Monday 28 September 2015

The Pensive Palette: Poised

“Poised”, 9”x12” acrylic on board

Sometimes, especially on small paintings, I depict my subject matter in a vignette style. This means that I create a fairly simple background without the environment that clearly allows the focus to be on the animal or bird. This doesn’t mean the background is not important. The colors and textures chosen need to compliment the subject and are hopefully interesting unto themselves. This a technique often employed by portrait artists to showcase the sitter. I like giving our furry and feathered friends this same treatment!

I was fortunate to have permission to use Frank Cleland’s wonderful photo of a Cassin’s Finch for my painting “Poised”. His photo lent itself to the vignette style because it was shot with a telephoto lens that blurred the background. I used specific colors to show off the bird, and subtle brushstrokes to help keep the background from feeling flat and lifeless. I also faded the branch into the background to remind the viewer that, while realistically portrayed, it is a painting and not a photo.

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