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Other => Composition => Topic started by: EmmaLee on December 12, 2016, 05:17:13 PM

Title: Choosing the best reference photo
Post by: EmmaLee on December 12, 2016, 05:17:13 PM
I want to attempt my first pet painting. This is Roxy, the sweetest dog I've ever met. Her owner has hinted more than a few times that she'd like a painting of her. I have these photos but I'm unsure which I should use for a reference photo. Any advice anyone can offer would be very much appreciated!

Title: Re: Choosing the best reference photo
Post by: Maryna on December 12, 2016, 08:34:07 PM
Anyone of them could work. But in my opinion the one with the best lighting, the second one perhaps?
Title: Re: Choosing the best reference photo
Post by: mea hamo pena on December 12, 2016, 10:15:04 PM
EmmaLee

I agree with Dennis.  I'm sure you plan to eliminate some of the background such as the cooler.

What medium are you planning to use?  I know Nolan has a lesson series on drawing white haired dogs, but I couldn't fin one on painting them.  Might be there, though.  I was in a hurry.

aloha

mea

Title: Re: Choosing the best reference photo
Post by: Win on December 12, 2016, 11:52:25 PM
If it was me I would do the first one, His face is nice and clear and you can easily see the tonal values on him. Good luck, looking forward to seeing the finished painting  :)
Title: Re: Choosing the best reference photo
Post by: EmmaLee on December 13, 2016, 03:56:41 AM
 :thankyou: Maryna, Mea and Win. I will be using oil and changing the background. I really like the lighting in the second one too, but for some reason it bothers me that I can only see one eye well. I'm hoping my experience with Nolan's Swan class will help me with the white fur.
Title: Re: Choosing the best reference photo
Post by: Happychappy on December 13, 2016, 04:11:48 AM
EmmaLee, I would agree with Win, I would go with the first picture even though the lighting isn't as good as the second one, at least he is looking directly at the camera and you will be able to capture his features much better. Good luck with the painting and please don't forget to show us your picture when you finish it.  Looking forward to seeing it.  :yippee:


Patricia 
Title: Re: Choosing the best reference photo
Post by: EmmaLee on December 13, 2016, 06:58:14 PM
 :thankyou: Patricia. Starting a painting is always the hardest part. It takes me a while to get the nerve to begin.  :sweat:
Title: Re: Choosing the best reference photo
Post by: Annie. on December 13, 2016, 08:25:22 PM
I prefer the composition of the first photo, but with the lighting of the second.  Could you made such adjustments?
Title: Re: Choosing the best reference photo
Post by: EmmaLee on December 14, 2016, 08:23:35 AM
That might be a little above my skill level,Annie.    :) It is a good idea though, I will try. Thank you!
Title: Re: Choosing the best reference photo
Post by: Happychappy on December 14, 2016, 09:04:50 AM
Emmalee, you can do it ... all it takes is the first step and you will be "A" for away!    Patricia
Title: Re: Choosing the best reference photo
Post by: Val on December 21, 2016, 01:00:14 PM
Another vote for the first photo if you haven't started yet!   :heeha:

As far as the lighting goes, you can decide on and adjust your light source accordingly in your planning stage. This will make a beautiful portrait.   O0

Title: Re: Choosing the best reference photo
Post by: EmmaLee on December 29, 2016, 12:58:08 PM
Thank you. I have started and then stopped, and then started and stopped again.  :tongue: I'm having the hardest time with the blanket she's laying on. The poor lighting makes the wrinkles in the fabric hard to see and therefor hard to paint. It might be a while...
Title: Re: Choosing the best reference photo
Post by: Val on December 30, 2016, 03:10:23 AM
Take your time Emma, have you tried printing in black and white? When I have trouble seeing things in a photo I make it black and white and adjust the contrast. Doesn't always work, but may be worth a try.
Title: Re: Choosing the best reference photo
Post by: EmmaLee on April 25, 2017, 03:26:43 AM
I have another reference photo question. This is the best out of a few reference photos a client has provided me of a boxer, Jake. My question is: do you think this could be translated to a nice painting? I'm not sure. I've been trying to get a better photo but the client just isn't understanding what I need. I'm worried it might come out looking flat. Let me know what you think and any advise or tips you may have for me will be welcomed. Maybe I'm being overly picky...
Title: Re: Choosing the best reference photo
Post by: Val on April 25, 2017, 04:51:06 AM
Love his face, great expression. Personally, if this was my only choice I think I'd make it more of a headshot and leave the body out.

Is there any way you could take a photo yourself or are they too far away?
Title: Re: Choosing the best reference photo
Post by: EmmaLee on April 25, 2017, 05:04:59 AM
Thanks Val. A head shot is a good idea and probably what I'll do. Unfortunately I can't take a picture myself. This is going to be a surprise for the client's mother. Having an artist come by to photo the pet would give it away.  ;D
I wish there were more shadows and highlights on the face. He looks a bit washed out to me.  :-\
Title: Re: Choosing the best reference photo
Post by: Val on April 25, 2017, 01:33:39 PM
 ;) Artistic license my dear, artistic license!  ^-^         ;D
Title: Re: Choosing the best reference photo
Post by: EmmaLee on August 23, 2017, 08:45:23 AM
This little cutie will be my next commissioned pet portrait. I'm not sure how I should compose this painting. I usually try to do a head and chest portrait but I'm not sure that will work this time. Should I paint it exactly the way it is, background and all? Anything other than a simple solid background is a bit out of my comfort zone.
Also, the client has asked me to leave off the red collar.
I'd love to hear any ideas or thoughts you might have. Composition and backgrounds are always such a challenge for me.
Title: Re: Choosing the best reference photo
Post by: mea hamo pena on August 23, 2017, 10:40:26 AM
Oh, EmmaLee, he is a cute little fellow.

Because of the way he is standing, you will have a strange foreshortened look to his body. 

Have you tried cropping it with just the face showing and a bit of the neck (minus the collar)?  I think a big close up of the face would be cute.

As for the brick wall, I'd eliminate the bricks.  If the face pretty much fills the picture, I'd go with a light brownish, grey, rough textured background to resemble the ground.

Good luck.  I have faith that you will do a super job.  But, maybe first check with client to see if cropped version is acceptable.

aloha

mea
Title: Re: Choosing the best reference photo
Post by: EmmaLee on August 23, 2017, 01:20:29 PM
Thank you, Mea. I agree, I really like the idea of cropping the photo. I played around with it in Gimp and the only way I can crop it and have it look balanced on the canvas is to have the canvas turned landscape. I just asked the client about the background and she prefers a black or white background like she has seen on my other pet portraits. Not sure if that's going to look right with a black and white dog. The fur isn't really dark black, more like a blue-grey color. So maybe it'll work... I have no idea.  :-\
Title: Re: Choosing the best reference photo
Post by: Sacgal/Sharon on August 23, 2017, 03:25:10 PM
What a cutie! I actually like the whole body as the painting - with the red collar off it would look more normal. And for a background color, I always love blue!
Title: Re: Choosing the best reference photo
Post by: EmmaLee on August 24, 2017, 03:30:10 AM
Thank you Sharon. I was thinking when I saw the photo that the whole picture would look great as one of your watercolor paintings.
 I think some light blue colors would look nice. I may give that a try. Thanks again!
Title: Re: Choosing the best reference photo
Post by: Val on August 26, 2017, 02:39:37 AM
I like the idea of the whole dog as is, definitely lose the bricks and whatnot. They really don't add anything to the overall picture. I agree a coloured background would be best. This little guy would get lost in the black and white.