Miss You Grandpa
watercolor 8 x 10
When my husband and I had been dating for a few weeks he took me to see his grandparents. Almost instantly they loved me as one of their own grandkids. Once we were married and my husband was going to school, and we were beyond poor, they let us live in their basement apartment. It was one of the happiest times in my life because I got to spend so much time with them, and my son (we just had one at the time) got to grow up knowing and loving them too.
They became my grandparents.Then three years ago my grandpa died, he was one of the best men I have ever known and I still miss him so much. I painted this quick portrait of him the day after his funeral. I had to do something with the emotions that wanted to drag me down to despair, so I painted this image of him, it's how I remember him.
Miss you Grandpa, I love you.
Photo tips for your artwork
These tips are things I have found useful, I am not a photographer. I have very basic photography skills and am in no way trying to sound like an expert. These are just some things that work for me and I'm sharing them with you because I thought they might help you too.
First: the number one thing I try to do is to take a picture that accurately represents my artwork. And so I might try a couple of different things to get the image I'm looking for. Like lighting or camera settings.
Second: I use a digital SLR camera. I've tried once to use a point and shoot when I first started, but it just didn't work. If possible always try to use a DSLR camera when taking your photos. Of course a film SLR is just as good, but since most art competitions require you to enter digitally it's just a whole lot easier to use a DSLR.
Third: I always use daylight, and I almost never use artificial lighting. What I like to do is take my photos before noon in my kitchen where I have a big glass door that leads to the backyard. Lots of nice light comes in right there (incidentally this is also where I take any photos of models or still lifes, you need to find a spot that has the kind of light you feel comfortable working with. Indirect sunlight is what I think works best for photographing your work.)
Fourth: Always, and I mean always photograph ONLY your artwork. Don't include the frame or mat or let any gaps show if you can help it. This is for competition guidelines and also for work in your portfolio or website, it looks more professional. And I know of at least one artist who had a very beautiful piece that did not get accepted to a prestigious competition because they photographed the mat too.
Okay, so now I'm going to contradict myself, if you want to show the mat and frame in your photo, maybe an art buyer wants to see the frame, or maybe you want to show what it looks like all finished up (Sandra did this a few weeks ago, and it worked really well), then by all means do so. But not for competitions or your website.
Fifth: Always turn your flash off. It's harsh and washes out your colors, and it does not look pretty :)
Sixth: The exposure compensation button is your friend :) This button is on all DSLR cameras,it looks like a plus and minus sign (look it up in your camera manual, I had to do that :). Just by adjusting this control up or down even a little bit, can make a HUGE difference in how your photo looks. I use this button when the light is low, or even when it's very bright. I love it, it's my new best friend on my camera.
Seventh: I make sure my painting is straight and flush to the wall, and then I hold my camera at the same angle to minimize distortion.
Eighth: I take lots of shots of the same painting, sometimes adjusting the exp comp button, sometimes drawing the curtains or opening more up to get the right light, and then I go through them and pick the one that I think matches the artwork the best.
Well, that's what I do :) Hope it was helpful. Have a great weekend guys!