Reference Photos for Artists
Several times a year, I set up still life vignettes to use as reference material in watercolor paintings. This watercolor is from one of those sessions. If you’ve never created a catalog of scenes to paint, give it a try. Gather things around your home that might be fun to paint, and pick up some flowers at the grocery store, or grab a bouquet from your garden (even better). You can use sheets, fabric swatches, wrapping paper or table cloths to cover a flat surface, and arrange your collected items on the cloth near a window to get beautiful reflections and soft shadows.
Painting a bird in watercolor – a little house finch
Use the Camera in your Phone
You don’t need a DSLR camera to get great photos to use for watercolor paintings.The camera on your phone will work fine. Just make sure you’re in a bright spot in your house. If you don’t have a bright spot, set a table up outside, or put one on the threshold of your front or back door, wide open, to get light streaming in across your collected objects. Take lots of photos, from all different angles, and when you look at them as thumbnails, you’ll see painting inspiration to last you for months!
How do you find painting reference material? Leave any tips or tricks you’d like to share in the comments below.
Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you in the next post!
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One can always acquire the additional knowledge and information that go into the production of a work of art, but – and I insist on this point – no will, no perseverance, no obstinacy during one’s later years, can ever make good a lack of practice. And is there any anguish like that of the artist who feels the realization of his dream compromised by the impotence of his execution?
~William Bouguereau 1885