Ah, yes. Rain. I live in Oregon, and yet I forget about the rain sometimes. We’ve had a good run of not-so-rainy weather and you know how I know? I had forgotten about puddle paintings! Until yesterday, when I was walking into work and the reflection of trees in puddles on the parking lot surface caught my eye. Really, it’s not like it’s been that long since it was rainy. I think I just have a short attention span!
Last night when I looked at the photos I was inspired to create this piece:
I’ll show you how it came together for this week’s Paint Party Friday post.
It starts with the captured image of a tree reflection in a parking lot puddle. I now use ProCamera for capturing most of my iPhone images. I like that I can switch between 1:1 and other aspect ratios in app and can easily separate the focus and exposure when needed. The “Anti-Shake” shutter is also really nice for avoiding blurry pics when the light is low… like if we have an overcast day or I’m in a shady forest or something. (Um, yeah, that’s pretty much all the time for me anymore.)
Then I pulled the photo into Snapseed to rotate and add some color and texture. I felt a bit blue yesterday.
From there, it was into texturing apps to play with textures and see what happened. I liked this one, from Distressed FX. Hey, my blue turned to green! But I really liked the effect.
I could have stopped there, but it was not quite as abstract and painterly as I wanted. So into the painting apps… Glaze, the Autopainter apps (HD, 2 and 3) to see what I could do with it. It’s interesting how some painting apps really work well for one type of image, and then don’t work at all for another. That’s the part about this whole digital painting thing that is full of play and experimentation. There is no precise process in this medium… it just doesn’t work that way.
Out of all of that play, I started with the output from Glaze as the base in Image Blender. I like to start with Glaze output as the base when I can, because the base sets the resolution for the final image. Since I save out of Glaze at the highest resolution (4096×4096), my final blended image is saved at the same resolution, which is larger than the native resolution of the iPhone 5 camera. This means I can print the final image as large as I might want.
From there, it was just blending of the different images I had created while playing in the different apps. I really can’t remember what I was blending with what, or the blending modes I was using. That’s all play too! But I’ll show you the intermediate blends so you can see how it progressed to the final piece.
I love the abstraction of the final painting, the watery feel and the depth of color. Even though I started out in a blue mood, the green in this makes my heart sing.
I definitely don’t mind rainy days this winter. People have been wishing for spring, but I’m not asking for it to come yet. I am inspired by the reflections found in puddles, and the blank canvas provided by a grey sky. I’m getting out to hike regardless of the weather, or maybe because of the weather, as the rain and mist provides such atmosphere to the forest. I am grateful, every day, for this wonderful art form that inspires me so much.
Here’s a happy song that resonates with me right now. Enjoy!