Sunday, June 1, 2014

Why Paintings Should Begin From Life

This photo is a good example of why it's so important to paint "on the spot." Look carefully at this photo. As I stood in front of this beautiful home, I painted exactly what I saw. It was a quick study - about two hours of work. But I was able to get enough information to go back to my studio and finish this piece from the photos I took. If I had not had the time to set-up and paint here, the roof and sky would have been lost to me. If you look at the roof of the house in the photo, it fades out. That's what photos can do, especially with digital cameras. They are mini-computers with a mind of their own. Photos rarely record actual colors and depth. Granted, the light has shifted from when I began to work, but the light on the roof was fairly constant. This is the same reason I practice portrait work as much as possible from life. If you don't have the experience of painting from life, it is that much more difficult to paint from photos.

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