Monday, November 21, 2011

Photo Copy

I did the above painting as a commission, and since the recipient has no idea who I am, and is one of the rare few who doesn't read Maine-ly Painting, I thought it would be safe to post it.  To get this scene, I took a photo, projected it onto a blank masonite board, then carefefully traced the outline.  When it came time for the color, I used the photo as much as possible.

I'm totally kidding!

I actually went to this harbor and kayaked out to this boat at precisely the same time every day for a week and painted it from life using a small easel and palette I had set up on a bouy.

Fooled you again!

Okay, really, I did neither.  But this really is a portrait of a lobster boat converted into a pleasure craft, and my client wanted it to be seen in a harbor during fall.  Since the boat is currently up and out of the water for the winter, I had to use photos.  These are what she sent for me to use:


Next, I had to come up with a design for the painting.  I settled on a low-angle view of the boat because that's how I personally saw so many of these boats when I would paddle around Cundy's Harbor, Maine, where I lived for four years.  I felt I would be comfortable portraying it that way.

After I came up with an idea for the painting, I went back to my photo archives to see if I could get some usable reference shots of harbors and boats.  The viewpoint for almost all of my photos is from my kayak, or about three feet above sea-level.  I thought I could convert this one into my lobster boat:

Next came the harbor.  Again, I wanted something that was consistent with the perspective I was using for my painting.  This was actually taken at Oakhurst Island, right next door to Cundy's:

I simply changed the sun angle, and turned a beautiful spring day into fall.

Next came the reflections.  Remembering all I had observed while I sat and stared for hours at the boats moored out in the harbor, (and talked about in my last blog post) I faked it. 

So there's my painting, and I hope it makes a nice gift for someone. 

Now, I'm sure that if I actually was out and saw this boat in this setting in person, I'd notice a thousand things I could do differently.

But then it would be almost like copying a photo, wouldn't it?



SamArtDog said...

And that's why they call it a WORK of art!
Worth the effort.

Susan Roux said...

Kevin you make this look so easy. It's wonderful and your client will be extremely happy I'm sure. You really nailed the water. Congrats on a wonderful job (and ready before the fourth of july!)