a portrait that was done in a life painting session. The model wore a lilac scarf and reminded me of Kirsten Dunst. I revisited her today (the painting, not Dunst)....and she is still quite a crappy painting, but I puttered around making improvements here and there. (Sometimes that seems a valuable exercise..to paint over something that went wrong just to see what helps and what doesn't). When I put her into Photoshop I saw that one side of her face was substantially too wide. Why didn't I see that when I painted her a year ago and why didn't I see it when she was on the easel today? Well, it is easy to make measurement errors when you are working from life and it's a good thing to change your perspective (like look at things upside down or in a mirror). When I saw the painting in Photoshop it had that changed perspective effect. As I shaved her face down (in Photoshop) she looked improved right away. (The "too wide face" is on the left and the correction is on the right). I seldom use Photoshop in this way...but it helped to confirm my suspicions after I saw the problem and now I have put it into my memory bank to avoid the error in the future.

I'm inspired by blogger Suzanne Berry..she has been cleaning out her studio and I'm going to follow her lead and do the same. I started today but I didn't get far. I started looking through some of my old sketchbooks. (Mistake, but I liked the walk down memory lane)...There was an ink blot that I had made into a face. It now reminds me of work by Harry Kent. I liked running into a the colorful city (Portland, I guess...that looks like the KOIN tower). I don't remember doing the super vague vine charcoal face, but I enjoyed seeing it--- there is so little to it it's like a wisp of air. I guess I did not ever date these things (I always put a date on sketches now). Finally, I came across a "memory" drawing that I did of me and my Mom sitting together when I was very young. I sketched it immediately after my Mom died in 2004. In the sketch she's holding my report card. It comforted me to draw it back then and I was glad to see it again today.











6 comments:

Katherine van Schoonhoven said...

Celeste! You are amazing. You don't let yourself off easy and say, "oh, this one didn't work out so well." Not you! You dig and think and figure out why and how and then make it right. FANTASTIC!

-Don said...

There are very few pieces that I create anymore that are not touched in some way by Photoshop. It's as important a tool to me as my palette knife and my pencil.

I took a similar trip down memory lane early this year and found it quite rewarding, as well. It's fun to revisit these old friends.

Happy Creating! (...and organizing)

-Don

Susan Roux said...

Good luck with your clean-up. For me its inventory growing from the walls and closing in on my already small floor space...

Carrie H. said...

Hey, I almost see a Bison head commin' out of the Brown (Harry Kent) Ink Blob. I wonder if Harry agrees?

hwfarber said...

I like all of these paintings and drawings, and love the one of you and your mother. I have mirrors lying around my studio but sometimes prefer the "slightly askew" look.

Didn't you clean and organize just a few months ago?

Linda Popple said...

It's so interesting what photoshop can do. I use just a very small portion and need to take the time to learn more. Made a great difference in your painting. You share so much of what you learn and believe me, it is appreciated!

Good luck with your clean up! :-)