|'Wandering' 12x18 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
painting available here $165
Not anymore. Not only did I waste ink and paper printing out large photos, I did myself a disservice. I wasn't painting things that meant anything to me. I was painting things that looked nice or looked easy enough for a beginner. My paintings lacked something....they lacked Me! I now work only from my own reference photos and my paintings have become my own.
I encourage my students to work from their own photos but the biggest question I get from them is "How do I know what to take pictures of?" Great question for all of us who work from photos and the answer requires some contemplation on our part.
|My tiny reference photo and the underpainting....alcohol wash|
The things that cause us to stop and pause are a clue to our passions. These are the things we will paint the best. These are the things we should look for when collecting reference photos. Here is a good rule of thumb.....if something makes you stop, if it makes you smile, take a picture if you can...or remember it and sketch it. Try to record it and take note. These are clues to our personal vision. Gather these clues and use them when you paint. Here is a quote that reminds me to do this:
"The things you are passionate about are not random, they are your calling"Fabienne Fredrickson
Some artists prefer to work only from life. I do as well but I also enjoy working from my photos. I remind myself that they are clues. They are not meant to be copied. In this way they help me. I took many liberties with today's painting. The photo reminded me of things I liked. I made the painting my own.