How do I add an animal into an aspen tree painting?

How Do I Add an Animal Into an Aspen Tree Painting?

"Safe Haven" Oil on Linen Canvas 16x20"
“Safe Haven”
Oil on Linen Canvas
16×20″

Adding an animal from another photograph into an aspen tree painting can be tricky because you want to be sure the animal is in proportion to what is around him. The ideal situation would be to have the photograph of the animal already positioned where you want him in the aspens, but this isn’t always possible!

Try to find another photo or photo of a painting in a magazine of an animal among the aspen trees to see the size of the animal in relation to the trees.
Try to find another photo or photo of a painting in a magazine of an animal among the aspen trees to see the size of the animal in relation to the trees.

Then, and this is the hard part, scale your animal photo up or down to a size you think would fit – I do this by drawing a “box” around the outer edges of the animal and then making the box smaller or larger IN PROPORTION TO THE ORIGINAL BOX and sketching the animal in the new box to try. Then, I cut out the animal with scissors and stick him among the trees to see if he looks the correct size. That is just what I did in “Safe Haven,” above. Be sure to click on the image to enlarge the painting. You can move the animal around to see where he looks the best and makes the most interesting composition.

“Painting is not easy – if it were, everyone would be doing it.”  (I forgot who said that, but I think it’s a very good quote). Sometimes we have to stretch, and stretching is good for us! Finding other artists’ work in art magazines is great to use as a jumping off point – for instance, the relative size of their animals in relation to trees around them.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, and I will be posting more often now that I’m not out there painting aspens every day (for a while).

Save the date! November 14th from 5-8 p.m. is my Annual Open Studio. See my web site www.cecyturner.com under Exhibits for details!

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