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Zoey, DMP 4, covered, not quite finished.

8x10 inch painting of my niece. I really like the expression in the photo that she had but there where elements of the photo that have lead to what I consider a failed DMP.  The first problem that I ran into was when I was trying to match the lighter areas of her skin, I would mix colors on my palette that looked very bright then I would check them on the photo and they would look very dark, I know this is part of the DMP method I just figured that the photo I was working from was not edited properly and over exposed( I am new to photography and photo editing).  So in most of the lighter areas of the face I bumped up the values.   I like the way this painting looks and an thinking of just making some minor adjustments and calling it good.

 I am thinking of doing a total new painting from my original raw image.  If so  will edit and the original photo and even use some Photoshop to change elements in the original photo, mainly make the tie die shirt she is wearing a little more uniform and lessen the over exposure if I can.  

I use the photo editing software that came with my camera, I bought the Olympus Mark recommends.  I am thinking of learning photo editing on the free software GIMP to edit photos before working from them, if any forum members have an opinion on this I am all ears as I know Mark recommends  photo shop.

As always would love feedback critique and advice.  Thanks!



  • Here is the photo I was working from
  • Thanks for the great  advice Kingston, absolutely no need to be sorry.

    "Over the years I have seen that bad reference is the biggest drawback to making good paintings. Buying a high end camera and not learning high end process just doesn't make sense."

    This is what I was dealing with during this painting, a not so good reference, I want to do everything in my control not to work with a bad reference again, total waste of time. 

    I have no idea what you can do with Photoshop vs gimp, or the original editing software that my camera came with vs Photoshop.  I am not looking to cut any corners with the DMP technique.  I had heard that Gimp is adequate, but I can see how adequate is not good enough for DMP.  The last thing I want to do is waste time learning inferior software.  Ideally I would like to take better photos and do as little editing as possible, yet I understand that could be unrealistic.  I very much appreciate your advice and that of others on this forum, I want to be painting high realism asap and really value the input of those who have "been there, done that". 
  • Does gimp allow editing of raw images? If so it might not be worth paying for photoshop if all youre doing is adjusting colour and brightness and exposure and other simple things
    Gimp does not directly support any of the RAW formats, the files must be converted first to something like Tiff, JPEG etc.  This will likely change in the future.

  • edited December 2017
    With all this talk of cameras, RAW, JPEG etc. and all the various image editing software, I'm starting to wonder how painters ever managed to paint anything realistically before the advent of photography and computers. I guess they were just forced to learn how to see value and colour with their own eyes and translate what they saw into paint and place it accurately on the canvas. :/

    @Willis, I think your portrait has a certain charm. You've simplified things and that's fine.  It's not photo realistic but who's to say that's what you were (or should be) aiming for?  :)
  • edited December 2017
    Yes, for my big landscapes I do,  but I only use my own photos unless someone gives me something they would like painted which has only happened once.  When I use my own photos I don't rely solely on them  for colour. I make colour notes on site and use those. I just know that no camera is going to capture what I see and by the time you run what your camera did manage to  catch through a computer and then run that through a printer, god only knows what you'll end up with. I use photos as an aid to capturing details of form in landscape that would take me forever or be impossible to capture if I tried to work exclusively en plein air. Things can change so quickly and there's weather and bugs and nightfall ....   But even so, I still simplify and leave stuff out. 

    For still life I work from life.

    But, please, don't misunderstand me. I think photography is a great aid to the painter and I'm sure the old masters would have used it had it been available to them. But perhaps we would do well to remember that, as painters, we are trying to make paintings and not photographs. And good paintings don't have to be, and indeed never will be, 100% photographically accurate.  And who would want them to be?
  • I love unfinished paintings.  (I must because I have so many of them.)  And, I love this one.  I think they show passionate gestures in ways that finished paintings cannot. 
  • there is that little anectode from john singer sargent: one day a man who had his portrait done by sargent complained that - although the painting was beautiful - it didn't quite resemble him. to which sargent answered: "in fifty years, who is going to know!".
    quod erat demonstrandum, tomas
  • SummerSummer -
    edited December 2017
    @tnittner ; I've often thought that myself:  When it comes to portraiture of a painting that I am admiring that was done hundreds of years ago.  How much accuracy am I really looking at without a photograph to compare.  I always come to the conclusion that it really doesn't matter if the painting is able to stand on its own.  And they do.  Accuracy only matters at the time to both the artist and the client.  Summer
  • So I got the trial version of PS and Light room and have made a new edit of the original.  Was wonder what everyone thinks, our another way of putting it,
    Can I make a successful painting from this photo edit? 
    Would you want to work from this?
    Kingston  dig in my man, really appreciate your critique.  

    Anyone know how to post smaller images?  
  • @Willis sadly Jim left the forum and unless you contact him directly you won’t get a reply from Kingston 
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