Soup Kitchen (12x12) oil on linen
Last summer when I was shopping for a gluten-free cake for my wife's birthday, I came across this great little bakery in NW Portland -- it was kinda hidden away in an industrial area with no signage outside, just a little sandwich board on the corner sidewalk that read, Gem Bakery...
Bakery Girls (20x24) oil on panel
While inside ordering a delicious custom cake, I was taken with the look that all of the girls working there had; the scarves in particular. I explained I was a painter and asked if I could come back with my camera to shoot some reference shots while they worked and they graciously consented...
(detail) Bakery Girls
To transfer my photo reference into paintings, I first needed to go thru a "sketch phase" to interpret what I had shot rather than going straight to canvas. Painting requires drawing, and drawing requires exercising the thought process that a camera is incapable of... I had ideas of what I was looking for when shooting the photos, but I then needed to remove my ideas from the photos in order to recover the original intent...sketching out various poses was the best vehicle for this.
I could then use this third generation information to influence my painting (along with) the photographic reference. Every artist has a particular drawing style that influences their painting's look (if they let it)... I prefer to work from life whenever possible, but if I can't, I never want to refer solely to the photograph -- I need the separation and go-between of my drawings as a jumping off point. The photo can keep me on track, but the drawings will always retain the edited (and thus more original) concept and look...
I hope to return soon to Gem Bakery to gather more information for future paintings...and maybe a gluten-free goody or two as well!