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Old 04-13-2018, 04:57 PM
silentnanny silentnanny is offline
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Painting from progressively less blurry image ?

I had this idea and was wondering if this is a thing people do with painting...

Instead of using the photo I want to create an image of, is it possible to create a few, say 5, different photos with differing 'levels' of blurriness... then start painting with the most blurry, and progressively use the less and less blurry images ?

My thought was doing something like that might help me better get big blocks of colour down rather than getting bogged down in details. One of my teachers told me to squint a lot when you're at the beginning stages of a painting and I just thought this might be a bit easier than squinting all the time...?

Any thoughts? Or ideas on how you could make a number of pictures of the same image that are more and more blurry?
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Old 04-13-2018, 05:31 PM
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Ron Francis Ron Francis is offline
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Re: Painting from progressively less blurry image ?

This is a technique that William Martin uses for portraits.
Maybe he'll see this thread and comment.
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Old 04-13-2018, 05:33 PM
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Re: Painting from progressively less blurry image ?

If you have Photoshop use Guassian Blur in effects.
If not use this free one. You can adjust the slider for amount of blur you need.

https://www.fotor.com/features/blur.html
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Old 04-13-2018, 06:09 PM
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Re: Painting from progressively less blurry image ?

If you have trouble blocking in and working from large general shapes to smaller details, then this could definitely work. Squinting works, too. Or working with big brushes until you are ready for the details might work, too!

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Old 04-13-2018, 06:18 PM
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Re: Painting from progressively less blurry image ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by silentnanny
Any thoughts? Or ideas on how you could make a number of pictures of the same image that are more and more blurry?
I use Picasa, a free online editing program, you can use the soft focus feature to make various degrees of blurred images while saving individual images as desired.
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Old 04-13-2018, 06:45 PM
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Re: Painting from progressively less blurry image ?

Here is a link to this kind of approach: Progressive Focus

In short, yes it works pretty well, and has a good use in establishing general placements and not focusing on details too much.
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Old 04-13-2018, 07:33 PM
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Re: Painting from progressively less blurry image ?

Jon Redmond is one of my favorite painters and he says this:

In fact I donít even sketch on the canvas. I start by laying large masses down. I hate line. I want to do the searching and struggling while I am painting because that is what makes the painting become interesting, the process of searching. lines would restrict my painting in a negative way by dictating where things are going to happen in the beginning of the process when you really donít know that much about what needs to happen. Lines also tend to make you pay attention to the wrong visual relationships. What is important is what is happening on ether side of where a line would be, and by putting a line down you tend overlook the importance of a relationship between two colors or values (the line I feel, becomes a lazy solution to a visual question) Painting for me is really just a legal excuse to sit and look at something for hours on end. What other profession allows you to go out, find something really cool and stare at it as long as you want?

I love his work and we are total opposites. I am a line freak. I think what he says would be good for those who want to get the big shapes first. Going for the masses and totally NOT using line at all for a while could be a good thing, or at least a learning experience:

Here is a Redmond; is that cool or what????


Last edited by Dcam : 04-13-2018 at 07:35 PM.
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Old 04-14-2018, 04:58 AM
AllisonR AllisonR is offline
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Re: Painting from progressively less blurry image ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dcam
Jon Redmond is one of my favorite painters and he says this:

In fact I donít even sketch on the canvas. I start by laying large masses down. I hate line. I want to do the searching and struggling while I am painting because that is what makes the painting become interesting, the process of searching. lines would restrict my painting in a negative way by dictating where things are going to happen in the beginning of the process when you really donít know that much about what needs to happen. Lines also tend to make you pay attention to the wrong visual relationships. What is important is what is happening on ether side of where a line would be, and by putting a line down you tend overlook the importance of a relationship between two colors or values (the line I feel, becomes a lazy solution to a visual question) Painting for me is really just a legal excuse to sit and look at something for hours on end. What other profession allows you to go out, find something really cool and stare at it as long as you want?

I love his work and we are total opposites. I am a line freak. I think what he says would be good for those who want to get the big shapes first. Going for the masses and totally NOT using line at all for a while could be a good thing, or at least a learning experience:

Here is a Redmond; is that cool or what????


I don't have the guts to do this, but I think this is an extremely valid approach. And a Gorgeous painting.

Progressive focus could be a sort of compromise if you paint from photos.
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Old 04-14-2018, 09:27 AM
budigart budigart is offline
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Re: Painting from progressively less blurry image ?

I know of a guy (can't remember his name -- used to operate a web site called Cennini) who used that exact method.

He put a slide projector behind some translucent tracing paper, or frosted glass, projected a blurred image, and on his canvas, which was right next to the blurred image, painted what he saw. Then, he'd step up the focus and repaint. He continued doing this until he was finished. I have a video of it somewhere.
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Old 04-14-2018, 10:48 AM
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Re: Painting from progressively less blurry image ?

budig.....sounds like a LOT of work.
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Old 04-14-2018, 01:38 PM
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Re: Painting from progressively less blurry image ?

Interesting- after reading this thread, I realized while painting that I constantly throw my eyes out of focus while looking over my work, by going slightly cross-eyed, or by moving my head without refocusing. Never thought about why, but is this essentially the same principle?
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Old 04-14-2018, 04:37 PM
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Re: Painting from progressively less blurry image ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by budigart
I know of a guy (can't remember his name -- used to operate a web site called Cennini) who used that exact method.

He put a slide projector behind some translucent tracing paper, or frosted glass, projected a blurred image, and on his canvas, which was right next to the blurred image, painted what he saw. Then, he'd step up the focus and repaint. He continued doing this until he was finished. I have a video of it somewhere.

That is Rob Howard, who used to host the Cennini site. In fact, I became so interested in his method that I developed one for my own use for which I modified his method to use a series of progressively blurred photos, instead of that projected image. Rob's method is actually where I got my idea! And, I might add.....it works profoundly well; all with no preliminary drawing, or sketching, whatsoever. Just going directly to canvas with a large brush, and blocking in very broad, undulating shapes, using values and colors.

When I discussed my method with him, he agreed that it could be a much better (and convenient) teaching aid, using progressively blurred photos instead of the more cumbersome, projected image method.

He posted my steps on his site, as I recall. At present the site is gone, and it can no longer be accessed.

Delofasht just posted one of my articles that reside on "The Art Treehouse" site, in which I describe my "Progressive Focus Method" for painting a portrait.

It is interesting to note that this method actually incorporates many of the "art concepts" that are deemed so important by most artists.

For example, with this method one paints from the "general" to the "specific"--from large shapes with no detail, to the smaller, greatly-detailed passages.

One also paints "shapes", instead of "things". In fact, I often begin my rough-in by turning my reference image upside-down, just to avoid my penchant for painting "things", instead of "shapes".

One also begins by painting soft, blurry edges, and by doing so, one can easily select specific areas to sharpen edges in the final stages.

This technique allows me to get elements in their correct positions very early on in the painting process.
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Old 04-14-2018, 05:03 PM
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Re: Painting from progressively less blurry image ?

Great information in here! I wish there was a like button for some of these replies.
For me I have found fast oil sketches with brushes much bigger than you would normally use and squinting 50% of the time invaluable for capturing the essence of an image ...and then building in the details. You mentioned "Big blocks of colour" but I think in the early stages big blocks of values are much more important ...you can build the colour in later but its the correct mix of light and dark that make a painting sing.
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Old 04-14-2018, 06:08 PM
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Re: Painting from progressively less blurry image ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by impetuous
Great information in here! I wish there was a like button for some of these replies.
For me I have found fast oil sketches with brushes much bigger than you would normally use and squinting 50% of the time invaluable for capturing the essence of an image ...and then building in the details. You mentioned "Big blocks of colour" but I think in the early stages big blocks of values are much more important ...you can build the colour in later but its the correct mix of light and dark that make a painting sing.

I agree totally! Large blocks of VALUE are much more important than color.
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Old 04-15-2018, 03:36 AM
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Re: Painting from progressively less blurry image ?

Interesting, but too much "Cezannish". The value without color expression looks like …cole de Barbizon. Good for photography + digital projection style of painting, because photography has short range of values.
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