Debra Dee Art | Snap Shots Used To Create Oil Paintings (Vintage)

Snap Shots Used To Create Oil Paintings (Vintage)

August 26, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

 When people view my artwork online I often hear the comments  “It looks like a photograph “ or experience having been mistaken for a photographer. So I often have to point out that what they are viewing on their laptop , ipad or phone are oil paintings not a photoshopped image. This confusion happens more frequently with with my travel & portrait gallery collection. It is my intention that my artwork gives onlookers a certain depth of realism. My draftsmanship with the oil paint is quite meticulous and intricately handled in the focal areas such as the classic cars. Though much of the artwork is built up using textures and glazes and is really quite a loose painterly application to give an impressionistic appeal.

I have observed when onlookers view the original art in person, they instinctively move closer to inspect all the delicate visible brushstrokes and pallet knife work I have applied. It is quite fun to create art that gives a certain illusion of photography but more rewarding when it becomes evident that it is actually layers of paint. (below are some new reference photographs soon to be developed  into oil paintings)

I have never revealed my vintage reference photographs on the internet before as I did not feel that it held much interest, but when you compare the difference between the snap shot and end creation, it actually tell a visual story of how I go about making my art. One can see how I adjust the compositions add or eliminate objects that could enhance or distract and use color to develop a charm and elegance. I often completely change the surroundings and location of the vintage classic’s I paint, inventing more appealing landscapes with the attempt to bring more charm, elegance and interest. Sometimes the weathered classic’s I find are stood on concrete floors in an un-appealing  environment, so I will invent a dramatic sky or attractive landscape and use tones that indicate could indicate a certain time of day or even season.

For the Vintage collection I like to use photography snapshots as a visual tool only, as my attempts are the push the overall visual impact yet keep  lines and forms of the vintage cars accurate and thus realistic. 

This photo was taken on my American road trip with my father in Utah, what I love about this photograph is the how the light falls across the cars with shadows casted from the trees behind. For me the background lacked visual interest and the twisting branches were too distracting so I decided to decrease the complexity so painted in some leaf foliage to give more of a summer season look.

 The cars in the photograph did not stand out much from the background, so I simplified and deepened the darks to give a better contrast, I also positioned the vintage cars higher up in the composition as I felt that it would create a better balance.

 On the left side of the photograph the third car in background was not very visible so I opened that area up with some blue sky and eliminated the branches. I played with the color balance and contrast in the shadows and highlights, softening and enhancing and also gave the car in the middle a slightly different paint job by painting in some blues tones that reflect the color of the sky.

 Tahoe City Electric

This painting was a commissioned piece of work, for a gentleman who had seen my art in a gallery exhibition in lake Tahoe and was inspired to have his own beloved vintage truck painted in oil. This was the first car I had painted that was not beat up and rusty.

 My clients request that I create a Tahoe style atmosphere so we drove around beautiful Lake Tahoe in his wonderful shiny GMC, so we did a fun photo shoot around the lake. The chosen composition agreed upon was simple background of aspen trees and snowy shadows. As you can see in the photograph most of the snow had melted off the road and the golden leaves had already fallen. It was already wintertime but I wanted to create an impression of early snow fall in an autumn season.  I covered the tarmac with snow fall and popped in a bare aspen tree foreground for more interest, plus created more definition with the wonderful shadows that lead the eye into the painting, used some coppers and olives greens and browns in the foliage and softened the shadow contrasts on the vehicle.

Quite simple changes that I feel give an over all calmness about the piece. 

Autumn rust

Evidently altered this one quite significantly. Pushing my paint color pallet to create a vibrant piece of art, I took on a challenge as the photograph really did not have much of a visual impact and there were moments during the process that I was not too confident. Quite happy with the end result 

Gas station – Grass Valley

I choose not to alter this painting too drastically from the reference photograph, thus paying a lot to attention to all the wonderful fun detail in the building with all the vintage signs. I took this photograph with a wide angle lens that is why you see some distortion in the lines of the building, so in the painting I straightened things up and cropped in to avoid that obscured view.As i am creating this blog i have realized that this is quite a good practice putting reference photo and final piece side by side. I am seeing a pattern with my style and how eliminating certain certain parts of the reference gives the piece less clutter . I am also noticing areas that i could improve upon, I have literally left the blog a moment ago to return to the painting above to put in a few touches of paint 
 I put more foliage in the background as i dod not like the one tree central in the composition and i created a dapple light effect with some of the sky peeping through the trees and brushes. I worked into the painting with glazes enhancing certain areas and deepening shadows and contrasts. I also took away the white cloth in the rear of the truck as it was a distraction and gave more definition to the pipes on the truck bed. I felt like the foreground was untidy so simplified and put in whispy golden grass in stead of the shrubs, this also allowed me to work more with the shadows cast by the vehicle . I made the grill more pronounced and gave it a bit more of shine as if sun was bouncing off it.

Quite a lot of artistic license went into this piece. I completely changed the lighting and mood of the painting by inventing a stormy rainy sky. It has a more dramatic and intense mood as the storm clouds cast patchwork shadows across the fields. To create more of a visual story I added an American flag on the red white and blue Chevy and a shattered rear window, cracked windscreen, a for sale sign and on the horizon I added wind turbines. The visual message is open to the viewer’s interpretation 

I must have used another  photograph for this piece because as you can see the view point is at a different angle, but you can see that took out the building in the rear and instead added some building in the distance.  I preferred a backdrop of just sky with the  suggestion of the modern day by adding in an airplane trail . I also created a pathway leading up to the to the truck .



No comments posted.