Tag Archives: Botanical Oil Paintings

Thirty in Thirty. Day Six: “Airborne” & Photographing Artwork.

“Airborne” (Detail) ⓒ  2011 Michaela Harlow – (16″ x 16″ – Oil and Oil Bar on Panel)

“Airborne” ⓒ  2011 Michaela Harlow – (16″ x 16″ – Oil on Panel)

“Airborne” (Detail at Edge) ⓒ  2011 Michaela Harlow- (16″ x 16″ – Oil on Panel)

Today, after a productive late morning and early afternoon in the painting studio, I tried to take a photo of “Airborne” (above). I spent quite a bit of time struggling with my camera until I got the colors right, and as a result I ended up re-shooting “Rose Wood” (the piece from day one). I find it difficult to capture red tones with my camera. I encountered the same problem both with “Airborne” and “Rosewood”. “Airborne” is part of the “Broken Flowers” series, and the reds lean toward rust (with an autumnal-orangey base). “Rose Wood” is, by contrast, a piece with bluish reds, buff and deep browns. I posted a new photo of “Rose Wood” (Jan. 1st), because the one I shot today is more accurate in terms of color, but I am still not happy with it. I love using a camera, and overall I think my photography skills are definitely improving. But I still have a lot to learn about shooting artwork. I think natural light gives the most accurate color, but it really only works on an overcast day.

I took three photos of “Airborne” today because I wanted to focus this post on the painting’s detail. The entire “Broken Flowers” series incorporates drawing— mainly with oil bar, the back of a paintbrush and finger tips— as well as different painting techniques. If you’ve been following and/or collecting my work for a long time, you will remember that I started out as more of a figurative painter. Figures remain a part of my work, but they are usually found in the underpainting, and often obscured —sometimes nearly destroyed— as I build layers on top. Occasionally I will redraw some of the symbols on the surface of the work. With the botanically-inspired “Broken Flowers” series, drawing is important in each piece. You can see more of the “Broken Flowers” series, and other work, by clicking here.

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