Tryptic nature mixed media

Last year around this time my wife and I were in the process of buying our first apartment. Along with the stress of realizing we are signing a document that will commit us to giving a large portion of our monthly salary to the bank, and finding the best way to furnish the apartment (I believe now we have given Ikea healthy profits), my wife asked me to design a picture to go in lounge.

My brief was for it to big and black and white and was to go in our lounge. I have completed briefs for people before but the difference is that this was something that both of us would have to like and sometimes we have very different ideas about art and what is good. As the “designer” and my then “Fiancee” I would need to tread carefully.

I started by thinking about the colour we had chosen for the room. The colour was a natural light green one wall and white on the others and the picture would be hanging on the green wall. I thought of plants and went on a hunt for some. This being the beginning of autumn it was quite a mission as most greens were starting to turn brown. I managed to find three subjects and they weren’t all in natural environments.

I wanted to make the images opaque so that you know what they are but the images are not clear. I opened the images in Art Rage. Art Rage is a digital painting program and is pretty good but does have a steep learning curve.

The images below are my Colour painted versions.

I took each picture in a classic composition to help with the recognition of the subjects.

In Art Rage I used oil paints to paint over the original image. Using large brushes for general areas and then smaller ones to add in more detail.

Once the images were painted I imported them into Photoshop and placed them on the same layer next to each other.

In Photoshop I converted the images to black and white, creating contrasted tones trying to replicate Ilford 3200 film.

The tone of each image is the same and different at the same time. This similarity and disparity is due to the painting in Art Rage. The Bamboo image is softer because of the I worked lightly to keep in the delicate details where as with the Lilly i worked more with the pallet knife and then  over the top with a brush. For the Fern I worked with a dryer brush over and over again, to replicate the furry feel of a young fern.

The final Image looks really nice and not quite what I was expectign when I started. I really did experiment, mainly becuase i had the freedom to. Normally when people want an image their parameters are quite tight because they have the image they want in their head. My wife didn’t and she really likes the picture too.

Funnily enough the picture is not going on the wall like this anymore. A year after we bought the apartment we are now getting the art on the walls and only two parts of this tryptic will make it to the wall due to size constraints. We haven’t made the cull yet but I’m sure it will be soon.

Let me know what you think.

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