So why not just paint from a photo? - What's the difference to the artist and the artwork? In a word, everything!
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What the artist sees on front of her/him when on location and what they see in a photograph are very different.
Also what the camera sees is very different.
Contrary to common perception a photo does not just duplicate the view. A camera will INTERPRET what it sees and the results will depend on it's settings and how the camera is designed and manufactured.
Here are 7 things that are different with a photo/camera:
- Colors can come out very different than what your eye will see
- The temperature of the colors can be very different than the actual scene
- The lens can distort dimensions and perspective of the scene
- The darks and lights can be very different
- A camera will not always capture the essence or ambience of a scene (especially if the artist is not a trained/experienced photographer)
- The camera can miss details that can become very important to the artists perception of the scene and thus the painting -
and finally, the opposite is true!
- The camera can capture too much detail and distract the artist from capturing the essence of the scene.
Next I will talk about how an artist works on location vs. from a photo