Thursday, February 26, 2009

Portraits in rust and colour!

What a fantastic image this is! The capture of light, the colour, and of course the subject matter (I may be a little biased here lol) all combine to make a photograph that describes perfectly the title of this blog...Beautiful Decay!
And here below is proof positive that others see these things that way too. I'm afraid I don't know the name of artist but I love what he's done with this old Pontiac, how cool is that? My wife thinks I'm crazy, but for me I could put a painting like this up right there in my living room - no problem.

Here's another that would pass as a large canvas. I can't name the make or model of car but it looks to be from the Mopar fold, sure makes nice rust-art!

Next up is an old truck that has rusted into that great combination of colour, texture, and interesting shapes. I mentioned in an earlier post the colour vibrations that occur when orange (rust) and blue are juxtaposed in a canvas, well here the blue has been pushed to a darker shade and the rust becomes almost brown...but still the effect works!

Of course even on a white car there are still many possibilities to include colour. Obviously the first thing to notice is that the white paint has aged and rust has come through giving both additional colour and texture.
White is an amazing 'colour' in that there is no colour to white! Therefore it takes its hues from its surrounding objects, this gives us a wide scope to include almost any colour combination that appeals when painting a white object. Look closely at the car below and in addition to the orange/brown of the rust, it's possible to make out the cool blue of the shadows and even a greenish hue around the lights and fittings. This latter green may be the result of the white picking up colour from the grass that the vehicle most likely sits on.

When looking at highly reflective objects such as the chrome, well here again just like white paint chrome also takes its colour from surrounding objects. The chrome here looks to be a deep blue, and that's because it is reflecting, and therefore taking its colour from the sky above it.

This old split screen VW makes another interesting shot. I often say that such things could be put on canvas as is and look great, but for this one I think if I were painting it then it would need a little red in there, maybe some red flowers? The reason for the red is that artists use certain principles to create colourful paintings, as I have already described by the action of blue and orange a painting creates a certain harmony, so it is true of green and red. They are actually opposites on the 'colour wheel' and need to be handled carefully in the same painting, but I feel a splash of red would enliven the old bug above.

Sometimes in order to see the beauty in something it's better no to look at the whole.
Take the photo above which is the usual type of photo that I've been posting here. The Pontiac sits in undergrowth surrounded by leaves and brush and it's obvious that it has been there for quite a while.
Although this image attracts me because of both the subject matter and the decay, if I were to make a painting of this scene then I would take out some of the image to leave what is seen below.

The reason for doing this is that it focuses, and concentrates the eye on the most interesting part of the image. Here you have all the colours, curves, rust, and texture of the bigger picture in a more concentrated form. The viewer will still see that the subject matter is a 1950's Pontiac that is in some 'distress', and that the image contains all the colours and textures that existed in the large version.
Even this image could be cropped further. Imagine a horizontal line that starts just above what we Brits call the 'overider' (fitted on the bumper to the right of the picture) going right across the canvas it would nicely dovetail into the top curve of the rear fender at left.

What you're left with here is just the essence of the larger image we started with, all unnecessary detail has been removed to create something a little stronger in both composition and impact! Now -compare this last incarnation of the Pontiac to the tall image that we began with and see if you can notice how much there was in the original that we didn't really need. This smaller, more compressed image still tells us everything that we need to know and feel about this car!

This last image may have been posted before, I get so exited when I find them that I forget when and where they were last used! LOL.

Now I like this picture as it is, I like the colour, I love the texture of the painted metal, and the abstract shapes of the strong light and shadow. With the advent of home computers todays artists have an absolute treasure store of image making or manipulating equipment. Where once I would have to laboriously draw and colour sketch several compositions and colour schemes to find one that I was happy with, now I can cut, crop, rotate and adjust at will in a matter of moments so that when I finally get the image I'm looking for I'm all set to paint!


Raggmunk said...

more great pic´s =)

emikk said...

Is what you call an over rider what we call bumper guards?

The Old Nail said...

Yep. The over rider stops the bumpers from interlocking in a small shunt, I didn't know the US term for them.