" THE BIG ICE STORM" on Arches 140# HP 18 x 30"

The reference photo on the right shows many more branches, etc. than in the painting. Artistic license is important to use so that the reference photo doesn't become the 'boss' of the painting.


One of the classes wanted to know how to paint 'ice.' We had a really long lasting ice storm this past March. Every day for seven days I snapped photos, thinking I shouldn't take more... but each day was even more beautiful than the last. I couldn't resist.
Choosing a reference photo and cropping it using the Phimatrix program I'd purchased, I was inspired to teach the class how to paint ice. Of course, all we could paint were shapes, edges, values and colors. But they looked like ice when we were done:-)
The phimatrix system is a great tool to help an artist find the ideal focal point for a painting. The site's listed as one I visit often (on the right hand side of this blog.) Check it out at http://www.goldennumber.net/ It's good reading and awesome info for an artist. From that site, I'd purchased Gary Meisner's Phi Matrix program (inexpensive - $14.95 download and so easy to use!) which helped me find the ideal center of interest.
The upright branch divides the top of the painting into a 'phi' proportion, making the right hand side .618% of the whole width of the painting. Right at the bottom of that branch, where the redbud seed pod hangs down, is an ideal focal point. Putting sharp edges and strong contrast of value and color there helps to grab the viewer's attention. Hopefully you felt a 'brrrrrrr' when you looked at the painting.

1 comment:

Michelle Himes said...

Many years ago, I took snapshots of a similar ice storm. (Pre-digital) My photos were less than inspiring, and the one painting I did from them didn't look like ice. I wish I could have taken your class. You got just the effect I was after.