Friday, January 21, 2011

Painting from a photograph

I am taking another art class at our local junior college. This six weeks the name of the class is "Painting from a Photograph." I was curious about exactly how our instructor would treat it, and she started out giving us all the same photo, and telling us to try to paint it exactly. This will all lead up to editing the photo to make a better painting, but I was happy with the photo she gave us to paint, and didn't mind painting it exactly. It was interesting to see 14 different versions of the same photo.
If I had a choice, I would have passed over this one as it has a lot going on, and it is complicated. The mountain I can handle, but the ski runs on it, the sign, buildings and cars are a lot of detail. I don't usually paint cars! I paint bushes and trees because it doesn't matter if you get the shape exactly right or not, but when painting a car, you had better know how to draw a car to look like a car. The good news is that if you just paint the shapes you see and don't worry about painting a car, somehow it magically comes out looking like a car!
Sorry about the quality of the photo. The paint was still wet when I took the photo and it made for glare. After it dries I think I will repaint the back of the red car a little longer so it doesn't look squished into the edge of the painting, but for now I am happy with how this turned out.


  1. It's very, very nice Joanne. I paint from photographs most of the time and it can be a bit tricky depending on the subject matter.

  2. Thanks Carol. I am much more comfortable painting from a photo than plein air. The light doesn't change, which is a good thing!

  3. The cars look quite good to the past I either painted from my imagination or from photos...I've never tried plein air. I agree about the light photo your subject always stays the same!

  4. Hi Theanne, I didn't realize you painted too. I checked out your blog and loved your photos of Baron getting a bath! I guess I will have to go little deeper!