Recently, I wrote you about achieving depth through layers with architectural images (pics in the Met Museum, see a previous blog). I showed you a sequence of images being layered to create a feeling of more motion and space. This effect can be found in landscape imagery, too. The effect can be enhanced if you select a subject that is already dynamic, mobile and reflective: water. You don’t need to photograph the subject area from two different angles. Waving or moving water constantly tilts its surface of micro planes and offers an array of ever-changing but related information. If I layer photos of water I will increase the sensation of confusion, depth, and reflection. The overlapping images amplify the sensation of dynamic reflection. Here are some examples:In this first vertical diptych you see a single image on the bottom, while the layered upper image combines the image on the bottom with a different image of reflections. The combined image builds subtle and more complex space. Our brain does not tolerate enigma for long. It makes a guess. When it makes a guess it unites the two disparate images into one. You just did it. In my second vertical diptych, both photos are layered with another one. The top photo just has increased darkness and contrast. The bottom photo has increased brightness and reduced contrast. As you can see here: . In my two paint examples here, (painting I) and
here, (painting II) each painting used the same original photo reference above. My approach to painting them was different. As Ernst Gombrich advised “You are making a poem not, a police report.” Transcription or copying of information is both boring to do and to view. Transmute your feelings of the scene or photo into something else. In the second example I wanted to create the fractured sensation of a prism or kaleidoscope. In the first example I blurred much of the paint to increase the sense of sliding and dissolving reflections. The blurring was achieved in mode similar to a technique of Renoir’s. He sometimes applied buttons of pigment over the canvas and then blended them to build an atmosphere of color. I used patches of pigment and then blurred them with smooth horizontal strokes and then crosshatched those strokes with vertical wavy strokes.