Sunday, February 1, 2009

Development of a composition

The following reference photo was taken while on vacation in the 1000 Islands this past August. The initial photo was very poor and chosen from a series I shot from the deck as this osprey made a passing strike on what turned out to be a pike. The picture was quick and off the hip so to speak but that black speck of bird provides enough information to get started.

I sometimes work with Photoshop to develop my sketches. I've done and still do all the traditional sketching that I have for decades, thumbnail after thumbnail working up a composition ad infinitum.  Now I use my years of experience with a different format that's all.  Cheating?  I read a comment once that if a Master had tech like this that they would take advantage of it as well. Why dig a hole with a spoon when you can use a back hoe? 

Most compositions are much more complex than this one and using software really improves my ability to explore dozens upon dozens of variations.  I actually find it ironic that I use it to develop something as simple and pure as an original drawing. The photo compositions are simply thumbnails that need comprehensive research, personal knowledge of the bird and expanded reference sources as you will see.

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