Cat That Ate the Canary, 6x6" oilCouldn't resist painting this hairy thing for this week's Weekly Challenge: http://www.dailypaintworks.com/Challenges . I don't like working from a photo taken by someone else, but this is for the Challenge and Dreama Tolle Perry (this week's challenge artist) is right, it's interesting to see how one photo can be interpreted through a few hundred different eyeballs. And it's exciting to reach the point, when working from a photo, that the painting takes on a life of its own.
Reference photos can be a useful tool, especially when painting animals or the way light hits a flower. I think it takes a lot of painting from life to really understand light and color, eyes see more than a camera can. Direct painting can increase the ability to see through the photo and paint more life into it.