Bryan K Mount

By Bryan K Mount

April 20, 2019
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Making A Painting From A Sculpture

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Step 1: Making the Sculpture

I chose to use paper polyhedrons, but the sculpture can be made from anything: found objects, clay, stacked objects, etc.. Using repetitious objects like forks or paper clips can also be a fun way to make a sculpture.

You will need to chose a fastener that works well with the objects your using. I chose to use zip ties because it quickened the process, and I only needed them to hold it together long enough to take a picture. The zip ties gave the sculpture flexibility, like a chain. Glues will make the sculpture ridged, of course.


Finally, add paint for a more interesting look. I used spray paint, and took some photos while it was still wet. This created interesting reflections, hues, and tones. The complexity of the color palette is up to you, but remember we are making a painting from the photograph, so, apply as many colors as your painting abilities will favor. I used only orange and blue; however, hundreds of shades and hues appeared in the photograph.

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Step 2: Taking Photographs of the Sculpture

Image editing programs can be used to crop out backgrounds, fix mistakes, or adjusting hues and tones. I chose to leave the background in (top left) because the texture of the bark on the tree was interesting next to the patterns on the paper polyhedrons. I also rotated the camera to different angles. This makes the photo more confusing and interesting to the eye.

Some of the photos almost look like candy (bottom center). This is where applying thick paint and quickly taking a picture worked out well.

Step 3: choosing a Photo from Proofs

I shot a few hundred pictures, then I whittled it down to six I liked best. now, if I paint a series of these pictures, the whole exhibit will have a cohesive look.

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Step 4: Grid the Photograph and Canvas

There are three ways to grid a photograph: (1) make the grid in an editing program. (2) scratch the lines into the printed image. This technique is used for glossy photos, where pencil lead won't work. (3) If the photo is on matte paper, pencil will work, but the colors won't be as bright.

I print my images out the same size as the canvas I am going to paint on. For me 1:1 is the best ratio, but other artist tell me that they have never seen anyone else do it 1:1. Any ratio will work as long as the grid has an equal amount of squares to the original. Use smaller squares if the image has a lot of detail

Now, simply draw the grid on the canvas with a pencil. The grid will make it easy to map out and draw the content.


Step 5: Painting & Displaying

Now, the painting, photos (framed), and sculpture can be displayed as a group. This was a fun art project! Thanks for reading!