Monday, August 29, 2011

Tips on Painting from a Photograph – Part 3

In this last part I wanted to mention a few points that are important if you are painting the picture for someone else.

If you are given a photo and asked to paint it then be sure to check what the other person expects.


1. Perhaps they really want a painting of the photo just as it is, in which case you will have to try and keep the picture fairly true to the photo.

2. They may say that the photo is just a starting point but they want the final piece to be recognisable as the photo. In this case you have a bit more flexibility with the composition and colour of the painting.

3. Or they may say that they are happy for you to paint your version of the photo. This will give you the most freedom with the choices you make.

It is always best to discuss what they expect the final painting to look like. This will avoid disappointment for you both!

An Example

I painted a pet portrait from a very small photo (the head in the photo was about half an inch by half an inch) and felt that the final painting was a good likeness. Although the client was happy with the painting she said that it was her partner’s dog and she had never seen it when it was younger. The dog was going grey and this was not apparent due to the size of the photo.

For myself - I prefer to remember pets in their prime, looking healthy and alert. But I should have discussed the painting more than I had. Maybe a painting of the dog looking older would have been more appreciated by the owner.