Monthly Archives: March 2013

Special Effects, lesson in “motion”


WavesWhen your batteries are low in your camera, you can try to take weird and wonderful “moving” pictures that can produce interesting light trails. At night, look around for colorful lights.

Hold down the button and move the camera in circles or zigzags. My Squiggleshusband always laughs when I do this on our road trips (PS- while he drives  of course, not me!)

You have to experiment with this procedure because it really takes a bit of luck to get a good image. I take hundreds of these but every once in awhile I am totally amazed at the results.

marqueeI especially like to try this in an outside strip mall, where the store lights are bright and different colors. The movie theater marquee is especally terrific to create this kind of image. Another idea would be to hang three photos with the same color background next to each other on a wall.

night lightsahooked

Cropping some of these will also give you creative images. Many might look good as  pieces/parts, squares, or you can make a mosaic, using pieces placed together to make one large collage. Look at Salvador Dali’s “Lincoln” painting sometime, it is made up of lots of tiny images.

christmastheory in redlinear1

Often I will up the contrast using Photoshop, it makes the background less distracting. You can make tiles and other fun effects playing with the various items in “filter” from the top bar, scroll down and try embossing or blurring.

flying highHave fun while attempting this, remember it takes patience and really slow batteries to make it happen.

Painting outdoors, “plein air”, is hard work but often very rewarding.

Old town

In Old Town, San Diego, the spring foilage was so colorful that I decided to make this piece a bit more of a design than a realistic painting. The textures on the roofs amongst the plants was intriging, I played the colors against each other among the various shades of white I created in the background. The red and green complementary colors are the design element that I like best in this plein air watercolor.

art galleries in Spanish village

At the Spanish Village in Balboa Park, I loved the stuccoed walls and steps. The surrounding colors all jumped out at me so I used “all the crayons in my crayon box!” It became a whimsical piece but the depth is apparent. I had to take off the colorful painted sidewalk in order for this to be a better painting. Be true to the painting and not what you are looking at in plein air. That is my best suggestion if you want to be a good painter.