Archive for May, 2006

Actual Art Prints

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2006

never a substitute for seeing or being there

Tall Side Mountains - digital painting - art prints - 2006 - Dan Beck

Tall Side Mountains – digital painting – art prints – 2006

I completed this piece yesterday and already shared the work and wrote an article about the digital painting. But because I really like the way it came out, I thought I would write about another aspect.

The piece is obviously a portrait orientation. It is, however, a first in doing a digital image with these exact dimensions. I have done numerous pieces now with these dimensions reversed – a wide horizon of a piece.

I am sorry I cannot show you the actual print. There is something really luxurious about the colors and the way it fills the page – less about an eighth of an inch around.

In some ways, I look at this piece and see nothing going on, but I also look at this piece and am so strongly reminded of the lush green mountains of the Santa Lucias – this from a lingering impression from the gorge called Arroyo Seco.

See Also

Series Serious Play

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2006

playing with medium, color, and texture

My Series 7 - digital painting -2005 - Dan Beck

My Series 7digital painting – 2005 – Dan Beck

The series started out as play and as a series may never really gotten off the ground, but the works are still wonderful examples of how play can lead to something interesting and worthwhile.

The first digital painting in the series really felt like I had captured something new. I liked the way it was slightly representational. As with the above image the arrangement of color suggests sky and land.

There is also something about the way the paint sits on top of the texture – it is smooth and luxurious without texture of its own.

I did only a dozen or so of these abstract digital paintings, but I try to have a little of that free spirited play in all my works. I believe it comes through and is felt in the finished art prints.

Though art is often a serious challenge, it should also be fun – but that is what they say about most things.

See Also

Lessons from a New Digital Painting

Monday, May 22nd, 2006

Importance of do no wrong attitude and luck

Tall Side Mountains - digital painting - 2006- Dan Beck

Tall Side Mountainsdigital painting – 2006 – Dan Beck

It is the case with creativity, that sometimes a piece feels like you hooked it.  And sometimes a piece is completed, but just doesn’t speak to you as strongly.

It is the most fun when one is on a roll – when you create a piece you like and another and another etc.  It is akin to being in the zone as an athlete.


That feeling of being able to do no wrong is awesome – and like most things in life – latching on to the attitude can bring on the right results.

Sometimes a creative endeavor – like life – requires luck.  In this piece, I was lucky because I did not save the digital painting along the way as much as I normally do – but I overworked and botched it.  I didn’t plan on painting the same piece again – but found a new approach – and it worked.

Ah yes, don’t be afraid to get lucky!

See Also

Art Print Frame of Reference

Monday, May 22nd, 2006

The look and thinking behind matting and framing large printed works

Matted and Framed - Irrigate 1- digital painting - Dan Beck -2004

Matted/Framed – Irrigate 1 – digital painting -2004 – Dan Beck

I have chosen a different way of matting and framing the larger art prints. One reason is the size of the paper is less defined, so there is a larger margin around the image.

Matting with a paper revealed border still shows off the print nature and allows for a visible signature and number in the edition. It is simple and showcases the paintings by simply supporting the piece as one would want in a cherished piece of art.

So despite the fact, I am recommending that one matt and frame the large pieces in your own location – the method I use has been given a lot of thought – and therefore deserves sharing.

The above framed piece has remained one of my favorites – and warrants looking at full size.

See Also

For Original Art Prints

Friday, May 19th, 2006

Development of Matting and Framing

Framed art print - Composite Twilight

Framed Art PrintComposite Twilight

It took me a long time to develop the way I wanted to frame the 13×19″ prints. When they are formatted to have an image approximately 12×16″, I felt they should fit inside a 16×20″ frame.

As you will notice above, this does not leave a huge border. In addition, you might notice that the print has a small paper edge around it. I wanted the print nature to be clear.

I also wanted it to be simple enough to fit in with any decor, but allow me the use of some color to bring out the image more. The sliver of color – dusk grey above – is all it takes to accent the art print.

There is also enough room so the print itself can be signed on the paper border – rather than the matt board to possibly be lost years later.

Most importantly, it has a unique feeling – almost like a stamp. You can feel the image almost push out against the frame strengthening the power of the piece itself.

See Also

Completed Digital Painting

Friday, May 19th, 2006

Attitude perhaps more important than Art

Grandeur From The Gorge - digital painting - 2006- Dan Beck

Grandeur from the Gorgedigital painting – 2006 – Dan Beck

The is the final in a three part series on the creation of this piece – from sketch, to filled-in sketch to the above.

I was successful in creating the majesty of the mountains in contrast to the smallness of the field workers and of course in contrast to us, the viewer. I am pleased with the way I painted the mountains and even created the grape rows.

I am pleased with a lot of aspects of the piece and some of the adjustments made to make the flow of the eye work better – the mountains on the left, the grape rows on the right, the grape rows on the left and even the big giant shadow.

But I am not ecstatic with it, not even delighted. Perhaps it is part of being too close or perhaps it just didn’t come together in the end quite as well as I’d hoped – or maybe it is because I am not feeling 100% at the moment and nothing seems that good.


Being pleased with something we have done or something we have viewed is so much about what we bring into it – our attitude is much more telling of whether something will be received well – than is the actuality about the piece – if there even is such a thing.

So perhaps your attitude is better than mine today – if you like the piece and are interested in possibly purchasing an original art print – please email specialorders@outhousestudios.net.In the mean time, I think I must live to paint again.

See Also

Creating art 4 the road

Thursday, May 18th, 2006

abstract style digital painting with links to related works

4 the Road - digital painting - 2003

digital painting4 the Road  Dan Beck – 2003

I keep spinning through my pieces – figuring there is a story to tell about each of them or at the very least a discussion about the medium or the art prints themselves.

When I did this I know I wanted a piece with this title – to come after a piece called 1more in the then other art gallery which has since been disbanded if you will and put into the original art-chives – more than probably anyone needs to know about outhouse studios website history.

The style was pretty abstract – I learned about more subtly adding texture long after this piece. And it looks like at this point, I was only using the stock textures – either not knowing or not having got to customizing my own yet.

There is a pond at the bend in the road – this is not the true landscape – but it is a wonderful microcosm of the rolling fields and the feeling of this land.

Like most of my earlier works it looks very complete printed on 13×19″ Japanese watercolor paper. Its initial pixel dimensions are such that it really looks bold and full. The trade off is that it would not be so exceptional larger than printed and matted for a 22×28″ frame.

See Also

Unfinished Digital Painting

Thursday, May 18th, 2006

Second level of completion gives better idea where piece is headed

Grandeur 2 - unfinished digital painting - Dan Beck

Unfinished digital paintingGrandeur 2 – Dan Beck

Like the previous article, I am sharing a piece before it has been finished. Unlike the first offering, I do know the outcome today and perhaps you will also.

The program I use has a color fill tool – most do. Because I had stretched in outlines, it was generally pretty easy to fill between the lines and create a second level of completion to the piece.

I chose a mix between gradients and personalized textures – ones which I adjusted manually or pulled from a section of a previous painting. I can paint using sections of my own painting – a startling realization – which gives me a never ending palette – but like most tools can be easily overused.

So far my steps seem rather obvious. You can not develop a piece without the basic composition and without the basic color scheme. I don’t have a mystical way of doing things, but where I choose to go from here is what makes things more interesting to me –

because the process of art is one of going down any number of possible paths.

See Also

  • Process
    First piece to be painted by using a section of piece as paint
  • Apple – Appleworks Tips
    Doesn’t even touch the capabilities of creating palettes with this program – not sure they know

Early digital painting

Tuesday, May 16th, 2006

Color in art prints create pleasing finished product

Treework - digital painting - circa 1998 - Dan Beck

Treeworkdigital painting – circa – 1998 – Dan Beck

When I first starting creating digital paintings, I didn’t know very much about the program I was using.

I didn’t know I could adjust the dimensions to create a landscape or adjust the dimensions to have more or less pixels.

I didn’t even know how to adjust the colors in much of my palette. Less can sometimes be more – limits can be valuable for being creative.

In fact, I find it remarkable at how good these originally formatted pieces look enlarged to fit the 13×19" size watercolor paper which is used at Outhouse Studios

This particular piece has some really remarkable color in it. The creativity in manipulating a stock palette still pleases me and despite limited offerings of art print sizes – this piece still works.

The colors are even better in person and for sure the "tree work"s.

See Also

First Stage of a Digital Painting

Tuesday, May 16th, 2006

Creativity is about taking chances – sharing an unfinished work

Start of Granduer from the Gorge -digital painting

Beginning stageGrandeur 1 – hopefully new digital painting – Dan Beck

Creativity is about taking chances. It is about being willing to try things new ways and sometimes fail… but also sometimes succeed.

Above is the start of a piece I haven’t finished. Truth is I would rather be working on it right now than blogging – but if that were completely true I suppose I would be.

Actually, I thought I should write about the start of the piece without having completed the digital painting. This is not a step by step painting but rather a glimpse of how I work.

I used the line tool and curve tool of the computer to create the lines of the land – fields and grape rows.

I do a great deal freehand – but my control is not that sure – and the tools of the computer are perhaps akin to a straightedge.

My focus in this piece is about the looming nature of the mountains and the distance which is much further than it seems.

We will both have to see how it unfolds.

See Also