For my final project, I would like to explore optical mixing further. When I first tried Van Gogh markings, I found it extremely frustrating and difficult. However, after approaching it several ways over the course of several evenings, I feel like I hit my stride and was starting to enjoy it. The picture that I used for that exercise could have been taken further, though, and I feel like given the chance, it could be much improved.
The picture I would like to use this time around is a photo that I took in the fall at Creamer’s Field of some swans and ducks in Wander Lake. I brought it into Photoshop and was edited it to give it a painterly feel. As it is, the colors feel analogous (mainly yellow, yellow-orange and orange) and have a very warm tone. When I look at this image, it looks like a Thomas Kinkade-style painting to me. I looked up more information about his style and found that it is referred to as luminism: landscapes done with an emphasis on light. They often look ethereal and try to hide brushstrokes while preserving detail in the image (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luminism_%28American_art_style%29). Van Gogh’s style feels the opposite to me: there really is no emphasis on detail, it is more about the brushstrokes and the way they are used to imply detail. Due to the distinct difference between Van Gogh’s style and the style of this picture, I think it would be the perfect subject to try. My final project would take this photo and present it in an entirely new light.
I would approach the color scheme a little differently. I would preserve the oranges, but I think that I would emphasize the green more. This would be for a few reasons. If I didn’t, the layers of the landscape would probably get lost and it would end up look jumbled and chaotic. The green would add depth and borders to some areas that could definitely benefit from it. Also, I would give the sky a violet feel and reflect that in the water, as well. Using orange, violet and green as my main palette would be using a triadic color scheme which offers a lot of contrast and interest while remaining balanced and generally pleasing to look at.
All in all, I’m looking forward to starting on this project. I think it will be challenging to transition this piece from what it is now to one that uses Van Gogh markings, but I really like the idea of getting to explore that style further.