Many of us paint portraits from photos. We can’t afford to hire a model, we don’t always have commissions, a model makes us feel awkward, or maybe we just prefer to work from photos. But working from photos has its own set of challenges and opportunities.
So in this week’s vlog I want to tell you about 6 things to look out for when you paint a portrait from photos.
6 Tips for Painting from Photos
Work from your own photos
Don’t use somebody else’s art work, somebody's else's vision or idea and work with your own photographs. Of course there is also the not unimportant issue of copyright, so just be sensible and work from your own photos. Unless you are really just painting for practice and will keep it to yourself.
Use Good Quality Photos
Don't make things hard for yourself! Work from a large digital file, a sharp photo that shows lots of details. Old small blurry snapshots will not have enough information in them to help you paint a good portrait. You'd be guessing.
Work from a Computer Monitor
A good quality computer monitor can show you much more depth of colour and value than any printed image can. Most home printed images are flat and dull. So why work from that if you have a huge array of tone, value and colour available? Also, a computer monitor allows you to zoom in, change contrast, colour and so much more.
Use Photo Editing Software
With some good photo editing software the creative process starts way before you put brush to canvas or pastel to paper.
Take Lots of Photos
Not only will you have more choice, but it is really helpful to see your model's face from lots of angles (even if you are just painting one angle!) and in lots of different expressions.
Be Creative with your Photos
A photo does not need to stay like it is. There is so much you can change in a photo. Think creatively and outside the box. You can create a whole story just be playing around with effects and adjustments.
Want to Practice This With a Little Help from Sophie?
Join Sophie’s Art School and join a warm and supportive community where you can post your work, get feedback and ask for advice. On top of that you’ll get access to a variety of courses, workshops and tutorials. All online!