Are you working from photos more right now?

After years of teaching, I’ve recognized there are 3 big mistakes that many artists make when they paint from photographs instead of from life.

I’ve found ways to use photographs successfully for my own paintings so that people can’t tell whether it’s painted from observation or from a reference photo. And I’ll be demonstrating 6 of those in today’s short video.

Lots of artists work from photos, but few do it well. There are 3 big mistakes that most of them make:

1. Using someone else’s photo
2. Including way too many excess details
3. Forgetting that cameras flatten the space and light

Here are some of the ways that I use photographs successfully so that people can’t tell whether it’s painted from observation or from a reference photo:

1. Work from your own photos
2. Take a photo metered for the shadows and one metered for the lights
3. Correct the distortion from smart phone cameras
4. Crop for strong composition
5. Edit out unnecessary details
6. Use your computer or tablet instead of printing it out

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