Wednesday, May 23, 2012

How I got from my photograph to my frame.

I like to paint using my own photographs as reference.  I pass this old truck a lot and I thought that it would make a great painting.  Well, I thought that it would be a good beginning to a painting, to be more accurate.

Yep, this old truck runs, too!

I had also seen another old truck down in Phoenix which was in a driveway.  There was a tree and lots of plants around it which made a great contrast to the look of the rugged old truck.  I decided to add some plants and a tree around this truck to change up the background and add some color to the foreground.  I also decided to focus on painting only part of the truck so that I would have a strong center of interest.

Good Memories - original watercolor painting

After I put all the plants around, the wall on the right side of the painting seemed kind of bare.  I didn't want to add any more trees or plants though, because there was enough green color in the painting already.  I decided that a sign would be kind of fun, but it still looked like something was missing after I painted the sign - so I added the potted plant on the hood of the truck.

If I had left the painting like this it would have still been off balance, but during the painting process I had decided to crop the image even more.  As I painted, I kept putting the mat over the painting to see what I needed to do next.  (If you decide to do this, watch out for wet paint.  Don't let it get on your mat!)

After I was happy with the way the painting looked in the mat, I slipped the mat and the painting in the frame to see what the overall effect would be.  At this point, there is no glass in the frame because this is just a 'test run' to see if it looks okay.

Good Memories - in the mat and frame with no glass
Yep.  I like it.  I have successfully survived the 'ugly stage' that every painting seems to go through *rolls eyes* and passed on to something I like.  Cropping the painting really helps to keep the eye moving well through the composition.  And, nope, it doesn't look exactly like the photograph, or the yard and plants around the other truck - but that is a good thing.   My photograph was basically a 'sketch' - a starting point - a way to get to a finished painting that is ready to be framed.  The frame, mat, and painting all look like they belong together.  It's a 'go'!

Good Memories - framed

"Good Memories" is all framed up and ready to hang on the wall!  Now it can bring back some 'good memories' to someone who loves old trucks.



  1. nice! that is a great painting.

  2. It came toether so nicely..and very well balanced. And I love the dark green mat and dark (walnut?) wood you chose to frame with :)

  3. Thanks, Shannon! Something different from me - but it was fun =)

    Thanks, Jenny! I appreciate the compliment!

    memories - Thank you! I like to frame things with color rather than black or white ;-) Must be the years and years of picture framing in my background *lol* It's actually a rustic looking frame, though it has a more smooth finish than barn wood does. Glad you like it!

  4. I like it! I agree that the cropping adds a lot to the composition. I loved hearing about your process, too.

  5. I love your interpretation of the truck and its surroundings!
    The sign is perfect!

  6. Thanks, Rose! Cropping a composition can make a lot of difference if it has been done correctly.

    Thanks, Splendid! It was fun to combine what I saw in two locations with some imagination! Glad you like it!


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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