Artsnip 11 - No Black Holes
In Artsnip 8 I talked about how photos can exaggerate the darks stripping them of colour and making them black without the luminosity that occurs in real life. If you paint it exactly as you see it in the photo you risk lifeless flat black areas in your painting.
Notice how black the horse's eye is in this photo. No depth at all.
The lovely painting below by student Maki Shoji is a great example of how to deal with this issue. The eye of her horse in the reference photo above was essentially a black spot in his face, with no depth or colour. In her painting she made the brown of the eyeball more evident and painted the lower lid bluish.
But how did she know where the eyeball was in relation to the lower lid which can't be seen in the photo?
By Maki Shoji
The solution was to lighten the exposure of the photo just enough so that she could see a bit of the detail in the eye.
I see black holes happening in portraits of people too, particularly in nostrils which should be warm in temperature, dark but not black. Flesh is wonderfully alive with blood vessels and even in the darkest darks there is a hint of warmth.
Black holes, let's leave them in outer space.