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View Full Version : PA... to Studio piece.


skipstah70
06-30-2006, 11:07 PM
Aloha!... Here is a problem I've been stuggling with for a few weeks.. and thought I would just post to maybe get some feedback or ideas as to how other people do this... that being, convert a plein air piece to a full studio piece. For aeons I wondered how people could create dazzlingly colourful pieces in their studio.. ones that looked so full of life!?! I was forever in disbelief that people could actually "invent" this colour out of their heads.. but I now understand that they just understand the value/colour theory so well that it allows them to do this? I'm trying to use this little PA tugboat I did a while back (8x10), and create a larger painting out of it (14x18). My main goal isn't to copy exactly what I've done in the PA piece, but to use it as more of a colour guide in creating the larger piece. I have to say that I am finding this proccess VERY difficult.. it seems to use a completely different set of brain muscles!! I'm not sure if this qualifies to be in this PA subthread, but if anyone out there has any ideas / comments on how to do this.. I would love to hear them !!!:heart:

thanks, Skips

first is the PA, second the studio one.

http://img310.imageshack.us/img310/8715/tug9zi.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

http://img402.imageshack.us/img402/7152/tugstudio1pb.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

Wyn Easton
07-01-2006, 08:48 AM
Hi Skips,

My two cents...

I liked your 8x10 when you first posted it. It is an amazing PA. The value pattern in the PA is wonderful. You seem to be getting a little lighter in some areas in the larger work. Maybe that is your intention. If so, I think you need to lighten all of the masses to keep the same patterns.
I'll admit it's easier said than done.

JamieWG
07-01-2006, 10:18 AM
Moderator note: Moved to the Studio Paintings from Plein Air References forum, as the work and questions are exactly the subject of this forum.

Skips, I agree that this is a really striking PA painting! I like you studio version too. I think you really captured the strong contrasts in the plein air, and that getting the shadow colors and darks will bring that same life to the studio piece. The reds also look brighter in the plein air painting.

Jamie

Bill Wray
07-02-2006, 01:29 PM
Yeah to bad this is such a quiet forum.

As someone who struggles with Pa to studio this myself I have some thoughts.


First accepting what you canít do. Youíre not outside anymore so you lose the advantage of having the outside light and surprisingly important: the feeling thatís hard to put into words, but itís a sense that is about connecting with the life of your subject. There is also the fact you are working smaller and fast usually means more energy in the painting.

What you can do generally; Improve your composition by changing your drawing with elements that improve youíre framing or lead the eye. Strengthen your contrasts by adjusting/ pushing your values (more light against dark.) Sweeten your colors with more variety of warm against cool. You can also add some color that is not in the PA but draws you eye to the center of attention. I think the main thing is not to copy the PA exactly because you canít... But to a least try to do a new painting with technical improvements. To be brutally honest I think you slightly weaken your studio version by doing the opposite. You weakened the composition by the slight size change and softened some contrast and nice color you have in the PA.
I didn't chage the composition, but I pushed the values/ colors as an example.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Jul-2006/65633-tugstudio1pb.jpg

brianc
07-03-2006, 08:57 AM
Skips, I think they're both great. I agreed that the plein air had something the studio didn't, but I couldn't put my finger on it. Yeah to bad this is such a quiet forum.

As someone who struggles with Pa to studio this myself I have some thoughts.


First accepting what you canít do. Youíre not outside anymore so you lose the advantage of having the outside light and surprisingly important: the feeling thatís hard to put into words, but itís a sense that is about connecting with the life of your subject. There is also the fact you are working smaller and fast usually means more energy in the painting.

What you can do generally; Improve your composition by changing your drawing with elements that improve youíre framing or lead the eye. Strengthen your contrasts by adjusting/ pushing your values (more light against dark.) Sweeten your colors with more variety of warm against cool. You can also add some color that is not in the PA but draws you eye to the center of attention. I think the main thing is not to copy the PA exactly because you canít... But to a least try to do a new painting with technical improvements. To be brutally honest I think you slightly weaken your studio version by doing the opposite. You weakened the composition by the slight size change and softened some contrast and nice color you have in the PA.
I didn't chage the composition, but I pushed the values/ colors as an example.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Jul-2006/65633-tugstudio1pb.jpg
Thanks for taking the time to explain this, Bill. I need to try some studios and this gives me some good food for thought.

As far as more traffic to this thread, it just needs more content. I'm thinking a couple of your existing studio projects, Bill, would be really fun to see.

skipstah70
07-03-2006, 10:45 PM
Wyn, Jamie, Bill and Brian... thanks for the input. Bill.. great points.. I will keep all in mind. When I look at painters like Weistling and Liang and various others from the likes of.. let's say "Art of the West" for instance.. I know they are painting the majority of their works in studio... but their colour/ and val seem so accurate.. that I used to think these must have been painted from life! I really would like to get to a point where I have that kind of command of val and colour to put into my studio pieces.. and you're right on the money Wyn by saying it's hard to do.. but knowing it can be done is motivation enough for me !!:clap:
Also Bill I agee about the comp in the studio piece... it is way weaker for some reason.. I'll have to go back and punch the values and colour a bit like you say and see if I cannot compensate a bit for it in that way... Now that I look at the photo I took of the studio.. the val in the hull of the tug seems a few steps too light. Another thing that makes the studio piece hard is dealing with "sinking" colours!!! For the life of me I haven't figured this one out yet.. it seems very hard to judge painting values unless they are all wet.. and painting the whole piece in one day can't be the answer? Anyone have any clues as to how to deal with painting when things are in different states of "dryness"?


Thanks for your tips Bill.

Skipstah

Bill Wray
07-04-2006, 01:43 AM
Wyn, Jamie, Bill and Brian... thanks for the input. Bill.. great points.. I will keep all in mind. When I look at painters like Weistling and Liang and various others from the likes of.. let's say "Art of the West" for instance.. I know they are painting the majority of their works in studio... but their colour/ and val seem so accurate.. that I used to think these must have been painted from life! I really would like to get to a point where I have that kind of command of val and colour to put into my studio pieces.. and you're right on the money Wyn by saying it's hard to do.. but knowing it can be done is motivation enough for me !!:clap:
Also Bill I agee about the comp in the studio piece... it is way weaker for some reason.. I'll have to go back and punch the values and colour a bit like you say and see if I cannot compensate a bit for it in that way... Now that I look at the photo I took of the studio.. the val in the hull of the tug seems a few steps too light. Another thing that makes the studio piece hard is dealing with "sinking" colours!!! For the life of me I haven't figured this one out yet.. it seems very hard to judge painting values unless they are all wet.. and painting the whole piece in one day can't be the answer? Anyone have any clues as to how to deal with painting when things are in different states of "dryness"?


Thanks for your tips Bill.

Skipstah
I'm trying to figure out this problem because I've have heard it from more than one artist. I haven't had it much because I try and do my paintings in one big effort. In one day or two at most. I don't think it's just painting drying. I think focus and momentum are a big part. Also when I'm struggling with a painting I generally put it aside, scrape it down or trash it. I think a lot of time spent thinking about what your going to do as modifactions of the PA before you start is helpfull. A plan, clear goals, even a checklist. How do I improve the harmony, the center of attention , the values. Don't just run up the hill blasting away.

Donald_Smith
07-04-2006, 08:59 AM
Hi,

I too like both paintings. When I first looked at them, the thing I noticed was the over all lighter tone of the studio painting, and lower contrasts. I think the clouds look better in the studio piece, but they also create a possible problem. Contrasts make a painting interesting, and since the roof of the tug is white and the clouds are white, you loose the contrast. In your PA painting, the clouds dip down below the roof of the tug so you have a stronger contrast between the roof and the sky. Also the clouds in the PA look softer and darker so they seem more distant. The buildings in the studio are lighter, so you're loosing contrast there, and the beautiful brightly colored red life savers have been toned down in your studio. They are what added some of the SNAP of your PA piece. I'm a rule type of guy, but there are so many, you have to pick and choose, and if you break one, you better know why, and have a good reason. The rule I'm talking about is "keep bright colors in the foreground and grayed colors in the back ground." Add the bright splash of color back in the life savers.

When I paint a studio piece from a PA, I look at my PA, figure out what I like and don't like about it, then try to correct those things I don't like, in the studio, and keep the things I do like and maybe strengthen them. After taking a recent workshop, (see my post this thread #60, http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=352486 ) I'm also learning to try and think about other things that weren't there that would make the painting more interesting. When I PA, the scene inspires me, but I move things around for better composition, I might add a tree I like behind me, or leave out something that distracts from the composition. When I paint in the studio from a PA piece, it becomes my inspiration, and along with my ideas on improving the painting I will change it to try and improve the painting. To me, the finished painting is everything. What I see before me is mearly there for inspiration.

Just my 2 cents for what they are worth, which may be less than 2 cents..:)
Don

Tripod
07-07-2006, 10:13 AM
The more I paint, I have realised more and more what a valuable reference my many sketch books are. They are plein air and now i am searching through them to work up studio paintings rather than photos. I haven't a great stock of photos, never being a happy snapper ( and still aren't with a digital) therefore I am going back over the books to find scenes which obviously excited me at the time. Showing you one from 1993 in progress in this forum.
Thanks for listening and Skips - this PA is just smashing as i think I said before.

Utishka
07-27-2006, 01:47 PM
I liked them both and had to keep switching back and forth to see the difference. The PA has more energy, as noted before, and the composition seems right in both. Even though you changed a few areas in the studio piece, it was basically the same. The only things I might change in the second piece is (1) move the tugboat farther away the center, probably more to the left, keeping some of it as a "mystery"; (2) keep the hue of the water and boat reflections the same as the PA--they're softer and more believable than the studio piece. Don't over work it (and maybe kill it!)--It's fine the way it is; Frame it and remember it as a learning tool for the next piece.