How To Paint Amazingly From Reference Pics

The easiest way of making a painting is by taking pictures of the subject you wish to paint and then using it as a reference to create your own painting of that particular project. This method is usually applied when the subject you are gonna be working upon is not easily approachable. For example a famous celebrity, an exotic animal, a beautiful landscape, a rare happening etc.

This method is also applied when the painter needs to work very deep on details of the subject and usually photos of that area are taken to use as a reference. Making a replica using a picture is a much easier task to do rather than observing the subject too much.

However, this method is not applied correctly by many of the painters. All they do is take a single shot of the subject and make a complete replica of it. They overlook the fact that it’s just a reference photo, not the entire art itself. In order to make a wonderful painting by using this method correctly the following steps should be followed:

  1. Get rid of any hindrances near your subject so that you can maintain proper focus. If it’s not possible then try to clear out the unnecessary thoughts out of your mind and maintain your focus just on the subject.
  2. Once you are fully focused take at least a dozen pictures of the subject from as many angles as possible. Don’t try to take “one perfect shot” and use it only as a reference picture.
  3. Using these reference pictures make a rough sketch to familiarize yourself with the major elements of the subject. A rough sketch will also help you to identify the parts where you will need to work more delicately.
  4. Make as many rough sketches you wish to but start with main painting only when you are at least somewhat satisfied with the rough one.
  5. Start with a light outline of the subject using the rough sketch as well as the reference pictures on the canvas.
  6. Complete the whole sketch with a light outline and work first on the major elements and then focus on the minor ones.
  7. Once the sketch has been finalized use the reference pics to fill in colors. I suggest you be creative and innovate wherever you can in this step.
  8. Bring blending and a flow in your painting with your colors so that it looks more attractive.
  9. Finalize and finish the painting with normal cleaning and a small touch up, in the end, using the reference photos.

Always remember to save the actual reference pics in case you need to work upon the same painting again in the future. Furthermore, never use just a couple of pictures as a reference for your whole painting. You will need lots and lots of them and a dozen is a minimum. The more you have the better it is because it will provide you more info about your subject.

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