Today’s Art (8th June 2019)

Well, today’s digitally-edited painting is based on seeing a dramatic-looking orange moon near Portsmouth last June. Unlike most of these landscapes, this one is actually based on memory (and, yes, I make the paintings quite far in advance) more than on photos. This is mostly because the digital camera I was using is terrible for night photography – and the photos I took of the scene in the painting look more like this. So, this painting is partially from memory and, as such, it is a little bit more stylised than usual 🙂

As usual, this painting is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

“Portsmouth – Orange Moon” By C. A. Brown

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Today’s Art (11th March 2019)

Well, today’s digitally-edited painting is based on this photo I took from a bridge in Hilsea last April. Although I messed up the perspective slightly in this painting, it turned out better than I’d initially expected 🙂

As usual, this painting is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

“Hilsea – Bridge” By C. A. Brown

Today’s Art (27th January 2019)

This digitally-edited painting is another photo-based painting (which was based on a photo of Portsmouth that my sister took and sent me after I mentioned that I was going through a phase of making paintings based on photos).

Although this painting is considerably brighter and mistier than most of my paintings and, for some reason, it had a very slight J.M.W Turner influence too, I quite like how it turned out.

As usual, this painting is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

“Portsmouth – Across The Sea” By C. A. Brown

Two More Thoughts About Painting From Memory

Although I’ve already written about how to memorise things you see (in order to paint them later), I made a memory painting (for the first time in a while) the day before I wrote this article. The full-size painting will be posted here tomorrow, but here’s a reduced-size preview:

This is a reduced-size preview. The full-size painting will be posted here on the 3rd September.

Apologies if I repeat myself in this article, but it’s been a while since I last talked about memory painting. So, what did returning to memory paintings after being a little out-of-practice teach me?

1) Sometimes, you can’t control it: The painting I showed you early was based on a memory of a car journey that included the road running across Portsdown Hill. Although I’ve seen this road quite a few times before (which can help with memorisation), I hadn’t really expected to paint the part of it that I did. Seriously, there were a lot more interesting sights on the journey than the one I painted.

Yet, when it came to actually remembering what to paint, this memory seemed to be the clearest one. I think that this was because the car stopped near this area for about 30 seconds or so, which gave me a chance to take a really detailed look at the road in question (I also found myself slightly fascinated by some of the gigantic houses nearby too). Not only that, the basic shape of the roads and the grass verge were also fairly easy to memorise too.

So, what was the point of this?

Simply put, go for the clearest memory when painting from memory. Even though it might not be the most interesting thing you saw, it’s the thing that you’ll be able to paint with the highest degree of confidence and accuracy (but, as I’ve mentioned before, memory painting is never 100% accurate, nor should it be. If you want accuracy, take a photo instead).

2) Artistic licence and filling in the gaps: Simply put, when memorising the scene that I painted, the only things I actually focused on memorising were the shape of the road/grass verge and maybe one or two of the houses nearby. This was a simple collection of shapes and details that was easy to remember 20-40 minutes later.

But, of course, I saw a lot more than that. However, since my memories of the rest of the scene were very slightly more vague. I sort of had to make an educated guess about other parts of the picture. For example, I was pretty sure that there were trees and a bridge in the distance. I wasn’t 100% certain, but it seemed vaguely familiar – so, I added it.

So, yes, it’s ok to “fill in the gaps” by guessing when painting from memory. Again, if you want 100% accuracy, then take a photo instead.

Plus, in order to make sure that the picture worked well as a painting, I also used some artistic licence too. This included narrowing one area so that I could add a cityscape (and the Spinnaker Tower) to the far left of the picture. In addition to this, I also added more clouds to the sky too (so that it wasn’t just a featureless blue area).

Likewise, on the right-hand side of the picture, I added another “layer” of the hill (which included an undetailed impression/silhouette of one of the 19th century hill forts) too. Finally, the perspective I used for this picture was slightly different to the one I actually saw (again, so that I could cram more detail into the picture).

All of this detail wasn’t in the scene that I actually saw, but I thought that adding a few more Portsmouth landmarks would improve the painting and make it instantly recognisable as a painting of Portsmouth. So, yes, it’s ok to use artistic licence when painting from memory. Again, memory paintings have to work well as a painting, not just as a recorded memory.

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Anyway, I hope that this was useful 🙂

Today’s Art ( 4th October 2016 )

Today’s painting is kind of an interesting one, since it just kind of happened spontaneously. I broke my “try to just make one painting a day” rule a few hours after making yesterday’s painting.

Basically, I was randomly listening to music and surfing the internet when the next song on the playlist turned out to be “In For The Kill” by La Roux (one of the few good modern pop musicians) and I suddenly thought back to when I first heard this song and the very specific time it reminded me of.

Before I knew it, I had an idea for a stylised painting of part of Portsmouth. Technically speaking, this painting should have been set in Gunwharf Quays, but I painted a stylised picture of there a week or two ago, so it ended up being a painting of the high street instead.

As usual, this painting is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

"And La Roux Played" By C. A. Brown

“And La Roux Played” By C. A. Brown

Today’s Art (19th October 2015)

As regular readers of this site probably know, I tend to make my daily paintings quite far in advance of when I post them (it’s kind of like a three-month time delay, I guess).

Anyway, today’s painting is a painting of part of Portsdown Hill (in Portsmouth ) that I painted from memory shortly after a car journey during the summer. This painting required slightly more digital editing than I expected though.

If you want to learn how to paint from memory, then this article might come in handy.

In addition to this, I’ll provide both the “work in progress” lineart for the painting and the brief sketch I made as soon as I got home as a blog exclusive.

As usual, all three pictures in this post are released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

"Portsdown Hill On A Summer Day" By C. A. Brown

“Portsdown Hill On A Summer Day” By C. A. Brown

Here’s the “work in progress” lineart:

"Portsdown Hill On A Summer Day (Lineart)" By C. A. Brown

“Portsdown Hill On A Summer Day (Lineart)” By C. A. Brown

And here’s the small sketch that I made about ten to twenty minutes after memorising the scene in question (and, yes, I drew the outline of the car window too):

"Portsdown Hill On A Summer Day (Initial Memory Sketch)" By C. A. Brown

“Portsdown Hill On A Summer Day (Initial Memory Sketch)” By C. A. Brown

Today’s Art (7th October 2015)

Today’s painting is based on a dream that I had a couple of hours beforehand. Part of this dream involved taking a taxi ride along Portsdown Hill (which overlooks Portsmouth, giving you a beautiful view of the city). Anyway, in the dream, I suddenly noticed that the city was filled with large palm trees.

Since I’d forgotten to consciously memorise the landscape whilst I was dreaming, I’ve probably made countless errors in this painting (I also used a fair amount of artistic licence with regard to the colour scheme too). On the plus side, the Spinnaker Tower seems to be in roughly the right place though.

As a blog exclusive, I’ll also provide the “work in progress” lineart for this painting too.

As usual, both pictures in this post are released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

"The Palms Of Portsmouth (A Dream)" By C. A. Brown

“The Palms Of Portsmouth (A Dream)” By C. A. Brown

And here’s the lineart:

"The Palms Of Portsmouth (Lineart)" By C. A. Brown

“The Palms Of Portsmouth (Lineart)” By C. A. Brown