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Studying your Reference Pictures

//Studying your Reference Pictures

On a recent feedback show I reviewed a couple of paintings that one of our members had sent in asking for my comments. I pointed out a couple of things to Maxine where I felt improvements could be made and we showed these by comparing the painting to the original photograph that had been sent to us us.

Maxine in turn sent me a reply saying how pleased she was for my help but was annoyed with herself that although she had viewed the reference picture many times while producing her painting she did not see those slight faults.

Baby Orangutan reference imageIt might please you all to know that even with my experience I still miss the obvious when painting a picture even though I view the reference’s constantly throughout the painting process. The trick (and you can learn to do this too) is to know that something is not quite right with your picture then study the reference picture until it clicks.

What I do is isolate the area involved on the reference picture then continually switch back and forth, painting to reference until I see the problem.

I don’t give up until I am satisfied that I have got it right.

Having said that sometimes it is not necessary to create an exact copy of what you see.

It is more important to produce a pleasing result and this can mean slight changes need to be made. Photographic references can be deceiving and you should learn to compensate for this. It does take practice and experience to learn how to adjust what you see in your reference’s but now you know the secret you can work towards this in your work.

Members of our website can submit their artwork for feedback in our Feedback Shows. To join us click here. To watch previous Feedback Shows, see our YouTube playlist below.

By | 2018-03-15T15:13:03+00:00 April 24th, 2017|Tips & Techniques|0 Comments