Portrait painting

Just a thought for anyone having too do portraits from photos.
Even if they threaten to break all your brushes!
Always work from photos that you yourself have taken. Any problems that then occur will be from your own lighting etc. And be sure to make the photos large enough to really see & understand any subtleties. :)>-


  • And remember: mediocre reference = mediocre painting!
  • @Ron Am I correct in assuming that you paint in the same light that the photo was taken with..eg K5000 ? That you hang a dark cloth behind the easel ? Can you use the Colour checker or just check the paint on the photo ? Any other tips...cant paint from light box yet, have taken the photos and mixed the paint , the white turned to chewing gum, but I have the correct one now. Portacabin nearly insulated and barring Earthquake or Tsunami I will paint next week !!!!!! :-SS
  • @Ron...PS Do you balance the White when painting from a Photo ...and if so how ? so many question now that I am about to start :-?
  • marieb:
    I'm so old school and so stuck in my old ways, although in this case I've tried to adhere to Marks methods when trying to do a portrait.
    I have put the photo that was given to me by the client ( I have now sworn to always take my own photos!) taped it to board with acetate over it to be able to test the my mixes against the photo.
    I don't premix, and the light I use is an ott-lite.
    I know I would not be struggling this much if I had started with the way Carder suggests. :\">
  • @Ron, I have mainly painted W/C so far,with a couple of oils and some Pastel. I don't unfortunately have the experience to be old school ! Thanks for advice, and I love your paintings :)@Kingston, I am trying to "up my game " from being an amateur to good Amateur. I now only paint from my own Photo's and have set up a light box and love working with it. Prob is it has to be taken down a lot so I don't(so far) get to paint from it .Funny it sounds like Painting from Photos is more difficult than from real life ! I am determined to get the colour groups mixed in the next couple of days and post a drawn up canvas...Thanks for help :)
  • CarmelCarmel -
    edited April 2014
    Ron - have you got a photo editing program or anything? The photo ref can't be that bad since you're doing a great job so far. If anything, I'd suggest playing with the photo in photoshop (or similar) to get some cool tones into the picture, as everything is a little warm.

    P.S. I do paintings from my own photos and others. For my main work, things that I want in a portfolio and consider my real art, I take my own photos. For sketching and practice, I just use any photo from the internet. These pieces don't go into my portfolio though because I didn't take the photo.

    Personally, I find nothing as rewarding or exciting as painting from life.
  • So Carmel, Thanks for the input. I did try the Photoshop, but no real help in that direction except that I did lighten the skin tones some and that helped.
    The warm aspect is ok I think. Any way here's where she is now. Not totally there yet, tough little painting!
  • I think it's looking quite good Ron.
  • Thanks Ronna. Im trying, but boy that eye turning from shadow to half shadow is making me sweat!
Sign In or Register to comment.