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HOW TO PAINT FROM PHOTOGRAPHS (article first published : 2006-04-3)

Photographs can be a tremendous source of reference for artists and the recently published book How to Paint from Photographs by Tony Paul tells artists how to make the best use of them and how to look at a photograph with the eyes of a painter.

For instance, using the photo as a reference he first makes a sketch when he uses watercolour but when using oil or acrylic he starts by defining light and dark tones. If you are asked to paint a portrait its vital to take the photograph yourself (if possible) to create a mood.

Sometimes a quick snap shot can be the only practical way of capturing a subject whether this is an animal, bird or a place (landscape, seascape, cloud formation etc) with the specific intention of using it to capture a moment in time. At other times an artist can take a photograph and consider the composition, light and texture.

How to Paint from Photographs shows how to adapt an image by cropping, adding different elements, changing colour and adapting texture, etc. The author also deals with different materials: watercolour, oil, acrylic, gouache, coloured pencil, oil crayon or ink. He even describes and explains how to paint abstracts from photographs.

Judging from the imagery in the book he achieves excellent results.

Tony Paul is a UK based well established and respected artist, art teacher and writer, who gives sound advice based on practical experience.

For artists who use photographic references the book is definitely worth buying. Published by New Holland, it is available at local book stores at R139.95, ISBN 1 84537 233 6. Marianne Meijer




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