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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Chickens revised

The lower image is a painting from 5 years ago. The photograph was done "professionally" at a time when slides were still the way to present your work and I had asked for digital images as well. I never liked this photo thinking it harsh, but it is all I have. As usual, I got started with "fixing" it without thinking to photograph it first. Anyway, there is so much wrong with this piece other than the photograph. In the painting, I was not clear on whether the white chicken is in the light or in the shade of the tree, when obviously, she is in the shade. The same can be said for the foliage of the tree. There were leaves that were lighter within the shadow, but they should not look like they are in the light when they are not. All in all, very confusing. I also defined too much of the foliage. I think the dappled light and the fallen leaves on the ground only distracted from the whole as they did not "read" correctly as to what they were.

What I did to "start" over was to block in the tree as a unified object, and not have the darkest dark so dark. I lightened the shade under the tree, and warmed up the dirt in the sun. I added the chicken to the left to fill that empty space. I think she helps to keep the viewer under the canopy. I gave the three original chickens more form, and darkened the white chicken to look like a white chicken but in shade with just a little highlights where the dappled sun is filtering onto her. I also thought more about the direction of light instead of blindly using the reference photo. I haven't decided if I want to add more to the big shadow shape yet, ie more texture and light.

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