Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tips on Painting from a Photograph – Part 1

Photographs are very handy reference materials. When you decide to paint a picture you can use a photo and you don't need to worry about the weather or time of day. I don't like to paint when it is raining and obviously night time painting sessions can be a challenge. ;-)

However when you have photos to use you can paint whenever the mood takes you.

There are really two main ways to use photos.

1. Using just one photo and painting your version of the scene
2. Using several photos and choosing sections from them to compose a different scene altogether

One main photo

When you are using one main photo for the painting there are a few things you may want to consider.

You don't need to use all of the things from the photo. A photographer has no choice when he takes a picture, but you don't have this problem.

If your photo has a lot of detail you may choose to just use a section of the photo for the painting. You don't have to use the entire photo – just use your artistic licence and select a part of the scene to use.

Often less is more in a painting. If the foreground is complicated and detailed you might want to keep rest of the painting simple.

Simplify for impact.

Putting the majority of the detail in the foreground will help to give depth to your final piece. The further away a thing is the less detail you can see, so simplify the middle and distant areas in your painting to help give it depth.

Tips on Painting from a Photograph – Part 2 will discuss how the composition of the painting can be improved.