Getting It All In Proportion!
I was out taking some photographs a couple of Saturdays ago in Glasgow, and thought the grand old Duke was looking mighty dandy in his traffic cone hat. It's a Glaswegian tradition to give their favourite statues this exotic headwear, and I must admit, I don't think i've ever seen the Duke without it. I couldn't resist getting him down on canvas in his dashing pose.
I started the Duke's painting today, and try as I might, I just couldn’t get the measurements right. I don’t mind if, at the end, i’ve consciously exaggerated some of the features, to bring my own style to it - well it is a painting rather than a photograph after all.
For the start, though, I like to know that it’s roughly in the original proportions, and here's my workflow to achieve an initial digital sketch, ready to copy to the physical canvas.
1. Set up a digital canvas in the proportions of your physical canvas in the software programme of your choice.and import your original photo. Resize the photo on this 'image layer' to fill the canvas, play about until you are happy with it.
2. Take the opacity of the original image layer down enough that you can still see it.
3. Add a new layer on top.
4. On this new layer sketch/trace the outlines of your image - not too much tho, as it's totally just a simple line image we need.
5. Hide or delete the original image layer.
6. Change the background colour (so that the grid, in white, will show up).
7. Lay over the rule of thirds grid on top. In photoshop just press the crop button and it will appear.
8. You can either take a snapshot of this, or physically draw in the rule of thirds lines. For quickness I just take a snaphot.
There you have it, a sketched outline which will correspond to your physical canvas - you'll obviously draw a 'rule of thirds' grid on your canvas too, and this will match up when you are sketching this outline onto it.
Hope this helps!
Whit's he up tae noo?
The blog posts of David Brodie, a Scottish artist based near Glasgow.