Sunday, July 11, 2010

Variations On A Theme

Revisiting a favorite painting spot can result in repetitious, even boring paintings.  The trick is to figure out what first drew you to the site, but then find a way to vary your depiction of it. 
For me, this dock on the eastside of Boothbay Harbor was interesting because of the shapes and the roofline.  The first few times I painted it in a rather realistic manner.  After that, I had to rely on variations to create interest for me and potential viewers. 

Things to try:

Vary the dominant color.
Substitute an abstract underpainting for a realistic background. 
Add elements that aren't really there.  Figures, signs, doors, barrels, etc.
Emphasize the sky and make the buildings a silhouette.
Vary the size of the darks or the size of the lights.
Try a checkerboard effect. (Alternation)
Enlarge one object beyond what it is in reality.
Zoom in on one area.  (Using a viewfinder helps in this.)
Change the actual color of every object or area into its complementary color.
Paint the entire scene in black, gray and white.
Here are two variations on one of my favorite spots.

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