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Dusty old slide for a reference

So I just finished this one from an old slide of my Grandma that I found. Circa 1965, about 15 years before I was born. I love the look on her face, but the picture is awful. Lighting is terrible. She was sitting next to a blinding window. I had to guess at the colors. Can't recommend against using an old photo enough. Unless you want your painting to look like an old photo, then slides are for you.

Does anyone have any tips for working with terrible source photos? Because, at this point, I just won't ever do it again.



  • All I can advise is to try to improve the image with photo editing software as much as you can before painting.

    If you post the original image I'll see if I can improve it for you if you are interested.
  • @Richard_P it would be cool to see what you can do with it. I opened it in photoshop and that used up the extent of my photoshop knowledge. Actually, this is as good as I could get it, which is way better than the original. Full disclosure, I have no intention of trying to paint it again anytime soon so if you have better stuff to do, then don't worry about it. Either way the offer is appreciated
  • If you are familiar with Photoshop or some other pretty good photo editing program, load this photo and then print it out in several versions . . . from light to dark, over-colored, under-colored, and so on.  Amid all these printouts, you may find one or two (maybe more) that will point you to better color and value.  I know because for the last 15 years or so, I have painted free for parents portraits of their children killed in the 9-11 wars.  I have to work from photos supplied by the families and, sadly, some of these photos are quite poor quality.
  • This is the best I could do. You have lost a lot of colour information so it's hard to recover natural colours.

  • What a cool thing it is that you do @broker12. I doubt that I am good enough, but if you need help let me know. Oh and thanks for the advise.

    Thanks for the effort @Richard_P. It's appreciated.

    After painting that last pile, I took it back to basics with a quick still from life.
  • Looking good. Not too many of those pills now. lol  :)
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