We’re obsessed with landscapes. We love to travel to them, we love taking photos of them. We love seeing others’ photos of them, and we love reading magazines and web sites about them.
Thanks to digital cameras and computers, we are quickly adding new skills to our landscapes obsession. No longer content with just taking the photo, we’re interested in transforming landscape photos into paintings.
What is it about painting landscapes that people enjoy so much?
Maybe it’s the ability to relive the experience we had travelling away from home. When you paint a photo of a place, you can revisit the location and memories of your journey there.
Or maybe it’s that painting from photos is a way to add your personal point of view of the subject and your response to it beyond what the camera sees. Of course photography is a form of personal expression. The angle, the exposure, the composition of the photo, even the experience level of the photographer will affect the photo and will result in different photos by different photographers of the same location. Add brushstrokes, color and tones and the photo is raised to a new height of expression of the individual photographer’s own thoughts and feelings that he or she brings to the subject, turning the photo into art and the photographer into an artist.
Here’s how Stephen Levine, a photographer in Hawaii, sums up why he paints his landscape photos:
“I’ve been a landscape/nature photographer for 30 years, but my inspiration comes from Georgia O’Keeffe and 20th century woodblock artists like Hiroshi Yoshida, Tsuchiya Koitsu and Kawase Hasui. For a long time photography was a hobby, and I accumulated yellow and green boxes of slides that filled a larger and larger corner of a closet. About six years ago I was juried into a gallery and began to focus more and more on my art to the point it is now my “mainstay” and clear passion. With Corel Painter, I have complete control over the image and with my own printers I can ignore photo glossy and photo matte papers and print on art papers and now rice paper. I see Karen Sperling’s work as a bridge to the view of the world as I feel it and want to portray it, using tools that I have confidence in handling.”
It’s our obsession with landscapes that led Corel Painter Master Karen Sperling, who wrote the original Painter manuals and four published Painter books, including the bestselling Painting for Photographers, to create the Painting for Photographers DVD Volume 2: Landscapes for turning landscape photos into paintings in Corel Painter.
Karen is a lifelong photographer who has her own closets full of landscape photos taken on travels throughout the United States and Europe.
“I’m a member of the Obsessed with Landscapes Club. Me and landscapes go way back. My dad loved to travel and take photos along the way. By the time I was eight, our family had travelled from our home in New York by car to California twice, stopping everywhere in between. In college I lived in London for a year and photographed my way through the British Isles and Europe at the advanced age of 19. I don’t know, Dorothy, is there really no place like home?” says Sperling.
The videos on the Painting for Photographers DVD Volume 2: Landscapes provide art lessons in addition to the software steps for transforming landscape photos into works of art in Corel Painter.
Sperling painted all the paintings in the videos from her own photos, including one she took in Idra (Hydra), Greece, at the age of 19.
The DVD, like all of Karen Sperling’s Artistry instructional materials, is geared toward both photographers who never studied art and artists.
Photographers can learn such important art theories as how to tell if a photo is a good candidate to be turned into a painting; how to choose colors; and how to maximize the use of tones to create masterpiece landscape paintings from photos. Then photographers learn how to apply the art theories by following step-by-step instructional videos for painting photos in various styles in Corel Painter.
“Thinking you can paint just because you own Painter without studying the art concepts is like thinking you can play the piano just because you own one,” Sperling says. “You need music lessons to play the piano and you need art lessons to paint in Painter. I also believe it’s not as scary or difficult to learn the art theories as many people think it is. I don’t think you have to go to art school to paint in Painter. All you need to do is to study my materials—I include the art theories you need to know in addition to all the Painter steps.”
Artists, meanwhile, can either skip the art lessons or view them as a brushup and then learn from the software tutorial steps either to paint photos or to paint landscapes from scratch.
The Painting for Photographers DVD Volume 2: Landscapes is compatible with Painter versions X, 11 and 12 and includes:
91.24 minutes of tutorial movies
• Art Lessons analyzing the art, style and techniques of famous landscape artists including Paul Cézanne, Claude Monet, John Constable, George Inness, Vincent Van Gogh, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, J. M. W. Turner, John Robert Cozens, Edward Hopper, John Sell Cotman, Thomas Girtin, Frederic E. Church, Granville Redmond, Thomas Gainsborough and Jack Wilkinson Smith.
• Instructions for painting landscapes from photos in an oil style
• Instructions for painting landscapes from photos in a watercolor style
2 Bonus tutorial movies
• Instructions for turning seascape photos into paintings
• Instructions for turning cityscape photos into paintings
All paintings and photos are by Karen Sperling.
3 sets of bonus brushes
• Brushes that simplify the painting process and provide exquisitely rendered oil and watercolor style brushstrokes master crafted by Karen Sperling, based on her 20 years of experience working with Corel Painter starting with writing the software’s first several manuals.
The Painting for Photographers DVD Volume 2: Landscapes is available at the Artistry web site.
“Welcome to the Obsessed with Landscapes Club!” Sperling adds.
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About the Producer
Karen Sperling is the original Corel Painter expert. She demo’d Painter when it debuted at Boston Macworld in August 1991 after having written the first Painter manual. She went on to write the manuals for the next several versions of Painter and wrote several published Painter books, including her current bestselling book, Painting for Photographers. A Painter Master listed at Corel’s web site, Karen produced the Painting for Photographers DVD Volume 1: Portraits and the Painting for Photographers DVD Volume 2: Landscapes. She has created two bonus CD’s featuring her own custom Painter brushes, one for painting portraits and the other for painting landscapes. The book, DVD’s and CD’s are available at the Artistry web site http://artistrymag.com/.
Karen has taught and demo’d Painter for 20 years all over the United States at just about every venue there is, including the national Professional Photographers of America (PPA) convention, local PPA affiliates and PPA schools; WPPI; American Film Institute; Macworld; Seybold; and SIGGRAPH. Karen’s commissioned portraits and paintings are held in private collections around the world. Her abstract art has been exhibited in New York’s prestigious Chelsea section and during Art Basel Miami. Her portraits and fine art are available at her art web site http://karensperling.com/.