|'The Field Where Dreams are Made' 11x14 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
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So what is a painter to do? What if you can't or don't care to paint en plain air. What if you take bad photos? I actually like bad photos because they allow me to interpret the scene with more freedom. But sometimes it is nice to have interesting photos that help this process along.
Why not alter your photos and make them magical?
Look at the photos above. The top photo is the original photo. It is dull and washed out. It would make a boring painting if I copied it. The photo doesn't make me say 'Wow' which is how I felt when I took the photo. So I decided to play with the photo and make it more interesting and painterly.
I used the Snapseed app on my iphone. I love Snapseed. It is very easy to use and you can save your manipulated photo along with the original. I increased the saturation making the pinks more vibrant. Then I used the 'grunge' feature which softened the image and made it appear more dreamy. I love to grunge my photos! Now the photo is more like my real impression of this dreamy place.
I didn't intend to use the manipulated photo to paint from. I like to play with Snapseed just for the fun of manipulating photos. But it occurred to me that the new photo would make a great reference photo. And it did! See how it simplified all of the grasses? I plan on doing more Snapseeding on my reference photos. What a great way to move away from copying bad photos!
|My first layer (block-in) on Canson Mi-Teintes dark green paper|
|The finished painting|