Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Improve Your Camera Shots For Painting!

Have you ever tried to create a painting from one of your camera shots, and you knew that it wasn't working - but you couldn't figure out why? Here are a few tips that might enable you to improve the quality of your reference photos for painting.

Often, when shooting landscapes, students will leave out the foreground and just focus on their subject (in this case, the mountain). Foreground literally leads the eye of the viewer into into your painting. Without it, the composition can feel chopped.

Adding foreground to the shot provides the viewer with valuable context...a sense of place.

Sometimes students make the subject of the painting too small. 


Cropping can eliminate unimportant details and allow the subject to be dominant.
This image was cropped and the subject was moved off to one side for added interest. 

Notice how many different views I can get by cropping this image!




This close up is interesting... 

but after zooming in, the shot becomes even more personal. 

The photo below is very busy. My eye flits from one object 
to another searching for a focal point. 

You can create a focal point by zooming in and cropping your shot.

But, it gets better!

Look what happens when you zoom in even more. The background 
was totally eliminated and replaced with a two-color gradient. 
Simplicity is your friend!

Sometimes students bring in photos that will not make a good 
painting. Often they are discolored and once the painting begins, 
they realize that there isn't enough variety in the color to hold 
the interest of the viewer.

Here's the same photo after it's been color adjusted with 
Adobe Photoshop Elements software program (there are 
many software programs and apps that do the same thing). 
Now it looks better!

Next time you shoot - consider these tips!