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Landscape Example


Using your own unique creative resources in conjunction with good image manipulation software provides unlimited possibilities within your planning process. Below are some simple examples of how editing the reference photos of your composition can become beneficial to the overall completed painting. You can click on any image to see and enlarged view.

Modifying Composition


Here I’ve begun with an old photo of the Head Harbor Lighthouse in Maine. Originally taken with ample lighting in a portrait frame it is an interesting shot but in many ways is lacking energy as a painting. Thinking about what improvements could be made I decided to rework the composition with Adobe PS.

Starting with the sky I decided to  lower the cloud formations closer to the ground. This is accomplished by cutting and pasting the top quarter of the photo in a lower position and using the ‘clone’ and ‘smudge’ tools to  blend out the seems. The results of this step are in the image below.


Zooming and cropping

Next it appeared that the lighthouse was set too far in the background. This was corrected by enlarging with the ‘image size’ tool. Determining the best frame was reached by using the ‘crop’ tool. In this case it was important to show the clouds and the water movement but I did not consider the rocks as an  important issue so, I cropped the image into a landscape instead of a portrait style frame.  


Combining photos/additional objects. 



Art that attracts my interest is active with motion, color and perspective. Having the need to place something in the foreground I remembered images I had of seagulls to work from another photo and decided to position them in this composition how they would appear most naturally.  This was done by enlarging the birds to fit in proper perspective then with the ‘lasso’ tool outlining the the birds and cutting and pasting them in in place. 

To move the lighthouse away from the center I cropped more away from the bottom and the right side. Later the decision was made to remove three of the seagulls since they appeared as though they were in an improper pose for the background  (appeared to be landing) and to eliminate the cluttered appearance. (see next image below)


Adding interest with texture and brush strokes

Sometimes it becomes an advantage to be able to see the effect of your painting conception before actually starting it. By using the ‘paint daubs’, and ‘watercolor’ filters in the program I was able to simulate a close comparison to what the painting might look like once it was completed. 


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