Painting Demos

This isn’t just a gallery of paintings.

It’s a series of different painting demos on how to paint from photos or direct from Nature. That is, it’s artistic interpretations of places, most people haven’t seen before or would like to go to see or take a holiday to.

I have traveled to many interesting places in my lifetime and collected photos of those places, so I could paint from them once back home, and also to use as visual aids for my art students.

Now I’m sharing my adventures and experience with you. So you can learn how to paint from photos too.

Painting demos for artists

Photo of Springbok Flats bush at twilight time.

Let us first consider the art decree which says:

We shouldn’t copy every detail from photos and that paintings shouldn’t look like immaculate photos. True, but what if we also would like people to recognize our paintings as authentic places, how would we compromise?

Painting from photos or direct from Nature:

  • First of all, it will drive us mad trying to paint what God made so perfectly. Fortunately artists have the licence to choose how they would like to paint what they see, and for others to enjoy the ambiance they create.
  • Secondly, photographs don’t give you the true depth or true hues there are in Nature, so if you want to paint a beautiful painting you’ll need to emphasize and highlight certain effects to make your paintings come alive with life, action and emotional allure.
  • Thirdly, each and every scene is different. So each painting’s composition will naturally have a different approach and application. Also depending on the medium used.
Painting demo of Springbox Flats bush at twilight time.

A5 watercolour: Using imagination to add zing to the painting.

So what do we do?

To make our paintings look aesthetic, with free-flowing artistic expression?

What should we copy and what should we leave out?

  • What is most important and needs emphasizing? What do you want to draw attention to most?
  • What can we make bold? Which shapes or colours dominate the scene?
  • What things and areas can we simplify to give our painting more impact?

And what colours can we exploit?

  • What if the photo colours were dull or boring? How can we invent colours to make the scene more exciting?
  • Or can we still stick with the photos colours and modify them slightly to make the scene more appealing?

 And what emotional impact are we giving our paintings?

  • What details can we select, and what shall we highlight to make our paintings more exciting?
  • What technique can we use to draw people’s attention to the main topic?
  • What of atmospheric dimension? What should we blur and put out of focus? What are our contour edges and open spaces like? What are the weather conditions, side-lighting or back-lighting, etc?

And of cause:

Where to find all the painting demos on this website:

Go on… feel free to check out the following pages and blogs for painting demos, to see how I handled each scene according to its own peculiarities and ambiance. You’ll never look at things quite the same way ever again!

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