Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Terry Miura's Challenge: SIMPLIFY

Today I'm showing you the paintings I did after Terry Miura challenged people to paint from his photo of an urban environment. Go take a look at his original photo. I don't get to view things like this shot much, so it was a lot of fun taking on the challenge.

The idea was to take a densely packed and busy photo and find ways to simplify it, perhaps by cropping, but also by resisting the temptation to paint every detail there. I love a challenge, so I was up to give it a try.

Here's my first one, my usual size, 2.5" x 3.5".


I was intrigued by the density of the small shapes and colors, but attempted to keep it unified by values. Close one eye and squint and you'll see the big dark shape on the far left, the medium-dark shape in the middle, and the medium and medium-light shapes of the hills. Successful, but not quite what I was after.

Here's my second one, a HUGE departure for me and far more what I wanted to accomplish. It's literally huge, for me anyway: 8"x5" on a piece of black Pastelmat paper!


I chose to crop and distort the image, pulling it into a much elongated and stylized version that appealed to me. I loved the sense of a street going uphill in stages, and enhanced that with the light coming between the buildings. I probably 'should' have added more shadow shapes of the buildings, but I chose to limit that response in order to keep it simple. I limited my palette, and heightened the contrasting values. Cars? No chance! I just haven't the inclination for those shapes, so I suggested a couple and let it go at that. Do you think it works?

Be sure to take a look over at Terry's challenge to see some of the things folks have painted already, and maybe even join in yourself!

Edited to add a link to Terry Miura's SIMPLIFY! - A Cityscape Challenge where you can see a slide show of 60 paintings, including Terry's beautiful version.


~Deborah

8 comments:

  1. I love your style on the first one; I would have loved to see that expanded. I, too, have a hard time working "loose" as I am a detail fanatic. I hope to get a chance to play in this challenge also!

    http://shippeecraft.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much! I'm so glad you took part. It's been a fun experiment, and so nice to see all the results.

      Delete
  2. I like both of these. The little ACEO is colorful and amusing. The vertical street scene is fantastic, I love the depth and power you achieved in it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I was checking out the simplify challenge responses and ran across your blog. I enjoyed your rendition of his challenge. I began looking at all the blog posts and things you paint and I think this is awesome. I am following your blog. Do you sleep? :) Only by the grace of God are you able to do so much. Thanks for sharing...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Maria. I have a lot of time on my hands lately and enjoy posting the results. So glad you're following. God bless!

      Delete
  4. love the way you simplified the scene beautiful painting below .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jane, thank you. I have that one on my cork board and it's really satisfying. I'm glad to know you like it.

      Delete

Thank you for commenting on my blog.