April 20, 2011

"The Coral Scarf" 12X16" oil on canvas

This lovely young woman modeled for the local sketch club and I had the opportunity to do a 1 1/2 hour oil sketch from life.  I took some photos of her, as I wasn't done yet, and completed the study in my studio.

It was interesting that as I pulled out the photo reference of her, I realized that the camera simply was not capable of capturing accurate tonal and temperature changes, which was a great reminder of why I am on this path of working from life on a regular basis.  In fact, as I look on my monitor at this image, my trusty camera dissapoints me again (or perhaps my skills as a photographer, or the callibration on the monitor, or....) as again it loses many subtle relationships in translation from painting to photo of painting.

It is an interesting experiment to start a model or a field study from life, take a photo while set up to paint and finish the painting in the studio.  The amount of missing info, or altered info in the photo is far more profound than you would expect. Experience in painting from life definitely informs the end product.

Happy painting,



  1. I know what you mean. I find it very hard to work from life, but the more I do, the easier it gets. Real life color just can't be duplicated on a computer moniter or photo.