by Jane Conner-ziser Published 01/08/2008
"… I came to the conclusion that bright colours and jumbles of flowers are the key elements…"
A good portrait artist knows that successful paintings result from making the right decisions. An artist who works with a variety of photography styles should be comfortable being a chameleon of sorts in order to create paintings that are appropriate to the piece. 
Take this image, for instance, sent to me by Clay Blackmore. At first glance I wasn't keen on painting it because I thought the flower detail was screaming to be a photograph, but Clay was really interested in seeing a painting, so I put on my thinking cap to see what I could come up with for him and his customer.
Studying the image, I came to the conclusion that bright colours and jumbles of flowers are the key elements. For painting style, I had the choice of painting each flower perfectly or going with a rougher, more interpretive approach. The image seemed spontaneous, excited and happy to me. I didn't want to quieten it down by being too structured, so I formed a plan to develop the painting in a free and uninhibited style.
My thinking was that the couple went into the flower field because it was so amazing. I wanted to see more flowers so I stretched the field up behind the subjects in Adobe Photoshop. I wanted to see more colours so I used an Image Adjustment Layer for Hue and Saturation to saturate the yellows, greens and cyans. In order to retain more detail in the paint, I further prepared the image by adding Lucis Art's 'Exposure' to super-define the edges. 
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