Thin channels of snow linger in the tractor ruts on a clear March day.
After I painted the scene on location, I set up the painting in front of the scene itself, angling the painting to try to match the light levels.
Trying to match a painting up with a camera view was the challenge faced by pioneering movie matte painters. One early technique, called a “glass shot” involved painting part of a scene onto a pane of glass positioned vertically in front of a camera. That way you could place a castle or some other structure in the scene adjacent to the filmed action.
If you want to play with this idea, it helps to have a panel that’s a little wider than the easel (in this case an 11x14 panel on an Open Box M pochade easel).
Also, the illumination on the painting has to be just right. My painting is shown in direct sunlight, but I often use a white umbrella to diffuse and control the light on the painting, especially when painting contre jour (facing the light source). In any kind of observational painting it really helps in color mixing if you can match illumination levels as much as possible.
And speaking of blending in, check out how this Chinese artist does it.
The second photo is of Paramount matte painting veteran Jan Domela setting up for a glass shot. You can read more about Domela at the blog Matte Shot
Previously on GJ:
Contre Jour Lighting