My Yesterday in Pictures Format
I’ve simply built my daily walking & painting up to the point where I need the time for these two vital parts of keeping me healthy and/or sane, lol!
My Day Ahead series posts will continue, but on a much more intermittent basis. Already it seems some of that series’ usefulness is being incorporated into this new series’ format, me yakking ‘bout what when on, on the yesterday part of my life anyway, lol! It’s a continuing experiment of course, so we’ll see 😊
On the last day of the year of the last year of the decade, I thought a short post summarizing one small creative process I’ve just recently started using, would be nice, plus appropriate as something “barely” old yet transitioning into the new decade for me with my art 😊
One of the most significant challenges of beginning to create softer watercolor-ish via acrylics style paintings has been how to photograph them as they actually appear.
I’d mentioned in a recent post that the camera features in my iPhone XR that make for great portraits and landscape & flower photography, really crank up the detail and coloring too much for these much softer recent paintings.
Though I’m still experimenting, the steps below are ones I’ve found I can consistently go to help reduce any garishness, noise, and undue contrast. I’d highly recommend also experimenting if this is something that appeals to you as something you could use or just like trying out. I’d esp recommend also tinkering with the Vibrancy and Saturation settings, then dialing detail and/or color back in via the Brightness setting, vs Exposure. But experiment. See what happens 😊
So this is the photo of my very first 6×6 Absorbent Grounds acrylic experiment, finally finished (I’ll have a full post on the process start to finish once the varnishing is done), with its first (maybe final) coat of Gamblin Gamvar removal varnish. The white absorbent ground I used is via Golden (they provide a lot of good info on their site). I’ll probably also be trying Daniel Smith’s black watercolor absorbent ground version in the future – more fun experimenting! ❤️
So, back to my photo of my art piece. You can actually see some of the vertical ridges of the wet varnish still gleaming on the bottom left.
I have a “little” less trepidation (literally how I felt the 1st time), seeing my soft work of art appearing slightly harsher and Halloween-ish – knowing that previous applications of a glossy glare-producing medium, like the the isolation layer mix of Soft Gel Gloss & water, did finally fade, allowing my painting to become itself again!
This morning (Tue, New Year’s Eve) I could already see that restorative magic in process as the varnish continues to dry (whew!) Technically, it’s dry. But in terms of the degree of whatever full transparency the varnish’ll have, I really won’t know for another day or two. And even for a few days after that, it seems the paintings continue to mellow out to what I envisioned & saw when I decided the work was done. I’m hoping for the same this time around 😊
I typically start with Noise Reduction, but am beginning to trust the process enough now I go down the line so to speak of the adjustments available. If this was a typical photo, I might stop closer to the start, with Brilliance or Saturation. Here, I go on to Contrast. The number shown, minus 11 (-11) is a very small adjustment. These are accessed via the bottom left control, with nthe mid-option for Black & White, and the right side option for cropping and (recently added within it) vertical and horizontal rebalancing, which is super handy!
Next I like to reduce the Vibrance. On a multi-surface, multi-layered (paints and mediums) surface, too much Vibrance seems to over-accentuate the ridges and glossy spots more than noticed in a real look at the work. Notice again how tiny the adjustment is. These controls, both increasing & decreasing the various visual options, are very powerful!
Below, what completes the magic of showing me more closely what I see when I see my work – “in person, lol 😂” – is Noise Reduction. A few of the sliders, like this one, don’t go + or – but rather from zero on up. This control, so far, has been the most beneficial, though by itself, not enough.
It’s worth also playing with Black Point, and really all the others, just to see how they affect an image.
My biggest initial challenge – and frustration – was moving a slider to a point I liked, but to see if I could make it better (sound like a familiar strategy? 😊) I move the slider some more, then can’t remember the setting number I’d liked before, lol!
Sometimes I made a point of remembering the setting number, then of course forgot it as I continued to experiment. I finally figured out, if I go back to the center setting, or zero to the left if the slider works that way, ignored the numbers, and stopped when I got to or near the feeling I remembered liking so much before, that that would work! But that only works for me if I first experiment and see what the sliders produce to their full strength in both directions (or the one direction if it works that way).
Hopefully, next year, next decade (now less than 5 hours away here in Central Texas 😊) as I talked about in a previous post, I’ll have some of these new experimental 6x6s finished, really finished, and do a good post for each one that had something different going on I learned from. Right now that means all of them 😂
That’s ok. I’m enjoying it, truly ❤️
Happy New Year everyone! Stay well and healthy and creative – in anything good and healthy for you (and by extension, others) 💕
From a clear cool night, hours from 2010 in Austin Texas, good night ya’ll 😊
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- November 28, 2021 – My Most Viewed Image This Past Week @FineArtAmerica, Heart FragmentIf it was an amazing process to see older photos and artwork show up on my most viewed list last week (and it was 😊) then this batch is incredible! Work from so many years have shown up, and such a variety! It tells me, one can never quite tell what folks might be looking for day to day, week to week, and it’s nice for me to have the inventory assortment, “almost” a historical diary, of my work
- November 27, 2021 – LOL! I Don’t Like It, But I WANT It! : Preparing More Paintings and Applications for Places to Show and Sell!!I squashed together what I could to show a “fair” sampling of my work recently finished or in-progress right now. There’s more, tucked here and there among these, lol! And on another wall! I choose to consider that a good problem 😊 Seeing these together like tis, If I had to choose one thing tying them all together – the impressionist skews, the abstracted slants, the washes, the thick tones, the high key and (nearly) BW work – I’d say it’s….
- November 26, 2021 – Working on Paintings; In-Progress : 2 New Lay-ins ( “Heart Fragment” and “Approach” ) Based on Details from Two Existing PaintingsThis has been something I’ve toyed with and talked about for a bit now — finding / picking a detail fragment of an existing painting (or photo etc) from which to base new work on. And I shoulda caught on to how well this might work for me, in terms of creativity and viewership, with my success with a related project where I painted an abstracted detail from an existing painting to create a new related one. That happened with Abstract Study 1 shown at the bottom of this post.
- November 25, 2021 – Happy Thanksgiving 2021!!Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I’m posting the same header as last year, Norman Rockwell’s “Freedom From Want” oil on canvas from 1943, smack in the middle of the 2nd World War.
- November 24, 2021 – Working on Paintings; In-Progress : Valentines 2022, In-Progress Since Early October, lol!Not quite finished, but looking fairly good, especially considering back in early October I thought, “Yeah, I can finish this quick then save it for early next year.” Now, I’m thinking, really? Will I really finally get this finished by January next year, lol!
- November 23, 2021 – Making Connections Between “Ninth Street Women” (a book) and Golden’s Acrylic Paint (a kinda Review/Reblog)What a treat! To be reading an informative email (with links within my Goldens info email of new “Just Paint” articles) and learning of another connection between the 1930s-1950s NYC artists I’m currently reading about in Ninth Street Women (by Mary Gabriel) and the acrylic paints I’m using today! ❤️ The book itself often reads like both a novel and personal escort into art and the artists who initiated and propelled abstract art, and —
- November 22, 2021 – My Most Viewed Image This Past Week @FineArtAmerica, Walking in LightI particularly like the look and feel of Walking in Light, the sway of colors synced with the vegetation and figure walking in an easy light ❤️ This post I’m including a pic of more of my images on the most viewed info I get from Fine Art America, just ’cause the array of colors and styles seem to work really well, lol! 😊
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