Monday, April 23, 2012

Deconstruction of a Resource Photograph


I taught a one day workshop last Friday at Lakewood Arts Council here in Colorado.  One of the "tools" I introduced my students to was Photoshop, specifically how to convert to a grayscale and then to posterize.

Many years ago I learned how to use the grayscale (or an even more ancient tool the photographers red acetate filter) to judge values.  This allows you to remove the color from the resource you are painting and focus on just the values.  It's also an excellent tool for viewing your final (so you think) painting and judging if you achieved the depth you were hoping for.

More recently I was exposed to the posterize function on Photoshop.  Working in a light and shadow approach as I do, this is so valuable to knock down all the "noise" to the basic value structure (in these two examples there are about four values each.)  It allows you, as the artist, to think of your painting in a more abstract sense and less focused on details.

My next post will be taking the posterized version and blocking in your light and shadow shapes with pastel.

Resource Photo

Converted to Grayscale

Then Posterized


Resource Photo

Converted to Grayscale

Then Posterized

2 comments:

Maria Hock said...

Great tip! I use photoshop and have used the grayscale occasionally but hadn't thought of posterize filter. Thanks so much!

Karen Bruson said...

Thanks so much for sharing your process.