Saturday, November 5, 2011

Drawing Reference Photos

The Singer

Background – Reference photo

The reference photos show the bird perched on a street sign, a rather bright orange yield sign. Not the most attractive setting. But the bird is a real showstopper. Not so much the setting. I also have numerous shots of a rustic railing on a nature trail. Just the railing. I had tried for hours to get a shot this bird (or its cohorts) singing with no luck, much to my frustration and hubby’s amusement. The only good thing, is that it is digital, not film.

Finally, I gave up and we drove away. Coming to the yield sign, we stopped to look at a map and decide where to go. Our windows were down, but we are quiet people. This guy lands on the sign, just outside my window and starts to sing, really sing! I don’t know if he was trying for a mate or laughing at me!

But I took the shot. I can always put him on the railing. I took enough photos of it.

The photos were taken in South Dakota, in May in the Badlands. It was absolutely gorgeous that day. The sky was incredible, a deep blue-gray, without a cloud.

Commanding Cardinal

Background – Reference Photo

The cardinal, on the other hand is a frequent visitor to the bird feeder outside my living room window. He has been known to let us know when the feeder is empty.  The background in the photo is out of focus leaves and lawn. I do have many pictures of said leaves and lawn and could easily add these details. But I am not going to.

I want all the focus on this close-up of the cardinal. I am afraid if I add too much background detail it will distract from the bird, and the artwork would loose its focus. Sometimes you can put too much in a work of art.

So I am simply going to put in a yellow-green moddled background. The color will support the cardinal, but there will be nothing to distract from him.

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