Thursday, 31 May 2012

Noon Light

I know it says 1pm, but that's because of British Summer Time. As far as the light is concerned, it's noon.

1pm, May 26, looking North towards Glasgow

This is the most colourful one so far. Even so, the greens are much subtler than I would have expected.

This one has the best visibility - there are layers of hills that weren't even in the others. And so much more background detail is visible in the photo.

On the other hand, everything is very flat looking - the foreground roofs in particular - as there's not many shadows, with the sun coming almost straight down.

Hope you're not getting too bored with these - not many left to do now: I have an early evening photo, and rain or mist would be interesting if I can get one. Dawn would also be nice - but I'm not that dedicated at this time of year!

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Beach Light

We break into our normal schedule of pictures of roofs and high flats to celebrate a typical (?) Scottish summer day...

This was just meant to be a fairly rough colour study - though  a bit more detailed than the roofs -  but I got carried away, so it took a while.

Troon beach, 4.50pm, 27th May

It's fascinating the different colours in the shadows. The shadows that are on the tops of his arms are blue, because they reflect the sky. But there's also purply, yellowish and reddish ones. Not sure what the reasons for all of them are.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Night Light

Well, this was an easy one - so little detail!

Didn't get the position of the photo quite the same, as I had to brace it against the window frame so it didn't blur with so little light! 

I like  the pink lights; they go well with the sunset.

10:40pm, May 24, looking North towards Glasgow
It's interesting how different this one is from the one 40 minutes earlier (on a different day).

Friday, 25 May 2012

Overcast light

Almost the same time as the photo I took on Wednesday morning, but this one's from Monday, with different weather.

8.20am, May 23, looking North towards Glasgow
In some ways the colours are similar, but the chimneys are barely noticeable in this one, where they were so prominent in the sunny picture. The whites and creams are all grey and murky beige. There's very little contrast. 

Interestingly, though, the greens are almost the same.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

More light studies

Did these yesterday and today - one photo from yesterday morning, the other from yesterday evening. 

I actually had to pochle the second photo a bit - unlike the human eye, the camera can't cope with bright sky and dark ground - if the sky looked right the ground was far too dark. But if the ground was right, the sky was too pale. So I took two photos, one pointing at the sky and one at the foreground, and then blended them. Even then, I think the foreground appeared lighter in reality.

8.25am, May 23, looking North towards Glasgow 

9pm, May 23, looking North towards Glasgow

I thought it would be good to do the same scene with different lighting, a bit like Monet's haystacks (though maybe not quite as skillful - he didn't cheat with a computer!). 

It was very interesting to see what things were more or less important in the different pictures. For example, in the morning one the reds stand out a lot. Also, there is far more detail visible in the background - in the evening ones it all tends to blend together. In the morning one, the blocks of high flats look 3D because of the angle of the light. In the other two, they look flat.

In all the pictures I've done so far, the effect of aerial perspective has been very noticeable (that means that, as things get more distant, they become less distinct, and closer in colour to the sky).

Also, the colours are all more muted than I tend to use. But they don't really look dull.

If I were doing an illustration based on the morning one, I'd probably make the sky bluer. It was blue higher up.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Light study

The book I got about Light has exercises throughout it. The first of these is simply to look. To be aware of what light does. 

Part of this is to take lots of photos, at all times of the day, and with all kinds of light. You should do this with your camera set on the daylight setting, otherwise your camera will compensate for the different colours of light, and make them all look the same.

So I took a number of photos on Saturday, and have done a colour study of one of them. This is not meant to be a good picture - it's just the colours that matter.

10pm, May 19, looking North towards Glasgow
I used the eyedropper tool to select each colour. Some of them surprised me - that little bit of 'white' wall near the bottom is actually a dark greyish blue, far darker than the sky!

In an illustration, I would probably lighten everything a little, and maybe exaggerate the colours a bit. But to stylise something, you need to know what it's really like, first.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Ripping off old paintings

Rebekah goes to the well.
William-Adolphe Bouguereau Young Girl Going to the Spring (1885)
 I wonder if he'd be flattered...?

Edit Nov 2012: Looking back at this, I see I got the pose wrong. The contraposto isn't right. Will redo before publishing.

Edit July 2014: Ooops - I never did! Well, it can wait until  I've got a lot more new stories up.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

A spelling rule

It should be i before e except after c.
But weird breaks that rule, which is weird.

Saturday, 12 May 2012


Finally found a quote I've half-remembered for a long time.
"...Thus even as Eru spoke to us shall beauty not before conceived be brought into Eä, and evil yet be good to have been." But Mandos said: "And yet remain evil..."
The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien
(Eru is God, and is Earth)