One common question I receive is whether I can paint a group portrait from several different photos. The answer is yes. Here’s how to get the best results.
(Actually, most of these tips apply to any commissioned painting.)
- Send several photos of each subject. A link to an online album works just fine too!
- Choose clear photos in clear lighting. The larger the painting, the better resolution is necessary for the original photo so I can see detail.
- When possible, select photos in which all the subjects (man or beast) are photographed from the same angle.
- Point out key attributes that you want to capture that may not be obvious in the photo. Things like freckles don’t always show up in pictures…you know they’re there, but I don’t!
- If you send a photo where the color is a little off but you like the pose, let me know. (e.g. “My dog is really more brown than this photo would suggest.”)
- If it’s not obvious (like a Great Dane next to a chihuahua) give me some hints about the relative sizes of the subjects.
- Remember that in portrait work, I can only paint what I see.
When I get your photos, I’ll play around with them in photoshop to come up with a good composition. As I’m painting, I’ll make adjustments to the lighting of each subject so they’re congruous.
Don’t let a little thing like your kids – or cats, or dogs, or guinea pigs – not sitting still together be an excuse for not having a portait!