From 1995 to 2005 I was creating 98% of my art on a computer. At first for my own edification then as a way to make a living. I explored most of the nooks and crannies of the digital art making process and I had attained a high level of mastery with the medium.
Sometime in 2006/07 I started painting landscapes in the computer working directly over photos with my Wacom tablet and stylus. I had developed several techniques that I used for animal illustrations that I wanted to try on landscapes
|Falls by M Francis McCarthy|
This was based on a photo I took while at Yosemite. I was somewhat pleased with the result but the painting had a stationary quality that I had not yet realized was due to it's method of creation.
|View of Grant Parkby M Francis McCarthy|
One of my favorite attempts based on a very old digital photo I'd taken. I still like this but I feel the color doesn't move like it would in a real painting.
|Forest Path by M Francis McCarthy|
Another semi successful work. These three pieces represent the best efforts out of a good 15 paintings done inside my computer using Painter and Photoshop. At the time I was not as aware of the inherent limitations of photography and thus I feel all of these paintings have a quality of effected photographs even though I panted them stroke by stroke over my photo reference.
A few of the limitations and traps involved with directly painting on top of photos are as follows:
- Too much detail in the painting
- Composition issues in the photo are not resolved by in the painting
- Photos have a far more limited color range than most paintings require to be interesting
- You paint everything you see in the photo because it's so apparently there.
I've much to say about photography and it's use in conjunction with landscape painting. So I'll definitely be revisiting the topic in future posts.