Working from a photo for me is a process of evolution. Unfortunately, I find it easy to get lost in that “process.” I must keep reminding myself what I want the painting to be and not become lost in the techniques of turning a photo into a painting.
I decided to share my steps of working from a photo in this post.
Here’s the reference photo:
First, I sketch to create a composition that will work in the dimensions I’ve chosen for my canvas. For obvious reasons, the sketch, done on any handy scrap of paper, is for my eyes only.
This time, because light was the true subject of my painting, I also needed to design my pattern of light and dark. Eliminating color from the equation, I used a small canvas in the same dimensions as my final piece to establish light and dark rhythms.
Then because color harmony was lacking in my specific photo reference, I added color to my small piece to resolve color issues.
Finally I did it big (well, bigger) and of course, made more alterations. For instance, I changed the old-fashioned wooden seat of the diner to unify my two figures. I did so hate to lose that old-fashioned booth!
Lunch in Thomaston, Maine is an 18x14 oil by Shirley Fachilla.