Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Iris in the Garden

"Iris in the Garden"
10 x 8 inches
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.


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


size: 11 x 14 inch
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.