Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Tips on Painting from a Photograph – Part 2

Here is Part 2 of Tips on Painting from a Photograph. It looks at the composition of your final painting and considers some of the options you have.

You don't need to paint a picture to exactly match the photograph. In Part 1 we talked about choosing just a section of the original photo and not the whole of it. The composition of the final painting is the main subject of this article.

Although you're using the photo for your inspiration it's still necessary to consider the composition of the final painting.

Here are a few points to think about.

What is the focal point?
Where is it placed? (It is better to avoid putting it in the centre.)
You can move it to a better area if you want.

Are there objects to lead the eye into the painting?
These could be paths, branches, or shapes to lead the eye in.

What about the colours? You could change a landscape to a different time of day or a different time of year?
Instead of mid-day you could have a sunset, instead of the bare branches of winter you could have green leaves or even autumnal leaves.

Consider the contrast between the tones used in the different areas too.
Again you do not need to follow those in the photo.
Perhaps you want to highlight a contrast between some light and dark areas of the picture.

You can use the photo as a starting point for your painting.
But if the final painting is for someone else they may want and expect it to look like the photo.

However you still have the option to change things to improve the composition of the final picture. For example missing out a power line in a landscape or changing the background in a portrait.