Friday, August 13, 2010

Color & Texture Part Two

I put away my pastels. I was making a real mess of my studio with pastel powder flying everywhere leaving a layer of dust thick enough to write your name. At $5 a stick there has to a cheaper way to experiment with color so I'm back to Photoshop.

The image to the left is a study of color contrasts. It's was hard to keep the screaming yellow in the background. It wanted to jump forward and overtake the subject, but in this case the strongly silhouetted petunias do seem to stand firm against the yellow onslaught. It helps that I down-keyed the yellow to yellow-orange somewhat (do you remember 'Screaming Yellow Zonkers'?).

Equally important for me is visual texture which is not visible in these reduced size images.  In the enlargement to the left I'm please by the harmony and balance of color. The more you enlarge a section of the image the more abstract it becomes. The interplay of shape and positive and negative spaces begin to replace 'flowers' as the subject, and that too pleases me since I don't like the portrayal of a 'thing' getting in the way of the color and texture which is the true subject.

In this next enlargement the texture of the 'painting' begins to appear especially if you click on the image to enlarge it further. It is only at this point that I begin to feel comfortable with the work. I spent a lot of time getting the digital brushes and filters to produce this naturalistic texturing. I actually spent more time working the texture than composing and coloring the image. The image started as a photo. The yellow in the background is a field of Black-eyed Susans. I couldn't resist the color contrast with the petunias and had to stop to shot them. Shooting at a high ISO begins the process of abstraction along with a shallow depth of field which creates a yellow backdrop for the purple flowers. The graininess of the ISO setting is the underlying 'cause' of the texture that I develop further with my digital tools.

The finish print will be 20x30 and the full detail of the texture will become evident as the viewer moves increasingly closer. The final image below is closer to the desired overall style. In future work I need to further abstract the coincidental subject (flowers) to bring the actual subject (color and texture) more to the fore even when viewed from a distance. I may finally be pleased with the overall style once the coincidental subject has been subjugated (so to speak) by the actual subject.

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