I did take some time off officially for Xmas and New Years (mostly spent playing Skyrim), so opening Photoshop for the first time in two weeks left quite a few turds on screen. This was an attempt at getting back to the basics and putting my brain in the right place in order accomplish anything:
It was pretty closely based on some photos I took at sunrise of St. Mary's Lake in Glacier National Park (Montana USA). Here was my reference:
At a glance the thumbnails look pretty identical, (and if I hadn't taken the photo myself I'd probably never exhibit the art), but that doesn't mean I wasn't faced with any artistic decisions. FOr one, there's an additional mountain peak and the compositional is slightly different. My colors are more saturated and the darks darker.
That might not sound like much and I'm not trying to sound defensive, but I feel that drawing from life (or photos) is much more than copying what's in front of you. It's about knowing what to include, what not to include, and what to add in a way that isn't blatant. The impressionists had it right (at least the way I see them) in that art isn't about mimicking the world around us, but in reproducing it in a way that's better than the original. It trims the fat while preserving the heart and soul, and that (when done right) makes a person or place feel more real than any photograph could ever convey.
Anyways, more to come (soon!?..!) and happy 2012!