Exploring Fauvism

Exploring Fauvism

Apologies for the late post, I planned to post about a new piece of felt but only 1 of the photos wasn’t blurry, so I thought I’d post about Ruth’s Fauvism Challenge. To try and understand Fauvism, I thought I would try to alter some photos in the style of it. Lyn posted on the forum that she’d written these words to help her with the challenge: “Fauvist paintings have a simplified drawing and an exaggerated use of colour”
It summed up what I had been trying to achieve with the edited photos. The first one I tried had some of the bright colours, and the water ripples gave the ‘texurey’ look of the Fauvist style brush strokes, but I felt like I need to try a different photo. This is the one I started with:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd after some tweaks on Photoshop:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI tried it again with a different photo. This is the original:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI increased the brightness and saturation:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThen I simplified the colours and shapes:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis muted the colours a lot so I increased the saturation again:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI then added a few tiny lines around the boat and some colour to the water:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI then added outlines:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI feel like this last one is the starting point, rather than the finished picture. It has the simple shapes and the colour is exagerated, but more in saturation than anything. And though at first the Fauvism style seems very bright, when you really look at the paintings, they aren’t so much bright as bold. I think I will play around with some other photos, try to get ones which start simpler, but have more in the way of colour variation. One thing I did learn today, was how to pronounce ‘Fauvism’ 🙂

10 thoughts on “Exploring Fauvism

  1. This is an excellent start Zed. I think I will have to try this method too with some of my photos. I like the result in the last photo. How do you pronounce Fauvism?

    1. Thanks, Ruth 🙂
      According to the lady on Google, kind of like ‘foe-vism’ like ‘Faux’. I was trying to pronounce it like ‘four vism’ like ‘les fauves’, but my accent just can’t do it! The French lady on Google translate does it somewhere between the two though.

  2. I really like the tweaked version of the top photo! I still haven’t settled on what to do – I’ve got a binful of screwed up pieces of paper.

    1. Thanks, Lyn 🙂
      My computer desktop bin has quite a few deleted pieces in too 🙂
      I think it’s finding the right source of inspiration for a starting point which is hard.

  3. Good start Zed. I wish I had photoshop skills. It seems to frustrate me more than be creative. I guess I’ll have to wing it.

    1. Thanks, Marilyn 🙂
      I first used Photoshop in about 1991/92, so do have a bit of experience 🙂
      The way I learned was to try things just to see what they do. At least with bigger harddrives these days you could save lots of images to refer back to, and you can ‘undo’ multiple steps if you mess up. I still quite often (probably not often enough for my memory!) write down my process, including the settings on filters. And ‘Save as’ to end up with multiple versions. Then I can delete any I don’t want or like.

  4. Great inspiration to get us trying Zed. I don’t have photoshop but my son has Gimp and I have photopad. I will have to do some playing around with photos soon so I get it done in time.

    1. Thanks, Ann 🙂
      I think from playing around, I learned more about what Fauvism is by getting it wrong and learning what it isn’t, if that makes sense 🙂 I was disappointed at first that my pictures looked nothing like those on Google images, but I feel like I know where to start now. And through looking through other photos, I realised we have a lot of old, brick buildings, so unless I want everything orange, I need new subjects!

  5. I love this creative process! I think it relaxes your boundaries of what is to be expected in the your rendering of a photograph and then, allows you to love it – worts and all, so to speak. the adage of ‘ colouring outside the lines’ comes to mind.

    1. Thanks, Suzanne 🙂
      It made me wonder whether Fauvist artists worked better with a subject which was well suited to fauvism, had lots of colours, shapes etc, rather than large orange brickwork! Or maybe they just had an eye for it.

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