I've re-started an idea that I've had for a long time and started a series; transforming lomographic photographs from our community into paintings! I've been doing some write ups because I thought they deserved some explanation. Read more about it after the break!
After a loooong break from painting of school, work, church, band, and etc., I was finally able to pick up the paint brush again for my new series. I’d gotten new oil paints, brushes, and canvasses from my mom for my birthday in December and I was excited to use them. Admittedly, I still don’t know much about how to use oil paints, I gave it a try. It didn’t come out quite like I’d expected it to, however, the process was good fun!
So, as usual, I was on my search for a new photo to imitate. Somehow I’d ended up reading through articles after searching through photos. This was how I’d stumbled upon an article written about jeabzz! I had discovered his LomoHome long ago and the article brought me back to his photos which I had “liked”. As was habit, I clicked on his most popular photos, and there it was: the cloud walker. It had always been one of my favorite lomographs, though somehow, I had forgotten about it. I decided that this would be the photo I would paint, even though it was much different from the previous two I had done. It was a Holga photo, fully colored with a clear purpley-blue sky. Clouds crowded the vignetted edges of the photos and reflected across the horizon. My favorite part of the photo, however, was the subject; she seemed to be dancing among the clouds! Excitement and joy seemed to radiate from the photo.
I printed the photo out and I threw all of my supplies in a bag, since I was on my way to my dad’s house. Upon arrival, I sat down on the floor and arranged my things around me and started my iPod. With the limited colors that I had, I wanted to get the color as close as possible to the hues in jeabzz's photo. After a bit of experimenting and mixing paints, I had come as close as I could to matching the colors without wasting. And so I began, light to dark. I painted the central area of the photo, white fading into the sky, blending into the blue and purple and then finally into the black edges. I had to paint over it a number of times until I was satisfied. And then came the horizon, dabbing into the paint, I dragged the brush slowly across the paper. I surprised myself with how straight I had managed to make the line. At this point, the reflection of the sky came next. I copied the same background I had painted on the sky with. However, something seemed wrong; the reflection wasn’t quite the same as the sky. So, I added a sliver of ocean, then texture and clouds under the horizon. The photo was proving harder to imitate then I had thought, should I abandon my attempt? The paint wasn’t working with me either, I was frustrated that I couldn’t seem to get it right.
Rubbing my eyes and looking away from the painting for the first time in a while, I thought about it. If I stopped, it would be a waste of time, paint, and I would just end up being disappointed. So I picked up the brush again and tackled the rest of the lower half. Finally content with the way it looked, I smudged some white onto the sky with my fingers for the clouds. Surprisingly, my fingers seemed to work much better in blending the colors. I believe I smiled when I realized this. Messing around with it a bit more, I finished adding the clouds and successfully merged them with the vignette at the edges.
Now for the final step; adding in the subject. Always the most nerve wracking part of the painting because of all the work put into the painting beforehand. Slowly, I lined the figure in the photo with a tiny brush. I was able to fill it in with my pinky and get the paint to spread the way I wanted it to.
Finished at last, and just in time to get ready to leave for my select band concert, I put down my brush and admired my artistic attempt.
Paintings and words by Natalie Fong. Originally from Taipei, Taiwan. Natalie now lives in Honolulu, Hawaii. Read more articles on the CopyCat Nat series.