Do you remember the painting I did recently of the duckling 'Smile and the world smiles back' ? Well I was asked if I could explain how I make a ref photo my own recently and so I thought I would use the same reference photo again for another painting to show how, with a different approach, you can create two totally different paintings.
I will begin by showing you my reference photo. It was taken by my daughter back in July at our local pond.
As you can see from the photo, the little duckling was sat with his brothers and sisters on the grass. I just loved his expression so decided to focus in on this for my paintings.
For the first painting that I completed a couple weeks ago I wanted to create that warm feeling, in essence play on the 'smile factor'. I chose a basically warm colour palette but kept, apart from his beak, to the muted browns and dusky yellows. The background was also kept deliberately soft but at the same time helping to lead our eye towards the duckling and his adorable expression. I developed the lighting too to help focus our attention on my COI his eye, his beak and those cute downy feathers. The other ducklings were not important to my message so I decided not to include them. The painting was more about the duckling and our interaction with him.
So, to my next painting. This hopefully will have a very different feel. The painting above had a very cute feel to it. The duckling is smiling but with an air of innocence too. In my next painting I want to play more on the mischief of the young. I am still going for a close crop but have tilted the ducklings head a little more upwards to create more of an appearance of him laughing rather than simply smiling. So why is he laughing? Well...I thought it would be fun to play with the real duck versus plastic duck theme. Two ducks from very different worlds... how would they react to each other if they met? The answer I think would be to laugh at each other and think 'You're Quackers!'
I then decided since this was going to be very much a 'fun' painting, I would take the ' you're quackers' theme even further and compose the painting on the diagonal so my stretched gallery wrapped canvas is 14 inches square but will be hung as a diamond. Since the plastic duck lives in the bathroom I have decided to include bathroom tiles as part of my background creating a tiled window with the real duckling appearing to be looking into the world of the pastic duck. I wanted both ducklings facing each other mirroring each others expressions. I wonder what they are saying?