Saturday, April 9, 2011

Painting the Naked Truth

As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m taking an online webinar on how to paint from photographs. It took me a long time to learn to paint what I saw in photos, though I discovered that even some very good photos don’t translate well into paintings. Now I’m learning how to redesign the photo so it will work better as a painting. I’m told I should just use the photo for inspiration, but not try to copy it. Don’t let it dictate what the painting will look like, the instructor, Johannes Vloothuis says.

Well, I must say that I have learned all kinds of helpful tidbits over the past 11 weeks, and will likely miss sitting in on these lessons after the course is over. Next week is our 12th and final weekend of classes. I will try to apply as much as I can into my paintings in the future, but right now I’m afraid I just don’t have the skill set to do that.

I was just starting to get some confidence as I had a display at a local church recently and it was well received. People were even asking if I wanted to sell some of the paintings I had there. And then I tried to do some of the recent homework for this webinar, and discovered that while I can reinvent a scene, I cannot produce an even half decent rendering of it with my paints. I need to paint what I see, not what I imagine, or wish was in front of me. Suddenly what I paint looks like something a child would do. My confidence has gone right out the window.

Now, I do remember, when I was trying to switch from decorative arts to fine arts, I had the same problem. But as time went on I got much better, so I suspect this will happen again. I’ll get the hang of it someday, hopefully. But it does remind me that I don’t happen to have one ounce of natural talent.


  1. Keep up the great work have a lot of talent. You are your worst critic!! ;)

  2. Take some photos of your paintings and put them on your blog...that way we can all see your work! I am VERY interested!

  3. I am taking Johannes's classes too! I know what you mean, just take it one step at a time and you don't necessarily put everything that he has taught into play at once. That can be too over whelming.