1) Creating Paintings Using a Photo Reference

Good photographs can be used in a very effective way to create beautiful and unique paintings. It is one of the most common methods being used by artists from around the globe. While it is possible to create some truly enchanting work, there are a few pitfalls that should be avoided in the process. Here are a few things that you should keep in mind when creating paintings from photographs:

  1. Before taking a photograph of the scene you want to draw, first take a close look at the entire scene with your naked eye.Carefully observe the setting, atmosphere, characters and colours of the entire scene. Memorize everything and take mental notes of the entire setting. Only after you have a clear idea of the painting should you take out the camera and take a photograph.

  2. While starting off with the painting, the most important thing to remember is that you have to be consistent with treatment of the light source. This is the key in creating a convincing painting. So look carefully at the photo and figure out where the light is coming from. This source must be highlighted and shown in a proper way.

  3. Also keep a good eye at shadows when you are creating the painting. Sometimes shadows and light get lost in a photograph. So take care to highlight these special areas and ensure that the effect of shadows is not lost in the painting.

  4. Remember to squint and check out the reference photographs. This helps in figuring out patterns that can be utilized in your painting. You will also be able to avoid any unwanted problems that may crop up while painting on canvas.

  5. Remember to crop the photo every once in a while and really understand the various aspects of the scene. Only when you crop will you be able to really see the complete details. Also you will avoid wasting time composing on the canvas. So keep this in mind while taking the photograph. It will help in cutting down the workload.

  6. If you are looking to create a dreamy, surrealist painting, then don’t use large photos that have high resolution. Use smaller photos where details cannot be observed very clearly. This will force you to use your imagination and create something fresh.

Drawing paintings from photographs is one of the many art techniques that are taught here at the Ovya Art Academy.

Now we can take a look at a few pictures to understand the step by step procedure for the entire process.