Tuesday, December 21, 2010

All the best in the New Year!

Gingerbread house decorated by Angela Berry and photographed by Carol Berry, ©2010.

Life and paintings evolve. I wanted this year's home made Christmas card to feature a still life painting about Christmas baking. That idea filtered down into a painting of a gingerbread house. 

One Sunday last month my eldest daughter decorated this gingerbread house. Early that afternoon, while bright sunlight beamed onto our dining room table, I hurriedly took what I thought would be a series of photos to be used as back-up references while painting the gingerbread house from life. I really enjoyed this photography process, even improvising a fill light with a white bristol board. 

After loading the photo series into Photoshop, I picked the best photo and started to clone in a sky, a frivolous but fun exercise. I had the real gingerbread house to paint from and I didn't really need a perfect photo reference. I was having fun and one hour of Photoshop turned into three. The next thing I realized, the real sun had set and time to paint the gingerbread from life was done. 

That night at dinner my kids teased me about my self indulgent right brain processes. I had totally let the Christmas card evolve on its own accord. We all agreed that the photo said everything I had originally wanted, nothing more could have been added if I had actually put brush to canvas. I was glad to have the card match my original vision, even if that was accomplished quite differently than planned.

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