Orion Art at White Dog Studio

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

What Looks Like a Stormy Day

At an apple orchard last Fall I took this picture with my cell phone. What I love about cell phone images is the distortion that occurs.  For the last few years I've been using cell phone pics as reference material for paintings.  Because the images are "bad photos"  there is less to be tied to when I start painting.

Stormy Day
Acrylic, Oil Pastel, water-based Oil on board.
18 x 24

For this week's lesson in Ap Studio Art each student is using their own cell phone pics as reference for a painting. For a ground we're using backing board (used in matting art work), then a gestural pencil sketch , followed by an acrylic wash to lay in general color and values.  After the wash the students can either continue with an acrylic painting or begin working on to of the acrylic in oil pastels. 
For mine I started in acrylics, began working in oil pastel, then because it seemed better to work in oils; I used water based oils along with the oil pastels. Kind
of a back and forth thing with the oils and oil pastels.
So now I've opened up the oils option to the students. The assignment is due next class, I'll post the pics soon after. They're doing great so far, it'll be interesting to see where they end up!


  1. I like your idea of "bad photos" leading to good paintings--makes sense. In that way, you capture the essence and start with something that's not quite perfect. I'm probably one of the few who doesn't have a camera on my cell phone.

    Interesting painting.

  2. well here I follow hwfarberand I also don't have a cell phone camera... I don't even have a cell phone ;-)
    HOWEVER...I love what you're teaching and the approach lined out here sounds like a great exercise to play with this week in the studio...I look forward to seeing what comes with the students work.

  3. you're right Hallie, it's the capturing the essence of the photo and the mood that is the "essence" of this way of approaching a painting.
    d--this exercise is a good way to connect with my students and where they are with today's technology. so far their response has been positive, they've been showing me websites that are dedicated to cell phone photography.