Sunday, November 11, 2012

Painting from Memory

Green Pond 16 x 12
A psychologist would call this denial.  It's -15C outside and as snowy as December and I'm not ready for it. So here is a painting from a photo that I took in the summer.

Colour was my focus as I planned this piece.  The boy's skin caught colour from the sky on his upper surfaces, from the water on planes that faced downward, and also from his own skin.  You can see the latter in the chin and chest where colour bounced back and forth turning both warm and peachy.

The camera didn't capture all of this - no camera can - but I made a lot of mental observations and tried to record the key points in my mind.  Then, using the photo as a supplementary resource to these memories, I painted the picture soon after the actual day.  The photo was really only useful for showing me the shape of the child; everything else was recollection.

While my memory may be faulty in many ways, I think I created a more interesting image by using it than I could have if I'd trusted the photo and copied what I found there.

Stay warm, and happy painting!

4 comments:

Dean H. said...

You accomplished your goal, Ingrid! The beautiful colors sing!

Ingrid Christensen said...

Thanks, Dean! Your comments mean a lot.

Kylee Hereid said...

Hi Ingrid!
I am a high school senior and I came across this blog while searching desperately for some inspiration. I am going to have to complete some projects for my art class once school starts up again so I am starting to panic. :P
I must say that I absolutely love everything that you have posted. I have been scrolling for an hour and all of your work is beautiful! In my own artwork, I have always gravitated toward oil pastels over paint, but this past semester I did a few projects with oil paint (for the first time) and I love it!
The reason that I am commenting is to ask you if you have any advice that you could offer me as to use oil paint? I have had trouble getting the texture, lighting, and detail as you have in the people and in the water and I am interested in knowing how this is actually done.
If you could offer any insight for a young and clueless artist, it would be much appreciated! Again, I LOVE everything that you have posted. You are very talented. Thank you.

Ingrid Christensen said...

Hi Kylee,
Thank you for the lovely comments. It's wonderful to hear that my work inspires you.

Oil paints can be a bit tricky at first and I could fill a book with what I know so far - and I've still got a lot to learn.

My best advice is to get some "how to" books on oils from the library. They'll tell you a lot about the properties of the paint and how to approach a painting. A book that I found very helpful when I was starting out is "Alla Prima" by Richard Schmid. He covers all of the technical stuff in a clear manner. Charles Sovek also has some excellent books about oil painting. I think you'd like him.

I wish you much success with oils - they're worth the effort!

Happy painting!
Ingrid