Paintover

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!

Tremblant in the Rain, Take 2

Digital Art, Landscape
©2021, Emma Pittson, “Tremblant in the Rain, Take 2”. Painter.

Long time no blog! I was going great guns there for the first few months of 2021, and then starting in March my husband had to put in a lot of overtime, and frankly, it’s been that way ever since! When I’m not working at my own full-time job, I have to stay on top of practically everything else – making sure the kids are getting their homework done or aren’t going out of their minds with boredom (and walking into Mommy’s Zoom calls for work!), cooking, getting a handle on everything we’ll need to prepare my daughter for her new school, and making sure the house doesn’t fall into complete ruin. There are many, many corners of my house that I have not dusted in what seems like forever. Luckily, we’ve had exactly zero houseguests in the last year and a half, so no one’s been around to be horrified at my lax housekeeping.

Anyways, another reason why I haven’t produced much of anything in the last few months is because I’ve been in a period of serious re-evaluation of my own work. When I started this blog, it was to track my progress as I re-taught myself everything I’d forgotten from art school, or filled in what I missed. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished, but at the same time, I can look at my portfolio pages and not feel that the work there truly represents me as an artist. Don’t get me wrong: I enjoy the landscapes, but they also bore me! If I were to set up a website for my art (which I am very much aiming towards), the landscapes would not have any place on it. I consider them as less “elevator pitch” and more “art tool practice” – heavily-involved and elaborate colour wheels, if you will.

So I’m doing a lot of thinking, image-collecting, mood-boarding, and internal pep-talking. Now all I need is some free time, and I might just be able to make this happen!

To get my feet wet again, I upgraded my version of Corel Painter and tested it out by re-painting the Tremblant in the Rain painting. I’m MUCH happier with this version, and my husband liked it so much he half-jokingly offered me a job as a matte painter! (If only… if only…)

Second Mayowa Nicholas Study

Digital Art, Portraits
©2019, Emma Pittson, “Mayowa Nicholas Face Study II”. Photoshop.

Another digital portrait from last year (or maybe even earlier!) that I’m only posting now (woops!). This is not the first time I’ve painted this model. What can I say? The proportions of her face just seem so mathematically perfect to me!

I really miss doing portraits. I am this close to putting the call out on Facebook or Instagram asking for people to send me pictures of them just so I don’t have to fall back on self-portraits or pestering my immediate family to pose for me.