Archive for September, 2006

A Sculptural Art Print

Friday, September 29th, 2006

negative space, balance, and madras color

My Series 4 - digital painting / art prints - Dan Beck 2005

My Series 4 – digital painting / art prints – Dan Beck 2005

This isn’t one of my favorites in this series – but more because it is a little obvious for me. The series is about the line between representation and abstraction – but this piece is clearly mountainous and therefore wasn’t quite as successful.

On the other hand, it is pleasing to look at and reads well. The negative space is particularly strong and despite the strong mountain image – it is light – built almost like a sculpture whose base seems too light for the weight of the piece.

What are holding these mountains up? And why are they wearing a madras shirt?

See Also

  • d’gallery
    when searching for sculptures and balance – this artist – Michelle Farrell – came up – three nice pieces – good space- good form – worth checking out
  • SpaceMain
    simple discussion of space, negative space and form – sometimes simple says more
  • My Series 4
    view art print options for the above piece

Fantastic Digital Painting Converts to Art Prints

Thursday, September 28th, 2006

color changed – backs remain

Fielding - digital painting / art prints - Dan Beck - 2005

Fielding – digital painting / art prints – Dan Beck – 2005

Despite the fact that the mountains and land just stop when they reach the left side of the painting – and despite the fact the sun, mountains and fields all look rather fantastic – this is one of my favorite digital paintings to be converted into art prints.

This was the second time I had even tried to paint figures – the first was out my window.  But this time, I saw the pickers – I saw the curves in their backs – I saw how unbelievable their posture really was – and I felt they had to be in the fields of the painting.

I don’t know that anyone likes this as much as I do – being fantastic and real perhaps takes away some of the power.

I don’t really know; but I know that I still see this scene daily – the colors have been changed to protect the innocent – but the backs remain the same.

See Also

Sharing a Stage of the Creative Process

Thursday, September 28th, 2006

screen shot shows texture, detail, and working title

Mound 2 Mountain - digital painting in progress

Mound 2 Mountain – screen shot digital painting in progress –

This is a detail of digital painting Mound 2 Mountain before it was finished, but not by much. In fact, I ended up changing the title after I was finished – the working title is above.

I hear they do that with movies sometimes – though it isn’t my normal practice – more bother than it is worth.

I do think this gives a bit more insight into how the piece looks close up and particularly when I am painting a section.

There is no great insight here – just sharing how this stage of the creative process looks.

See Also

Unmistakable Valley

Tuesday, September 26th, 2006

ambiguity and breaking from convention don’t shake essence

Big Valley1 - to gallery page and art print options

Big Valley 1 – Digital Painting / Art Prints – Dan Beck 2005

I featured this piece once before but didn’t really write about it. I don’t really remember creating this digital painting, but looking at it today – I can flash to where I must have been viewing – looking west out over the Salinas Valley with the Gabilan mountains behind.

There is an ambiguity in this piece in regards to how the hills are sitting – how the fields intersect – it captures without being particularly literal.

I love this aspect of art – not just in my own – when something looks very different from convention, yet is unmistakable nevertheless.

The essence of a thing is not always what we assume it to be.

See Also

Development of a Digital Painting

Tuesday, September 26th, 2006

progress of piece reflects development of technique

Making of: Mound 2 Mountain

Next stage in making of digital painting: Mound 2 Mountain

I am not sure what inspired me to take some screen shots as this was in development – but I think it was because it had an interesting look from the beginning.

Without even looking back, I can see this has changed by the addition of a great deal of texture. Some of which looks like it was painted on and other parts look like they were more gently added using a paintbrush with a tint setting.

I had worked with the program a couple of years before I figured out how to do that. I just recently figured out something new and keep thinking there may well be a lot more I haven’t discovered – even though I am not bashful about experimenting.

The sky with the texture in it is most unusual for me.

See Also

Digital Photo of Digital Art Print

Monday, September 25th, 2006

image fits watercolor paper by design – gives unique look

Art Print of Mound 2 Mountains

photo of Art Print from digital painting Mound 2 Mountains

This is a photo of a 13 x 19 inch print of my most recent digital painting. I wanted to show how it fills the page. The size of the digital painting was designed to fit this size paper with the smallest margin possible on the Outhouse Studios in house printer.

It curves in because the camera wasn’t perfectly centered – I didn’t take the proper time on this one – sorry. But nevertheless, I think it gives an idea of how a print can look. I think the thin border of white is actually pretty cool and shows off the uniqueness of the digital medium.

For art prints of this digital painting, please email:

See Also

Fun of Digital Painting

Monday, September 25th, 2006

Using the shortcuts which painting on computer allows

Mound2Mountain-in progress 1

Early Stages of Mound 2 Mountains – before and after fill-in

I am not opposed to taking some of the shortcuts which painting on a computer allows. The difference between the left image and the right image is a click of a button.

It also required some palette development which has taken quite some time – and some experimentation to be sure that the fill color was the right choice.

If you look on the right hand side of either image, you will notice a crease in the mountains. Though it is not my main method of working, I do occasionally like to copy a section of a piece and paste it in the right location. It can create depth and a look that would take three times as long if every aspect of a piece were completely from scratch.

This is the digital medium and this is one of the reasons I find digital painting (and its accompanying art prints) as fun as I do.

See Also

What Can Only Be Seen Close, What Can Only Be Seen From Far

Friday, September 22nd, 2006

portrait orientation requires larger degree of back and forth – small and large

Mound 2 Mountain - digital painting / art print - Dan Beck 2006

Mound 2 Mountaindigital painting / art prints -Dan Beck 2006

I painted this piece yesterday, I am pretty pleased with it. There is a crazy amount of texture in it – which you can only see when viewed large. But I think it has a nice feeling and flow even viewed small.

Creating a piece that is portrait orientation is a lot harder for me. Monitors are wider than taller and to see the entire piece, I have to work at about 45% of the actual size,

This means there is a lot of back and forth between working with a small canvas and working on a small section closer to full size.

But I think that is actually one of the reasons I chose to work in this orientation yesterday – I wanted that kind of challenge – and I wanted a few more pieces with that upright twist.

For art prints of the above digital painting, please email:

See Also

Creating a Digital Palette

Friday, September 22nd, 2006

experimentation leads to more textured options and broader palette

screenshot of palette and painting tools

Screenshot of painting tools and palette in development

The above screenshot is a snapshot into some of the incredible possibilities which exist for me painting digitally.

There are many programs out there and I can’t say that one is by far the best.  My understanding is that most graphic artists use Illustrator but since I started with Appleworks and haven’t exactly run out of new things to try – I continue with it.

The textured square in the wall paper is a new texture/color that I developed for a digital painting. I just recently figured out that I could copy an existing texture/color square as a starting point to build colors upon. 

I knew I could take a 1 inch square from a painting and turn that into my paint – or take a stock texture/color and make color adjustments, but I did not know I could copy an existing texture/color square from my palettes and make adjustments to that.

I figured out how to do all of these by using copy and paste shortcut keys and playing – there are no options for this on the edit menu. I don’t even know if the creators know one can do this.

If there is a point to this – whatever your medium of creativity – experiment! 

See Also

Appreciating Light and Texture in Digital Painting

Thursday, September 21st, 2006

dark enhances light and warmth – texture adds interest to simple color scheme

Sea of Backs - digital painting / art prints - Dan Beck 2006

Sea of Backsdigital painting / art prints – Dan Beck 2006

There are a number of things I like about how this digital painting came out.  First off, there is a shading going on which implies a rather glowing source of light.  I had wanted there to be the feeling of warmth – even though everyone is bundled up because that is how it is.

There is also an incredible texture going on in the fields themselves – a little more fabric-like than the way the fields look from a distance – but only a little.

I have been able to develop my palette in a new way which is giving me a broader texture range. It is on the border of being overdone here – but I think it really helps this piece hold together – particularly since there is really very little color here – except in the minute details.

Art prints of the above digital painting are available only by emailing:

See Also