Choose a landscape with plenty of space, trees and hills. Find from a magazine or the internet then look at it critically and decide how you will interpret it. Make some quick drawings of the shapes within the composition. Your aim is an interpretation , not a faithful copy so pin up your drawings and photo but only reference them occasionally. Add to the painting with materials such as sand. dirt or anything that refers to the place.
In what ways did you depart from the photo?
I didn’t paint a composition that was suggested, I like this photo of the beach and the red wall and I was tired of painting trees. I am lucky to have a variety of landscapes on my door step and looking at all the paintings I had completed so far for part 4, I found they were all similar, because of the trees and the sky line being interrupted. I didn’t like the sky in this photo so I painted sky taken from another photo, which is far more angry and turbulent. This would of course change the colouring of the rocks, but this is the beauty of painting which is; I can interpret the image how I want. The painting is of sun warming the rock face and an angry sky brewing above, looking out towards a magical purple sea line.
Why did you make that choice?
My painted colours and contrasting tones are more severe than the photo, but that’s my way of defining texture. I wanted the tones to be similar to the two photos to suggest the surreal. I made the rock face more clumpy because , that is how I interpret this rock face; like its about to crumbly down to the beach. I am also suggesting that something else is around the corner, you would have to walk further to see because the rocks are in the way. I think this makes it more interesting and the rock face looks less normal.
Did you produce a painting that you are satisfied with or were you over influenced by the photo?
I had taken so much time in getting the rocks to look similar to the photo, so wish I had not become so influenced by the photo. I tried to lay the paint on thickly to give a more solid textured paint work, but it just looked out of place next to the soft purple of the low tide. I had to scrape this paint work off and start again. I need to find a balance of working from a photo and just letting the painting practice take over.
On reflection, most my paintings look stiff other than the more abstract ones. I plan to start using photos as a reference only, as I have noticed from this exercise how influenced I am by the photo.