An i-pad is a marvellous tool for planning your composition. My daily paintings are square and instead of using a little viewfinder and squinting, I can take a photo on my i-pad and crop it to a square. There is also a choice of other formats.
Here is the photo as taken by the i-pad. Be sure to take your photo from where you’ll stand or sit when painting, or all the angles will be different.
In the top right corner it says Edit. Click this.
The crop tool is the second tool from the left, Click it.
There are a few things on the crop menu:
- Rotate 90 degrees: A square with an arrow to the left.
- Rotate slightly to straighten the image: This is a rotating dial below the image. Swivel it with your finger.
- Proportions icon: This is just above the word – ‘Done’.
When you click on it you will be able to choose your proportions e.g. a typical photo is often 2:3. It doesn’t offer 3:2, so you may need to rotate it if you are doing a landscape cropping. Click on it. I chose Square.
A grid in a square pops up and you can size it by pushing the lower left ‘handle’ towards the centre of the screen. Just guess the size at this stage as you can size it again later if necessary. Don’t worry about the photo being in the wrong position e.g. that the rose is half off the format.
You can move the photo with your finger once you have guessed the size. When its right, press Done
Why not play a bit with other buttons, and see what each of the 4 main buttons offer. The 4th button gives you the options to lighten the image, change the colour contrasts or do black and white. The Light (sun icon) will lighten or darken the image.
and the B&W one can make it monochrome.
But remember that the i-pad is only a tool! I use the i-pad just long enough to establish the position and to size my first object or part of an object then I put it away. I would start with the rose and position it.
I like to work from life and interpret what I see. A photo makes me slavishly imitate it!
You’ll see in “A Rose for Lois” that I started painting the thistles but then I rather liked them shadowy and understated. The little vase looked silly, so I let it go off the format. My colours were different to my usual palette because I was away from home and I had forgotten a few colours – which was also rather nice.