Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Iris in the Garden

"Iris in the Garden"
pastel
10 x 8 inches
floral
My passion for working with pastels is growing. What I am finding with working with this medium is that it is the best of drawing and painting. The results are instantaneous and I get to draw. This little painting is of iris that grow in my garden. I cut a few prior to the last severe thunderstorm passed through our area. I did not want to lose them to the weather so instead I brought them to my studio to paint from life.

When I work with pastels, I not only get to enjoy the vibrancy of color, but the dancing of lines. For now I can get that from pastel. I do hope that one day I will get that feeling with oils....but for now I am embracing the dance with pastel sticks.

Enjoy!

P.S. I am also enjoying the advances of technology and the "Color Checker" for photographing my artwork. It makes it so easy to get the color right!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Lilacs

"Lilacs"
size: 11 x 14 inch
pastel
floral still life
This is a still life that I did partially from life in the studio and a photograph since the lilacs did not hold up too well. I managed to get most of the lilacs completed before they totally wilted away. I am not sure if I like it yet and that just means that I need to let it sit for a few days to see if any changes need to be made.
This week I ordered and received an X-Rite Color Checker to use when I am photographing my artwork or anything else where the color matters and is important. It is wonderful. I do not have Adobe Lightroom that the software has a plugin for specifically, but it will still work fine with Photoshop. One needs a camera that is capable of taking "raw" images. That is something that I typically do.
The X-Rite Color Checker comes with a white balance target plus two other color targets for photographing. I typically take a custom white balance for the light that I am using for the camera, but in the past, I have just used a white piece of paper. Not good. What a difference having a correct target for the white balance.

After that one takes a photo with the color targets with the painting to make a correct profile for the lighting. I then took a photograph of the painting without any targets, but the same lighting.

The lights that I use in my studio are color corrected florescence lights for daylight and this is the lighting that I used to photograph the work. 

After saving the photos as dng files for the one with the color target, I made a profile for my camera and the lighting. When I did this, I had to close out Photoshop and re-opened it so that when I opened a raw image I could open the custom profile that I made for the camera and lighting used for photographing. I then just clicked on it and magically the photograph of the painting became color corrected. Wow. No more guessing or adjusting. 
Below are some photos of the X-Rite Color Checker in use. If anyone has any questions, please feel free to ask or leave comments.
The White Balance Target for the X-Rite Color Checker
The color targets for making a profile in the software.
The Painting and the Color targets photographed together.