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Old 04-16-2012, 09:07 AM
peachdm peachdm is offline
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Red face Converting value of photo to paper



Good morning everyone,
As I stated before, I am a fairly new pastel painter. I have been practicing by buying books that have step by steps in them or doing online tutorials.

I can draw any photo in graphite and I am able to interrput the value on the photo to paper, however, I am trying to to draw my puppy from a photo for the first time in PASTELS and I am ultimately frustrated and ready to throw it away.

As a beginner, does anyone have any tips on how to practice converting the value and colors of the photo into my painting?


I have learned that I should be layering colors to get my final results instead of just using the exact color so it won't look flat. I get stuck because my puppy is black and tan. I know you shouldn't use straight black because there will be no dimension so I added some blue and white for highlights but I am still stuck and it doesn't look right. I am attaching the pic I am drawing from to this thread.

Thank you in advance,

Darlene/peachdm

Last edited by peachdm : 04-16-2012 at 09:10 AM. Reason: Adding photo
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Old 04-16-2012, 11:09 AM
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allydoodle allydoodle is offline
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Re: Converting value of photo to paper

I think it would be very helpful if you could post your painting so everybody can see what you're doing. If you're not comfortable I understand, I just think it would be easier to assist you if you did.

Try to paint what you see, not what you think you see. Distance yourself from the logical and just look at what colors you are seeing in the fur. I see purples on the top of the nose/muzzle, and pinks and blues in the black fur. I also see some light ochres in the white, and I would use dark purples and blues along with black when doing the dark fur. I would stay away from pure white, it will probably make the painting look too stark.

I Hope this helps you a bit.
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Old 04-16-2012, 11:19 AM
peachdm peachdm is offline
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Re: Converting value of photo to paper

Thank you so much for the advise, it really helps.

I am going to do a little more work on my piece and try and salvage it, then I will post it. Right now it looks like a big blob cause I over blended.

I will stand back and look at color detail like you said.

Thank you again
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Old 04-16-2012, 12:35 PM
hallogallo hallogallo is offline
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Re: Converting value of photo to paper

I did a little illustration of what allydoodle said and pulled out some of the colors. You wouldn't believe what sort of colors are in this picture! Very purple-y and blue. There's actually not much black at all. Some of the "tan" on his face is really pink and the sides of his muzzle are dark green! There's even a bright blue spot on his nose that I didn't mark (can you find it?)

Colors are a hard thing to learn. Usually what we do is stare at a big swatch of color on an object and say "oh, that's black", when really due to the light and the shininess of the object and so forth it's a medium blue fading into a light greyish blue. It takes a while to train your brain to see all the differences. Don't give up!
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Old 04-16-2012, 01:02 PM
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Re: Converting value of photo to paper

EDIT: Your not seeing double, Obviously the previous poster and I were hard at work on the same idea at the same time!



If you are used to working in monochrome or grayscale (as with graphite or charcoal) then determining the value of your colors is possibly the most difficult aspect of working in color. Believe me, it is not just beginners that struggle with determining the value of colors! I know I do!

First let me say that it is perfectly OK to try and get the color right from the beginning. You do not have to layer to reach the correst color, but in all likelyhood will end up with a few layers anyway. You will find that color has a lot of variation and gradation and that layering is necessary, but I usually try to find the general color of an area and try to get it right from the start. My layering will then include adding lighter and darker colors for lighter areas and shadows. The perhaps subtle changes in color to modify the temperature or intensity. But the closer you are to some of the colors from the beginning is a good idea, in my opinion.

One way that people try to focus in on the color without being influenced by the thing they are painting (and the preconceived notions of what color it is ) is to take a piece of paper and punch a hole in it. Then hover the hole over your ref and you'll see only the color and value without knowing what it is!

Similarly, of you have any photo manipulation computer program that has an "eyedropper" tool that lets you pick colors from the image, you can see what colors are in a certain area. You can then make rectangles or swatches if you want - as a guide. Something like this.



Hopefully these types of swatches will help you choose a pastel of a similar value and color. I sometimes print them out and make pastel marks right on the print to compare.

You'll notice that only one of the swatches of the dog comes even close to being black - all the others are lighter shades of grayish color. You'll notice one of them is rather greenish, probably getting some green color reflecting off the grass. Something to think about when doing the background colors! Lot's of people like to change background colors in photos, but those background colors influence the colors on the subject sometimes.

I often show these types of swatches as a good tool to see the colors/values better. But I always urge people not to assume that this means that they have to use the exact colors of the photo. First, photos don't really match the colors of reality. Second, you should choose colors that you think work best in the painting! No one will see the photo when your painting is hanging in a gallery or someone's house! These swatches should be seen as just a very general guide!

Hope this helps!

Don
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Old 04-16-2012, 01:05 PM
peachdm peachdm is offline
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Re: Converting value of photo to paper

Oh My Gosh! All of you are wonderful. Thank you so much for taking the time to to identify the colors; this is so helpful. Thank you very much for the encouragement. I am going to work on it today

DARLENE
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Old 04-16-2012, 03:00 PM
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Re: Converting value of photo to paper

Some folks organize their pastels by value in their pastel box. This may help you analyze and then place the pastels in an approximate order by value.

Here's a thread that shows some examples plus also shows a value finder, which might be helpful:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/show...izing+paste l

Here's another:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/show...php?t=337816&]

Don
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Old 04-16-2012, 08:06 PM
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Re: Converting value of photo to paper

Such great advice you have been given, it certainly has helped me.

The only thing I can add is to stand up while you are working.

Make sure the light source is suitable.

and step back frequently...

no that was not far enough...farther.

OK, now do you see how the distance helps?

make a few marks, stand away, now you will be able to see where to make the next mark and so on.

That was the best advice ever given me by anyone. I try not to sit and color.

and I can always enjoy the exercise, too.

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Old 04-17-2012, 05:27 AM
peachdm peachdm is offline
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Re: Converting value of photo to paper

Thank you Greg, that definitely helps. Your advise is much appreciated.
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Old 04-17-2012, 06:40 AM
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Re: Converting value of photo to paper

Did anyone mention Squint? Lower your lids, look through the roots of your lashes (that is a relaxed squint), and value contrasts will be much easier to see. Then find a stick of the right value, then find one with the right value and hue.
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:46 AM
peachdm peachdm is offline
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Re: Converting value of photo to paper

Okay - After reading all the wonderful comments I am starting over so I can do this correctly. I have one more question - What color paper would you all use?

Darlene
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:20 AM
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Re: Converting value of photo to paper

deep burnt orange, med burnt orange, med reddish brown, med olive green

IMHO, of course.

if you isolate the dog photo from the background you could insert new backgrounds on a program similar to Photoshop. great tool without the expense or waste
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:47 PM
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Re: Converting value of photo to paper

since the main color of the dog is really purplish and blue you could go into the complementary color of paper and use a yellow or orange color as birdhs mentioned some above or use a color of paper that is in with the colors you plan on using as a major player (ie purples and such). Use the color of the paper as a mid ground color value.
This is one of those questions where you ask one question and get a whole lot of differing answers based on personal opinion.

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Old 04-25-2012, 05:37 AM
peachdm peachdm is offline
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Re: Converting value of photo to paper

Hi everyone,

Hey I just wanted to let you know that I think I am finally getting it. I have been practicing with painting other subjects from photos instead of painting from other paintings and I am getting it. What helped me was that I opened the picture in a photo editor then I increased the saturation so all the colors came out then put it back to normal. It was kind of cheating but it bump started my vision to see color instead of subject.

Another thing that helped was that I went back and read a thread that was posted a few years ago that someone suggested on color and how it works. For example.....a color in the shade has more darker colors in it besides what the color really is. ??? I think that was the logic. Well anyway it helped. Here is a pic of a swan and bird I did in the Spot light 2012 Spring thread for example. I went really dramatic with the birds colors. It was really fun. I am usually so stuck on photo realism that I can't have fun




Last edited by peachdm : 04-25-2012 at 05:50 AM.
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