Before painting on light background              After painting on light background

Choosing the right photograph to paint is sometimes a little tricky.  It is always fun to start on a new painting and work with a new client.  To take a beautiful image and turn it into a beautiful digital painting is beyond fun for me.  It is a lot of hard work, but, it is so satisfying.

In our own studio, we have clients who choose our studio simply because we offer something different, something beautiful and portraits that they cannot get anywhere else.

So, you might want to know what images make the best paintings.  Well, that is a hard one.  Most photographs can be painted, but, there are some tips that might help make that digital painted portrait exceptional.

First, if you can choose solid clothing, that is really best.  When there is a design in the fabric, it is sometimes very distracting.  I personally love clothing that catches shine and has some folds and tucks in it.  Those folds and the shine allow me to emphasize the paint on the clothing.  It is also a good idea to make sure that the clothing actually looks good on the subject – that it actually enhances the tones in the skin of the subject.

Next, backgrounds and props matter in choosing the right photograph to paint.  I love flowers in the photograph.  Whether the person is holding bouquet or there is a vase with flowers in the background, they are beautiful when painted.  I have painted many photographs that are outside, but, I love the ones in the studio as well.  The main thing is that the background shouldn’t compete with the subject.

Finally it is very important that the photograph is in focus and that the lighting on the subject is good.  Though I can do lots of things with a painting, if it starts out with great lighting it will be beautiful when painted.  As an example, I once received an image to paint where the child was wearing a white shirt and the highlights were completely blown out.  In other words, the shirt had no detail whatsoever.  There must be some detail to create a painting from the photograph.  That is why I prefer to get a raw image to work from if it is available.  If you are ready to get started with your first painting, follow this link.

Hope this helps you in choosing the right photograph to paint.  Have a great week!


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