Class Notes - Got Photos?- Week four.

My kids come home from school, open the fridge and ask the eternal question - what's to eat? There is a difference between just ingredients and a meal.
Most of us take tons of photos, store them on the computer, where they sit until we have long forgotten what inspired us to shoot them in the first place. Well, if you are stuck for something to paint, pull out the photos, and learn to cook.
You might be amazed what you can come up with if you start looking at them with a designer's eye. Subject matter aside, look for interesting shapes, and value patterns of light & dark, then start sketching. Sometimes turning a photo upside down helps you to see major shapes and simplify the elements. Simple ideas, communicated simply, are the most powerful: patterns of trees in the forest, or just interesting diagonal and vertical shapes. Take that kernel of inspiration and see if you can fit it to a sound compositional idea, arranging the shapes so they lead the viewer through, and around.
You might be sitting on a gold mine, right there in your own refrigerator.

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