Do you feel like you've exhausted all of your reference photos and don't know where to find new subject matter?
When I'm feeling like this I usually take a visit to a great website called Paint My Photo.
Since 2010, paintmyphoto has been much like their slogan says, a place 'where artists and photographers meet'. It's a website full of inspiration offering photographs copyright free to artists, a valuable resource since any other photo whether it be online, or in a magazine is owned and copyrighted by it's creator. PMP gives photographers of all skill levels a place to share their images with artists for use free of copyright worry. I've mentioned the site before here on my blog, and often use PMP photos in my workshops.
Each month PMP hosts a challenge for members to participate in. This month, the challenge was to create a portrait painting using a photo from PMP .. and it immediately caught my attention. I have been wanting to loosen up my style and experiment with technique so I saw this as an opportunity to challenge myself.
The challenge offered a choice of 30 photos (adult faces). This was the photo I chose. A simple pose but what I liked was the picture is edited monochromatic giving me the opportunity to imagine colour placement in my painting without feeling influenced by the colours in the photo.
I had imagined a face emerging from the dark.
To create that feel, I prepared a blue back ground giving texture to the pastel with an application of turpentine and loose brush work.
Her face warms and sharpens as it comes closer to the viewer.
Not about accuracy, but more an experiment with colour... it was really fun to work on.
As you can see from this close-up, I wanted to really move the pastel around... it's so tempting to get the lines smooth and tight, but in the end, a looser painting has more movement and life to it.
In PMP's most recent newsletter (www.paintmyphoto.ning.com on the homepage), Roy shares his passion to raise awareness and funds for the Mencap Music School in his area. Roy's daughter attends Mencap, a school that provides music tuition for children and adults with special needs. To read more about Mencap and David Stanley, the accomplished musician who founded the school in 2000 click here.
Because Roy Simmons has given so much to PMP, a resource that many artists around the world use regularily, I would like to (using Roy's words) 'paint it forward'.
Exhale, the painting above, will be available for silent auction March 21st, 22nd, and 23rd on my facebook page with the proceeds going to support the Mencap School. If you're not a fan of Painted Acres ~ Artist Studio on facebook and want to be included in the auction please head over and do so now. You will find more details on how the auction will work there.
I'm really excited to be able to help Roy out with a campaign that is dear to his heart... I hope you will join me :) together we can Paint it Forward!