Friday, July 1, 2011

The Challenge of Painting from a Photograph

Summer Harvest (c)2011 Dora Sislian Themelis
12x16 Watercolor on Arches 

I decided that I might need to challenge myself by painting from photographs. Isn't that interesting? I know I said before that I have preferred painting from life lately. But I started to think that maybe the challenge isn't in painting from life, it might be working from photos since I'm not great at it. What a concept!

Why not learn how to do something I seem to not do well.  Last week I took this photo of my vegetable haul and thought it would make an interesting painting. Yes, I sketched it out first. Yes I threw some color to get a general idea of where I wanted to take it. I tried to get the darks dark enough and tried not to work on it too long at each session so I don't screw it up.

It seems that when I take a photo of the painting I can see some areas that could use something, so that's what I did after my short sessions. Keeping it short helped me not trash everything. I am notorious at that. Besides, if I'm somewhat happy while I go along I'm more apt to paint again, anything to ward off Mr. Resistance.

I know, I know, I'm still at the dining room table even now that my babysitting is done for the summer. What can I say? I like the light from that window.


  1. Well done! You've brought that photo to life! xx

  2. Thank you Pat. Since all the hubbub with photos I thought I should explore the idea, and the veggie pic was just so inviting.