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!
Soon after my first painting, I wanted to keep going with my series. Flicking, now, through the tagged “silhouette” photos I found a number of great ones that I wanted to paint. However, I wasn’t sure which one was the right one. Abandoning my search there, continued browsing on Lomography and something in the “recently popular” section caught my eye. I clicked on it. It was a silhouette of a slender woman, standing by a window. Dimly lit, slight shades of salmon and pink were the only colors showing. The woman’s head was tilted, her face pointed slightly towards the camera. Her fingers against her head slightly, as if pondering some intriguing thought. Her hair was drawn into a neat bun at the top of her head. Her neck was slender, almost like a swan’s, and you could see that she was leaning gently against the frame of the large window. Light came through the window, coloring the wall a light shade of pink. The photo was, (even though I hadn’t thought of what I wanted), just the one I had been looking for.
So, I quickly ran up the stairs to grab my paint and brushes. Minutes later, I was sitting in front of the computer once again with the photo on the screen. I started with the dark edges surrounding the subject, black. Swirling the paint onto the white paper, I painted about half of it black. Switching brushes, I started on the window. With only the basic colors, blue, red, yellow, white and black, I had to make all of my own colors. I mixed a smidge of red into the white to imitate the pretty shade of salmon. Straight streaks across the paper, and I’d created the frame. Add more white, I added in the panels of the window and the shading. Across the way, you could see the windows from another building; I added those as well. With a fatter brush, the light coming from the window spread across the walls of my painting.
As always, I came to the subject last. With a thin brush, I outlined her, starting with her face. Forehead, eye lashes, cheek, and chin. Continuing down the neck, I followed the arm back up to her fingers. She’d had them almost closed, and so I painted them that way. Lifting the brush, I finished the curve of her back and waist and blended it into the shadows. More black, filling in the dark silhouette of this mysterious stranger, I wondered what she was like, and the possibilities of what she was thinking of. I believe I smiled when I finished, satisfied with the results.
Acrylics, of course, lack the smoothness of a negative. But in their own way, I suppose it has it’s own beauty. Thanks for reading!
Paintings and words by Natalie Fong. Originally from Taipei, Taiwan. Natalie now lives in Honolulu, Hawaii. Read more of the CopyCat Nat series.