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Old 06-08-2006, 07:39 PM   #5
Mike McCarty Mike McCarty is offline
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Joined: Dec 2001
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Posts: 2,673
Thank you John,

I too was lucky to have a friend that was a Hollywood photographer from the old days, and another source at a local camera shop to critique my efforts. Each would give an honest assessment of my many efforts. I spent a fortune on film and processing along with adjustments and reprints. The digital age has brought these kinds of efforts light years forward.

Scattered through this forum you will see where the good and great artists have been asked to list the components of a painting in their order of importance. Almost without exception you will find at the top of their list - design / composition. Why not study the most important of these components first. It never made much sense to me to focus on mixing paint so that you could apply it to a lousy design.

I continue to believe that the camera, combined with a generous mentor, is a wonderful way to study this most important aspect of painting. The set up necessary to paint from life is exactly the same set up you need to take a photograph. Do the setup: design the light, compose the subject and the background and record the effort, then seek criticism of your effort. When you get a consensus that you've done well save the image with notes as to the where's and how's of those efforts. I would concentrate on indoor shoots first because the light is much more controllable. These exercises will reap huge rewards when your client calls.

The camera is a popular item to vilify these days. Personally, I look at it as an important educational tool regardless of whether you ever use your photos as reference for painting.
Mike McCarty
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