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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Reference Photos: A Second Look

    Photos are my shopping list of what I want to include in a painting. Even when getting close to photo realism, I'm free to edit out or add to the photo. In the following example. I've nearly copied the lower half of the photo.
  I found the reflection of myself, the chair and the closet door uninteresting, so I created a fantasy within the reflection. I've been careful to follow the general distortion of my own figure in the photo in creating the dancing figures. In other words, anything can go in this space as long as I follow the original distortion created by the curve of the sphere. This sphere is actually a Christmas ornament, and I've chosen to omit the small bit of ornament that shines to the lower right, making it only a sphere.
   We can improve on photos in many ways. My personal priority is to make more vivid the shapes of light and dark that I see, so that they are clear to the viewer. This will be apparent in the shapes of light on the walls and ceiling of this piece. They are greatly exaggerated. Other ways are to change colors, further soften and hide these shapes or add something of the artist's dreams or fantasies to a piece. It could even be a symbol that means something to the artist.

   For me, piano music and slow dancing go together, and the view from the shiny ball gives the viewer a peek at an intimate moment, made more vivid in size and by contrast.
   Left is the photo, and right is my finished work.

I hope you'll take a second look at reference photos that may not have been your idea of what they should be. They just might make for a good reference as an inspiration for fantasy.

"Dance of the Piano"
Acrylic on Canvas
Happy seeing and painting!
tina jones


  1. Hiiii! just to tell you I can get your Bloggiething in Belgium, spotted some stuff I hadnt seen erfore!! going to investigate now!! xxo

  2. Farkin, Thanks for checking it out for me. You're a great help!