Photo Reference

Painting from photographs is, for many artists, a matter of convenience. Portrait painters, for instance, often go from photo to painting because it is not often possible to complete a commission working solely from life. Therefore, knowing how to use a photo reference and that there are certain limitations to that process is important for every practitioner to understand. Such issues include getting tunnel vision or adhering too closely to the photo so that end result looks stiff or unnatural, and losing the subtle play of light and shadow on a form or object.

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