Okay, Bill got me started. He posted a painting he did (see the end of Bill Page) of a young woman wearing a scarf, with her hand in front of her. He did this painting from a photo that someone else took. Hold me back. He requested that no one tell me since he knows how testy I get over this issue. No one had to tell me. I could tell on first glance that it was “copied” from a photo.
How could I tell? Because it is obviously an accidental moment which only photography can capture. The girl is smiling. People actually posing for a painting cannot smile for hours on end which is why you rarely ever see them doing so in REAL portraits. Her deformed hand (I assume he could only see three fingers in the photo) is up in front of her holding onto the wall, again, an uncomfortable position for someone actually posing. She is leaned against a wall that has a value that only a flash on a camera could blow out though Bill managed to capture that fact expertly, and indeed, the girl looks like she was hit from the front with the flash. If you are going to go copying photos (I even loathe that term), learn how to do it, and tone down the value of the wall for petessake. An accidental moment, a snap shot done with a camera–not a subject for a painting. Blagh!!!
Next–Bill did not even TAKE the picture. No. He admitted to finding it on the Internet. Why, I ask? Why use someone else’s photo even for practice purposes? Go take your own stinkin’ photos if you insist on working from flat two dimensional uninteresting boring-ass surfaces. Okay, I can see using elements from stock photos when you need them, but for the LOVE OF GOD, don’t COPY an entire snapshot unless you don’t mind me throwing up all over it.
In fact, stop working from photographs. WORK FROM LIFE. You will never run out of things to paint from life. If you want to paint people, look in a mirror for cryin’ out loud. Do quick sketches of people, and work from the sketches to paint the portrait. Ask everyone in your family to pose for you. NO. There are NO excuses. Put the damn camera away. You’ll be a better painter for it.
There. I feel better. I’m going to go smoke a cigarette now.