Step-Pop, 6x4" oil
Painted this from a blurry snapshot which helped loosen up my style. Sometimes, using a reference photo is the only way to paint something. In this case, Frank was in Texas, a bit far away from Florida to pose. The snapshot I took when he visited last summer captured his personality perfectly.
Photos are also useful for painting children who can't sit still long enough, or birds and animals, or how the light strikes a flower at a certain moment. For portraits like this one, I like to snap away when the model is unaware, less self-conscious. People tend to freeze up when you aim a camera at them.
I think it's important that artists work from photos they take themselves. Photographic vision working in tandem with the brush. The photo should work as a starting point, letting the painting take on a life of its own.