Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Drawing Commission

Today I finished up a drawing commission.  The photo is of the beautiful marshes on Jekyll Island, Georgia, with wonderful Spanish Moss draping the trees in that oh so Southern way, adding a touch of both elegance and mystery to the scene. The photo above is a bit blurry since I just snapped it with my iphone, it's way to cold and snowy to go outside to get a good photo in natural light.

Here are all the particulars. This is done in tinted charcoal, the color is Peat, which is a deep black/brown with undertones of moss green, a lovely muted color especially on the gorgeous and substantial handmade paper which is a gray/oatmeal color.

I photoshopped the color photo to gray scale and printed it out and overlayed it with a 1" x 1" grid pattern. For a commission of a particular place I use the grid to be sure that I get the scene as close to the original as possible, though I still use a bit of creative license and interpretation to create the best composition possible for the artwork, because often things work in a photo that just don;t work in a drawing or painting.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Corina S. Alvarezdelugo said...

Very beautiful drawing Jan! You did a wonderful job capturing the essence of this particular landscape...

Just a note from your artist/gardener friend. Spanish Moss, as people tend to call it, is nor Spanish, neither a moss. It's actually call Tillandsia usneoides, in the family of Bromeliads (Bromeliaceae) It grows in warmer climate and is very sensitive to air pollution. So if you see it, that means the air is clean and nice, just like your drawing!!!


gm said...

I'm completely thrilled with the drawing, Jan, and excited that you have it posted! It's cool to see the process. Those southern coastal marshes are a singular landscape and the drawing really speaks to the qualities responsible for that. I took the pic from the top of a tidal creek bank and there are views like this everywhere on the island.

Beautiful work, truly. Thanks again and sending warm regards!

A.Decker said...

Beautiful, despite the slightly blurry phone pic. Show us a better one, when you get it?

A.Decker said...

Jan, I would like to tap your brain a little, if I may?

You mention taking paintings outside to photograph them in natural light. Well for one thing, I've tried that and always tend to get way too much light in direct sun.
Also, doesn't direct sunlight illuminate colors differently than indoor light?

So, I'm wondering if you shade the painting from direct sunlight when shooting them outdoors. Or do I just need a better camera? I do need a better camera, so that could be my whole problem.

Anyways, how do you do that? I'll appreciate your help on the matter.

Jan Blencowe said...

Hi gm the drawing shipped today via UPS and should arrive on Thursday.

Jan Blencowe said...

Hi A,

Photographing outside can be as tricky as photographing inside!

A lot depends on the piece, sometimes I need to get it in direct sunlight to get good color and detail. My camera gives me a green box on the view finder if everything is in focus and the lighting is good.

Sometimes though direct sunlight can wash out a piece. Then I might turn it perpendicular to the direction of the sun. A bright but overcast day is actually the ideal day to photograph outside. A tripod is very helpful. I have one of those kooky looking Gorilla mini tripods that you can bend and twist and attach it to just about anything.

And yes paintings will look different inside depending on the light source, incandescent, fluorescent etc. I usually have to adjust my photos with photoshop to get them looking right.

All the paintings I think are top notch go to a professional photographer to be photographed for my portfolio and postcards etc. Because clearly I am a better painter than I am a photographer!