Painting from Photographs

- Talk by Stephen Slater

Stephen Slater - Painting from Photographs
Three Ideas on DVD from John Lovett
    1. Painting from Photos made easy
  • Study the photo
  • Try out some ideas with sketches
  • Add to or change the composition
  • Try painting from the sketch rather than the photo

  • 2. Pen and Wash
  • Try sketching quickly and directly with a pen, brush or stick adding washes of watercolour or acrylic to give a ‘loose’ image.

  • 3. Watercolour Upside down ‘see what’s really there’
  • Turn the photo upside down and paint quickly, going for the big shapes first. To make it easier, try drawing a grid on the photo and transferring the image square by square, still keep ing the image upside down.

Why not have a try at painting a picture in any medium from a photo, using one or more of the above methods? Bring in your picture and the photo you painted it from for an appraisal on -

Further Information / Resources
Stephen Slater - Painting from Photographs

I use a digital camera – you can see the picture you have taken, you only need to print off the images you want rather than have the whole film processed and you can manipulate the image on a computer to improve composition, lighting etc.

Stephen Slater - Painting from Photographs

The DVD’s are available from International Artist Magazine ( for which John Lovett writes regularly) or from There is also quite a lot of info on his website and he has a CD rom- ‘Watercolour Studio Workshop 2’ available.


(both available from the library)

  • ‘How to paint from photographs’ – Tony Paul.
    Really good, detailed information on the subject
  • ‘Watercolour Landscapes from photographs’ – Ron Ranson.
    Lively, ‘Big Brush’ approach but with lots of good advice.

Download this Information Sheet - pdf 174KB

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