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.

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.

What you’ll learn

  • The best way to paint from a photo.
  • How to use a photo as inspiration for your creativity.

Course Content

  • Introduction –> 1 lecture • 2min.
  • Getting creative with photos –> 7 lectures • 47min.
  • The painting projects –> 1 lecture • 1min.
  • Practice: a LANDSCAPE painting in oils / acrylics –> 6 lectures • 15min.
  • Practice: Painting BUILDINGS in watercolor –> 6 lectures • 14min.
  • Practice: a STILL LIFE painting –> 6 lectures • 26min.
  • What next? –> 1 lecture • 1min.

How to paint creatively from photos


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 siennaYou 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 pencilI 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!

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