Welcome to the Carl Stoveland Photography Blog.  Here I will post articles of interest to clients and photographers alike.  Until October 2016 this was the Artistic Balance Blog.



A good weekend

January 08, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Canon AE-1

This was a good weekend!  I did very little of the work I had planned but I learned something new and acquired one of my bucket list cameras.  Friday night I took a class at Clay, Glass, Metal & Stone Gallery (Also home to Jazz on J Street).  The class was on life drawing with your iPad, taught by Jeffrey Weiner.  I had used the early drawing apps on the iPad and found them fun but not of much use for what I was trying to do.  In the class we used the Procreate App and a stylus.  The app supports layers, importing photos and has a full suite of drawing and painting tools.  It was a bit of a game changer because now I could see a path to doing the drawing and painting I do on my Mac but out on location.  The screen on my iPad Air is a bit small, but It can be dome.  I also test drove the app on the iPad Pro with the Apple pen.  That is a seriously good combination.  I have been experimenting all weekend with painting on my iPad and you may see some work from me done on the iPad in the near future.

Next up was I acquired one of my bucket list cameras.  The venerable Canon AE-1!  I had always wanted one, but by the time I was buying my own cameras to work with AutoFocus had changed everything.  I have been shooting Canon cameras since the early 1990's, but somehow the AE-1 never made it into my collection that is until yesterday when my friend Blanche contacted me and said she had some old cameras to donate and would I like them including an AE-1.  I jumped at the chance.  I already loaded the camera up with a fresh roll of Portra 800.  Don't be surprised if you see me with it around town this week.  I had the option to get the AE-1 as my first SLR (not counting my Mom's old EXA I cut my teeth on).  Christmas my Jr year of high school my folks were getting me my first camera.  I knew the AE-1 because of the countless TV and print ads for it and the legendary Canon lenses.  I had mentioned it was the one I wanted.  My Mom is nothing if not thoughtful in her research.  About a month before Christmas My Mom gave me a choice.  I could get the AE-1 with a 50mm lens for Christmas or the Konica TC with the 40mm lens and a zoom lens and a flash.  The AE-1 was a status symbol for the photo kids in school and part of me wanted wanted that, but Mom showed me the lens lineups of the two cameras and the reviews.  It turns out the TC is just as good a camera.  It also had a fully mechanical metal shutter instead of the electronic cloth shutter of the AE-1.  I learned a great lesson and chose the Konica for it's substance and value.  Did I make the right choice?  You tell me.  I still have the Konica and 5 lenses for all super fast and sharp.  So yeah, I did.  It was the right choice for me.  That said a little part of me has always wanted an AE-1.  Now I have one and am going to shoot it right along with my trusty old Konica when I shoot 35mm film.

That said.  I did none of the work I planned on the weekend so today is a catchup day for school etc.

Keep Makin' Art!


Maris Portrait

January 05, 2018  •  Leave a Comment


Digital Painting

I am working on a postcard announcing I am taking commissions to paint digital portraits.  I needed a new painting for the postcard and did this of my friend Maris from a shoot we did a few years ago at the studio at Gallery Meraki.  Maris was my go to model in NY and a real trooper.  She always jumped right into whatever vision I had and made my work better.  So thanks for that Maris.  I really enjoyed making this painting.  I feel like my style is evolving with each and every painting I do.  I am almost overwhelmed with the number of painting and drawing brushes in photoshop since they added the Kyle brush tools to the program.  I spent 20+ years using one brush in photoshop it was a soft round brush and it is essential to editing photos, but the dozens of new painterly and drawing brushes and blenders are amazing.  I am slowly finding my favorites that suite my style.  

The postcard and a digital version of it will be available by the time the Art of Jazz on J Street opens on 1/16.  It will be the perfect place to kick off my portrait painting service.  I will give more details about that in an upcoming post.

Now it is back to school work for a while.  I am also taking a class tonight on drawing on your iPad.  I really love adding new ways to create art!  I am really looking forward to it.

Keep Makin' Art!



January 04, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Kitchen Still Life #2

Digital Painting

Hello Art Friends

I knew eventually my journey into digital painting would take me to still life work.  Today's lesson is in persistence.  Yesterday I noticed some onions and garlic in my kitchen I had bought and thought they would make a great still life.  I took out my camera and then set out at my computer to paint.  Yesterday I loved it. I had successfully captured what onions and garlic look like on a dark background.  This morning I looked at the painting from yesterday and was less happy with it.  In fact I realized it was just a study and needed to be done with a better composition.  So I set up the same items this time with an old crock I normally keep soap and my dish sponges in.  I decided I wanted to really make an interesting composition that looked like an old masters painting.  Once I had the photo the way I wanted I set out to painting on my computer.  I am so glad I went back and revisited the subject.  Today's I really love.  I should really remember this because as a photographer I will return to the same site over and over again until I really get the photo I see in my head.  I have to remember to do the same when I paint.  We don't only get one crack at a subject.  

Tomorrow I will be framing my pieces for the Art of Jazz on J Street show and plowing through my next class for school.  I do have a portrait painting I did over the holidays queued up to write about so I will take a break and get that posted.

What lessons do you find yourself learning over and over again?

Keep Makin' Art!


Digital painting a few tips

December 29, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Burt Boice on Bass

Today's post is a recent painting of bass player Burt Boice at Jazz on J Street.  This one will not be in the upcoming show called 'the Art of Jazz on J Street'  it is not quite done and I won't have time to have it ready for the show.  It is also a bit different from the rest of the work in the show.  I know you have not seen most of the work I am putting in that show yet.  That is by design so it will be new to everyone who sees it at the gallery.  I will post those pieces on line once the show starts.  For this painting I explored more of the new dry brushes available now in photoshop.  It has more of a pastel look than the rest of the Jazz on J art I have done which has a rich and creamy oil painting look.  I hope you like this one.  I did not know what I wanted when I started and was playing and learning my way through the work as I learned about some of the brushes.

As my end of year gift to you my blog readers and Facebook followers I will share a few tips with you on digital painting.  I still have a lot to learn and these are just little tips to help you if you decide to start trying to do digital paintings.  The reality is this is exactly like painting.  No matter what tips I give you there is no shortcut.  You have to put in the time practicing, learning and developing your style.  Ok with the warning out of the way.  Here are three tips.

1.  There is no shortcut for learning photoshop - I'm sure you have all seen sketching and drawing apps on social media.  They can be fun and a place to start if you don't know where to start, but will not let you have control of your image to let your creativity flow.  I have been using Photoshop for 23 years.  I know the program pretty well and am comfortable using it.  This is key for me because when I want to do something I know what tools I want to use and when to make new layers etc.  If you want to do this well spend some time learning Photoshop or you will get frustrated.

2.  Learn what your brushes can do - Photoshop brushes have come a long way recently since adding Kyle Brushes to the program.  They are a free download from adobe and you must be on the latest version of Photoshop to use them.  It can be overwhelming there are a lot of them.  Try them all paint away.  They work best with a wacom tablet to control flow.  A mouse just does not work as well with these brushes.  Make a new folder in your brushes called favorites and add the ones you like to it so they are easy to find.  Just like I reach for 2 or three of the same brushes all the time when I paint in the real world I have found a few favorites that I like to use.  That said once in a while play with new ones and see what works for you.

3.  There is such a thing as too many colors - One of the things that can help make a digital painting look like a real painting is limiting colors and the choices of colors.  I work with a bigger canvas size than my final digital painting.  I leave white all around  When I am picking the colors for the painting I paint some of the colors on the extra white outside the image area.  This does two things.  It helps me see how they look together and help me decide on my final palette for the painting.  Once I have my colors picked out I can simply sample them over and over to keep using my 'theme colors'.  When the painting is done I trim it down to final proportions in the painting.

That's my tips for you brave souls who like my work and want to try painting in Photoshop.  There is no secret sauce except to try things and see what works.  The beauty of digital is you are wasting no paint or canvases so keep trying.  If you do dive in and start painting in Photoshop show me your work.  I'd love to see it.


Happy New Year! and Keep Makin' Art!


The paintings of Winston Churchill at the Society of the Four Arts - Palm Beach

December 28, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

AT the Society of the Four Arts - Digital Painting

Yesterday we took a ride to the Society of the Four Arts  on Palm Beach to see the show of paintings of Winston Churchill.  If you have the chance to get to see the show go see it!  Make no bones about it the man could paint.  He made over 500 paintings in his life and all were very good some were superb!  He painted what he saw around him at his home in the gardens and when he travelled.  I felt a connection to Churchill as well because on the walls above the paintings were some of his famous quotes.  Here is one that I read and thought it could easily have been said about me.

“Personally, I'm always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.”

That is a side of me every one of my teachers, Wendy and my parents will agree is a part of my personality!

What made the paintings particularly good is that they were by a man who wrote 50 books and led England through World War II.  It is a good reminder that none of is just one thing be it artist, parent, etc. etc. and we are not defined by one thing.  In fact the more things were are in engaged in the better we are at all the other things we do.

Today I need to send the label info off for the Art of Jazz on J Show, spending a few hours on school work and then will be meeting up with the Thursday Night Peddlers if it is not raining.

Keep Makin' Art!



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