I was working on some painterly textures yesterday and started thinking about paintings. As photo artists, we are often—as R Christopher Vest said in a previous post—Neo-Pictorialists. What better place to take our inspiration from than the master painters? This may seem self-evident, but really take it on as if you are researching a term paper. A term paper that you will research for the rest of your life. I suggest creating a database of art inspirations. When I was at University, my theatre make-up professor suggested we keep what he called an Image Morgue. A Morgue in this case is a file of photographs, drawings, anything that you can use to draw upon for inspiration or reference.
I’ve carried this useful practice forward in my work. When I was a professional hand-colorist, I had a file folder of tear sheets, postcards, etc. Now that I’m a digital artist, I keep a digital file of inspirations and references. Look at lighting, color, composition, texture and saturation. Look at highlights and shadow!
I’ve pulled some images from the Wikimedia Commons for your inspiration today. The Wikimedia Commons is a great place to find inspiration! If you haven’t started already, start your art Morgue.
Maurice Quentin de La Tour, Marie Fel
Maurice Quentin de La Tour (French, 1704-1788), Autoportrait au jabot de dentelle
Rembrandt 1606–1699, Self-portrait
Yury Pen, Portrait of Marc Chagall
John Singer Sargent, Eleanora Duse
Charles Daubigny , Crepiscule
ALFRED SISLEY, Louveciennes
Johan Barthold Jongkind, Zondondergang bij Overschie.
Armand Guillaumin, La Place Valhubert
Winslow Homer, Gloucester Harbor
Emilie Preyer Still Life of Fruit
Pierre Dupuis, Basket of Plums
Claude Monet Pêches