16 October 2015

Planning a Painting with Photographs

Most of the clouds yesterday morning were thin and wispy or long and flat cirrus except for the cute loner over the Adirondack Mountains. This picture is the background for a painting. I'm not sure about leaving the cloud as it might be distracting.

Always Write down the cardinal directions, sun on the horizon, and time of day. 

I like taking photos of landscapes for reference instead of waiting for a perfect painting to show up. The photo on the right is a nice place to edit for a nesting pair of of geese. The spot is too busy, methinks, for a real pair being its located near the boat access on Dead Creek, Route 17, Panton, Vermont.

Wider views are handy for added interest. As you can see in the photo on the left, its too windy for crisp reflections of the tree line in the water. The color and shapes will work well when planning and painting. I can see enough reflection to know where to place them without the windy water surface.

I also use my October 1998 sketchbook, a four hour study of how snow geese interact, move around and such. Its good to know, for example, in flight south, sunrise to their left when they are low enough, about 30 to 40 feet off the ground, the sunshine will make the top of their wings silvery. Details.

Pictures of the geese in flight, whether blurry or not, can be used as reference for formation as well as wing movement. A flock in the sky will be a nice detail over a pair of nesting geese.

I expect this week-end and into next week there will be more flocks in the area.


  1. Good planning! i have a folder of snaps marked "printmaking" for if/when I begin that adventure :}

    1. Hi Quinn,
      Congratulations again on the awards your cashmere fleece, goats won.
      The print maker blogs, Belinda del Pesco, and Sherrie York's Brush and Baren are great to read.

      Thank you. I plan to begin the drawings today.


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