Fairfax lake park

Fairfax lake Park

16 x 20 image, acrylic on canvas matted to 20 x 24 and framed under plexi. I took the photo (as I take most reference photos when not working on site) with the idea that it would be a good, not-too-difficult reference photo for my students, and this painting was done as a demo.

Once again, I was wrong. To someone who had not been to this spot, there was far too much information in the photo and many tried to capture all of it. Frthermore, photos frequently lie. In the photo, the shadow which falls acroosthe stream looked very dark. Painted that dark, it looked like a large black bird, dividing the foreground from the background. I had to go back to the park on a cloudy day and photograph the spot without the strong shadow.

I guess the important thing that I'm saying is that, if you are going to work from reference photos, it's a good idea to use your own, because then you can interpret them. A work of art is not a photograph.