Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Is it OK to paint from photographs?

Conundrum. Please advise. Is it ok? Or is it lame? I know that plenty of really shitty work comes from painting from photos (example here and here and here), but what if it turns out ok, like I think this one did? Do others do it? How can you tell? If not, how on Earth do they manage?

Stumbled upon a beautiful artist today (thanks to Life Spatula and Sadie Jernigan Valeri). Megan Roodenrys from Australia does primarily portraits. This one in particular, entitled "Theresa" caught my eye. I can't stop looking at it. But, did she just paint from the model? Or did she take photos? What do you think???

Update: a spirited discussion happens at the bottom of this page in the comments section. Note "
photograph plagiarizing hobbyists" comments and others.

1 comment:

sher said...

Paulina... I thought this image was a self-portrait by you. She looks just like you! I wonder if thats part of why you are intrigued by it? Are you aware that it looks like you?

As far as working from photographs.... the debate has gone on since there were photographs! People will always disagree... and I guess you have to ask yourself what your goal is as an artist. If you are trying to capture a real alive moment - then the photograph may deaden the moment. If you are illustrating a moment... then photographs worked for American Illustrator Norman Rockwell. If you are trying to express the feeling or the 'idea' of a moment... then there are unlimited possibilities of how to do this. To limit an artist with this goal... would be tragic.