How to paint creatively from photos
4.5 (28 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
229 students enrolled

How to paint creatively from photos

Get creative with your photos and develop your own style as you use my easy five step method of painting.
4.5 (28 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
229 students enrolled
Created by Andy Walker
Last updated 4/2020
English [Auto]
Current price: $16.99 Original price: $24.99 Discount: 32% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
This course includes
  • 2 hours on-demand video
  • 1 article
  • 3 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Assignments
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • The best way to paint from a photo
  • How to use a photo as inspiration for your creativity
  • You will need paints (these can be watercolour, acrylics, pastels or oils), brushes and paper or canvas. Also a sketchbook or paper, and pencils or pens.

This course will help you to improve your painting, especially when working from photos. It will also help you to develop your own unique style.

My aim is to give you an easy five step framework that will enable you to become creative with any photo. By using the photo as a starting point, as an inspiration, I will show you how to develop your painting in a way that is unique to you.

I'll demonstrate how to get several compositions from one photo, how to focus in on what inspires you, and how to use this to form strong tonal images that will be the backbone of your painting. I will then show you how to use what you have learned to create a piece of art that is eye-catching and painterly.

Find out how to paint with just a small selection of colors, how to draw accurately and simply, how to express yourself in you art, and how to be free from the tyranny of copying! (This course is not for those who want to paint the photo exactly as it is.)

There are demonstrations to follow and some assignments that will help you to develop your skills.

You will need a small selection of paints, either watercolor, oil, gouache or acrylics.
I demonstrate using water mixable oils and watercolors, but my methods are easily transferable to any medium.
I suggest the following colors, but don't worry if you don't have them all. These are just suggestions but you can use whatever colors you have at home. My suggestions are:

  • Two blues - ultramarine and cerulean

  • two reds - cadmium red (or pyrrole red), and alizarin crimson (or primary magenta)

  • two yellows - lemon yellow and cadmium yellow medium

  • two earth colors - yellow ochre (or raw sienna), and burnt sienna

    You will also need

  • something to paint on - good quality watercolor paper, or for oils use MDF board or canvas.

  • A variety of brushes

  • A sketchbook or drawing paper and a 5B pencil

    I provide photos to work from, but please also use any photos you have at home that inspire you!

By the end of the course you will have all the skills you need to create stunning and original paintings. You will be beginning your journey of developing a style that is unique to you. And you will never be stuck for ideas of what to paint next!

Who this course is for:
  • Beginner or intermediate painters who want to improve their art.
Course content
Expand all 28 lectures 01:46:18
+ Getting creative with photos
7 lectures 47:23

Find out what the five steps are that will transform the way you paint from photos.

Preview 05:35
Use a photo as a starting point to create a number of different compositions.
How many compositions can you find?
1 question

learn the importance of tonal values and have creative fun making value thumbnail sketches from photos.

Stage 2: Designing with Thumbnails
Use the four value scale to create your own thumbnails from a photo.
Creating your thumbnails
1 question

Find out how to edit down your drawing so that you can express yourselves with paint.

Stage 3: Drawing the bare essentials
Here are two exercises which will help you to draw just the essence of a scene, and not get bogged down in details.
Quick and simple drawings
1 question

Learn how to use just a few colors to create your painting.

Choose your Colors
Try out various three color combinations and find out how many colors you can mix!
Three color combinations
1 question

Learn how to block in an oil painting and a watercolor painting.

Stage 4: Blocking in with color
Stage 5: Finishing the painting with details
+ The practical exercises
1 lecture 01:26

See how best to use the upcoming lessons.

Introduction to the practical sections. Please watch this first!
+ Practice: a LANDSCAPE painting in oils / acrylics
6 lectures 15:09

Check out the reference photo and begin to plan your painting!

The landscape photo reference

Use L shapes to find as many compositions as you can, then choose one to paint from.

Stage 1: Composition

Have fun using thumbnails to refine your composition and to build a strong structure for your painting.

Stage 2: Thumbnails

Draw out your outlines for your painting.

Stage 3: The drawing

Block in your painting with local color.

Stage 4: Blocking in

Add as much or as little detail as you like.

Stage 5: Final details
+ Practice: Painting BUILDINGS in watercolor
6 lectures 13:50

Look at the reference photo or find something similar on the internet or from your own photo collection.

The photo reference

Use this photo, or one of your own, and think about how you could improve it to make a great painting.

1. Composition

Use the photo to create interesting thumbnails.

2. Thumbnails

Draw your design as simply as you can.

3. Drawing

Block in your painting with local color.

4. Blocking in

Add as much detail as you feel you would like to,  in order to finish your painting.

5. Final details
+ Practice: a STILL LIFE painting
6 lectures 26:05

Try various layouts and angles for your still life photo.

The still life photo reference

Use L shapes to find the perfect composition.

Stage 1: Composition

Draw a thumbnail (or two) to learn more about the composition and to create that all important tonal structure.

Stage 2: Thumbnails

Learn some techniques for getting proportions and placement correct in your drawing, and also find out how to prepare a board for painting.

Stage 3: The drawing

Block in your painting with local colors.

Stage 4: Blocking in

Add the final details - not too much!

Stage 5: Final details