Shoot it, Sketch it: Southern Alps, Oxford

Southern Alps, Oxford – acrylic on canvas, 204 x 204 mm, 2014

Southern Alps, Oxford – acrylic on canvas, 204 x 204 mm, 2014  (SOLD)

Southern Alps, Oxford, original photo, 2012 — Cropped and Photoshopped photo, 2014

Southern Alps, Oxford, original photo, 2012 — Cropped and Photoshopped, 2014 (click to embiggen)

Question: when is a bad, low-res phone photo a good photo? Answer: when it’s the only one you’ve got. After opening my horribly pixelated image in Photoshop, I lightened it a little and messed around with artistic filters until I had something I didn’t object to looking at, printed it, and painted it. The details you would normally expect to see in a ‘good’ photo were slightly blurred and kind of painterly even before I started working on the canvas — which was an unexpected bonus because it meant not having to squint (a time-honoured technique for getting rid of unnecessary details). I really like not having to squint.

2 thoughts on “Shoot it, Sketch it: Southern Alps, Oxford

  1. Lars Stenberg

    When I work with photos I prefer bad ones, then I feel I’m bringing something else to the image when I paint… just as you have here! I agree too, that losing detail is an advantage. There’s sometimes simply too much stuff in the landscape!

    Reply
    1. Anna Cull Post author

      You prefer bad photos? I can see why. I used to find the lack of image quality annoying and now, like you, I’m starting to prefer it. I like what you say about “bringing something else to the image” too. Another thing that sometimes works for me is using a much larger brush than I really want to (again because it stops me getting caught up in the details). Thanks for your comments.

      Reply

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