View Full Version : Painting from reference: a traditional approach

06-28-2010, 05:43 AM
Painting from a photo (reference).

06-28-2010, 05:46 AM
..........continue painting..........

06-28-2010, 05:49 AM
continue painting ... work on some details ....

06-28-2010, 05:52 AM
Finish... good painting for you.

Small demonstration to help those who are beginning to use the program.:)

06-29-2010, 03:16 AM
We must have been in the same school of painting.. am doing it exactly like that.... thanks for kindness,Oriane, very helpful to beginners in AR.

06-29-2010, 10:20 AM
Might I suggest a tip to add to your outstanding tut.

-Try painting from back to front and have the large elements with same color(s) go first and build up from there.
(The way I would do it,like it were a 'real' media painting)
This way you don't get lost in details from the start.


06-29-2010, 12:28 PM
Thank you hakoo for your nice comment.:)

If you look closely, there are not many details in this image. It is a very simple image. A careful observation shows that the detail is in the color of the reflections in the water. The fisherman messing with the water with his left arm is, also, just an expression of the figure in the painting. Another aspect is that this is a digital representation of the image. I am posting the original image here. It would be interesting for us to learn how you do it.

I'm posting here, too, "The process of painting" post by the administrator of the Art Materials and Techniques. (http://best-art-products.com/2009/07/the-development-of-a-painting/#comments) Very nice reading.

"The process of painting

Beginning a painting is always a little confusing. The canvas is blank and the brushes are dry and the artistís mind is cold.

An artist paints his environment, he paints what he knows. The world around him is his source and he uses it to express his feelings about what he sees. As a painter you should become aware of what interests you and follow that subject or theme through. Begin to investigate it in all its facets. The more you understand your subject, the better your paintings will be.

If other painters and writers have studied and worked on the same subject, then study them and see how they approach the subject. Try and observe special points that they have made central to their work and ask yourself why they found it of importance. Every good painting has a focal point.

There is much emphasise on making sure that your drawing is done well and finished off before you begin to paint. This is always good advice but donít forget that you are doing a painting, not a drawing study. Donít spend all your time over working a drawing, escpecially when it is on the canvas Ė itíll only end up a complicated mess. Instead, work on the drawing and develop each part so that it is clear and well formed so that when you begin to paint you wonít be trying to correct it again. The painting stage should be painting only not re-drawing the subject.

Be sure that complicated parts of the drawing are finished; hands and feet, facial expressions and ears are easy to indicate with a few lines in a drawing, but if they are important parts of your painting then itís worth spending time getting them right before you begin to paint.

The point is that when you reach the painting stage, you will want to immerse yourself in the idea of working with colour Ė not line. At this point the line will be your guide. You mustnít lose the line. It will help you with painting colour perspective and proportions.

You have your drawing on the canvas and you are ready with palette and brushes. Now block the colour into the painting as quickly as possible. Use large brushes and lay very broad and flat layers of paint into each area. Think colour, use a thin layer of shadow tone to indicate the shadows. Try to avoid using white or black at this stage. There are many other possibilities to lightening a colour than using white and darkening a tone doesnít mean using black. If I have an area of green to paint and I want to lighten the green tone, Iíll take some yellow and mix it into the green a little at a time Ė keeping the green intact but lightening the tone.

Making things darker Iíll take blue or red and mix it in Ė a contrasting colour will darken any colour.

After blocking the colour in, you can begin to work the colours by adjusting tones, laying in heavier amounts of paint. Creating a feeling of fullness and body to the painting. During this time you are working with large areas Ė avoiding any temptation to become involved in details. I find it is good to avoid detail throughout most of the painting process. This will create a working process where you will get closer to finishing the painting and there will be finally only one option left but to work on the details.

When I mention details, I mean all the little fiddly bits of the painting. Things that donít really have any bearing on composition like an earing or a watch on a wrist etc. You must paint them and it your choice as to how important they are, just be sure that in the initial stages of the painting you paint them only to the point where it is obvious what the objects are. Later you can go back and start working up the detail on them.

A few more points to consider when working are; always keep your brushes clean whilst painting. I have my bowl of oil next to my palette and on the other side a smaller bowl filled with rough turps to quickly clean off excess paint. This avoids getting dirty colours. After wiping the brush and then dipping it in the turps, be sure to dip it in linseed or whichever oil you are using before painting again Ė you mix the colour with oil not turps!

Use an oily rag to soften edges or remove excess paint from the canvas. A palette knife is good for this too. I keep lots of old tee-shirts for a supply of rag in the studio.

Remember that if you are painting over a period of days or weeks on one painting, then never attempt to work on yesterdayís paint that may still be tacky.

Finally, if you come to a point in your work where you have the feeling that you are stumped,confused or just havenít got a clue, then thank the gods of art. This point is the doorway for your muse to enter and help. The battle has begun and you are probably on to something worthwhile. Keep at it, keep thinking and focussing on the problem. wrestle with it, get bits of paper out and do sketches to try and figure it out. Your mind must be constantly engaged in the battle, if so, I assure you that you will find the answer to your painterly problem and you will eventually be enlightened to the solution. When you go through such a process as a painter, you learn from within, you build self-confidence as an artist and you begin to develop quickly. You will produce good work.

06-29-2010, 12:31 PM
AT thank you :)for your observation. I very much appreciated. This post is just a small contribution in this complex digital area.

06-29-2010, 03:02 PM
A very useful tutorial! Thanks Oriane for the great job!:)

06-30-2010, 12:51 AM
Wonderful tutorial Oriane :):), I've added it to the tutorial list under the title 'Painting from reference: a traditional approach'.
If you would prefer a different title just send me a PM.
Thanks for your hard work. :):)

07-01-2010, 11:21 AM
Wenkat, thank you. Your opinion and comments are always very important.

Juz, thanks for that. I changed the name of the thread as suggested by you. Thanks, your opinion and feedback are also very important.

07-02-2010, 07:59 PM
Thank you for this tutorial! These are excellent tips for those of us who are newbies at painting. I only wish we could see some of your brush settings :)

07-03-2010, 07:48 AM
Terry thank you really very much.

The settings:
LOADING = 100%


07-03-2010, 08:36 AM
Oriane, thanks for these settings! I tried them, and I like how they blend the colors.

07-05-2010, 06:39 AM
Terry, thanks again. I edited one of the images and put these settings in it, for a better understanding.

07-05-2010, 01:50 PM

Thanks for the tutorial, very instructive. Thanks for sharing.


07-08-2010, 10:23 AM
John, thank you.

07-09-2010, 03:50 AM
great job on the tutorial Oriane. Thanks for making it easy to understand and comprehensive.

07-09-2010, 12:57 PM
Hey Albert, thank you dear friend.

07-27-2010, 01:48 PM
Another example based on a photo provided by Fraser Paice. (see his thread (http://www2.ambientdesign.com/forums/showthread.php?t=30168)).

07-27-2010, 03:51 PM
Cool! We are lucky to have a great inspirational teaching guide here! Hats off to you, Oriane!:)

07-31-2010, 05:27 AM
Wenkat, thank you very much.:)

07-31-2010, 05:30 AM
Just one more, OK?

08-01-2010, 08:52 PM
very very cool tutorial!! thx http://www2.ambientdesign.com/forums/customavatars/avatar7547_7.gif ^_^

08-04-2010, 12:11 PM
Hey dear friend:) thank you very much.