I shot reference pictures of ivy for the Aviator’s Dream painting, but the sun was far too high in the for them to be really useful other than as a resource for the shapes of the leaves and how the network of tendrils and shadows works. The light has to be at least similar. Next step, to wait until evening at my home and take a close look at the ivy that grows on the bank between my neighbor’s house and mine. I’ve tried to destroy it for years, because it chokes the lilies, but now I’m at least slightly glad that I failed to kill it.
Reference photos are great, but have to be treated with caution – are the pictures going to work together? Is the light in each picture similar, is the colour temperature similar? A decent painter will be able to make it up as they go along to some extent, but it takes a while to get to that point, and in the meantime there’s nothing wrong with using a picture to help.
A painting isn’t a photograph.Â
This evening I’ll do some preliminary drawings for this Falling Off piece. I don’t often do any really well prepared drawings for the paintings, preferring to resolve the issues in paint. I love seeing paintings which have the story of their making concealed beneath the final layer. It’s an additional layer of the painter’s narrative, added to the narrative of the image itself.Â