30 Paintings in 30 Days, Digital Art, Portraits
©2022, Emma Pittson, “September 23 Paintover”. Photoshop.

One of the advantages of digital painting software is that you can easily block out new ideas without wasting any paint (this is especially good for us cheapskates!). Remember this unfinished painting from the “30 Paintings in 30 Days” challenge? One of the reasons why it ground to a halt was because I had doubts about keeping the gauzy scarf around her shoulders white or if I should go with a bolder colour – forest green, for example.

To be honest, I’m liking the addition of a coloured background more than the idea of adding a scarf, so I just might keep it like this. Of course, if anyone else has an idea they’d like to share, please feel free to do so!

From B&W Photo to Colour Painting

Digital Art, Portraits
©2022, Emma Pittson, “Beatrice”. Photoshop.

I’m been obsessed for a while now with trying to paint a colour portrait from a vintage black & white photograph, but I never felt ready to try until just recently. There was no objective behind this project other than to see if I could do it.

Keeping the “colour zones” of the face in mind, I essentially kept to: 1) yellow tones for the forehead, 2) red tones across the nose and cheekbones, and 3) cool tones for the jawline. I would go one step forward and include yellow/green tone for neck area, and also blue right under the eyes.

Here is the photo of actress/artist Beatrice Chanler that I used as reference:

Beatrice Chandler

Happy New Year!

Digital Art, my art
©2022, Emma Pittson, “Self-Portrait”. Photoshop

A little late for New Year’s celebrations, but 2021 was… a thing, and I, for one, am plenty happy to put it behind me. I’m sure everyone else is, too! May 2022 be the year we FINALLY find our way out of this terrible pandemic so that we can spend time with our loved ones again, or go to a festival, or a movie, or even just take the metro downtown and spend a few hours in the library (I have simple tastes).

This time last year, I had all kinds of BIG PLANS, but the first winter in the pandemic, coupled with a very stressful job (both for myself and my husband), took the wind out of my sails pretty quickly. Our summer was short-circuited by overtime, delivery dates, and bad weather, and by October, I wasn’t sure if I’d ever feel the urge to make art ever again. Looking back, I think I was probably depressed for much of 2021. To be fair, I have an autoimmune disease that went off the rails halfway through the year, and it took me months to “get over myself” and admit that I needed to upgrade to stronger medications. The idea of being in the “moderate to severe” category still makes me uneasy. But now that I’ve finally pulled the trigger and have embraced the Biologics, I’m feeling much better – not just physically, but also mentally.

And in keeping with this new positive attitude, I chose to start off the year with a self-portrait. It’s time for me to take a good look at myself and really think about what’s important to me. Of course, the reference photo has the warm blue-green glow of my computer monitor, in front of which I have spent WAY too much of my time since March 2020!

And Now, I’m Not So Sure…

artistic journey

I was feeling pretty passionate about this idea and my art just a few weeks ago, and now that the rush is over, I’m left wondering what all the fuss was about. The thing about negativity and expressing your feelings is… at one point, when does it become just another problem? Where’s the line between catharsis and useless ruminating? Adding text to the landscapes certainly made them less precious, but in the end, it didn’t advance me along my path. Ultimately, I think it might have been just a temporary diversion (possibly influenced by the Prednisone I’m taking for my RA flare – and this wouldn’t be the first time Prednisone led me astray, either!). I’m looking at these images now the way someone might survey their property after a violent storm has passed: I acknowledge that there was no stopping it, and I just hope that there’s no significant, long-term damage.

Warning: some of these images contain adult language.

A Personal Vow (in as nice a way as possible, of course)

artistic journey

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if people could hear the positivity of this message instead of hearing only the rejection? Surely, respecting yourself enough to set clear boundaries (especially after getting burned) should be something to celebrate? I suppose it all depends on who is doing the boundary-setting in the first place…