Where do you find inspiration for art?
Do you look to nature? Photographs? Objects? Animals? Imagination?
All of these are wonderful places to find inspiration to make art! I want to share with you some ways I use photos, fresh flowers and my imagination to create my artwork.
Working from Photographs
I used to paint mainly from photographs of flowers. I liked that it didn't die on me and I could stare at it for hours. I also appreciated the fact that I could take super close up photos of flowers and see shapes, details and color I otherwise couldn't see. I still work from photos but my focus in my art has shifted so I no longer want those super close up views anymore.
The advantages of working from photographs are that you can set up a still life and light it just the way you want, photograph it, crop it and edit it. You have the photo forever! You can use editing apps and change the photo to try different colors and paint styles! Whenever I set up a still life I always take a photo so I have it as reference for the future.
You can take photos of anything, anywhere that inspires you and you have it forever!
You can even use photos to paint on. Take a photo, turn it into greyscale in your editing app, print it on photo paper and then paint directly on top of it! What?! Isn't this cheating? Well, maybe a little but it will help you become better at creating different color values. The greyscale photo has done all the work of deciphering lights and darks for you. Choose your colors and make them match the different values you see in the photo. It really is a fun exercise, you should try it!
Get out your camera and capture all those things, places, plants, people and animals that inspire you!
Working from Life
Over the last couple of years I have discovered the joy of having fresh flowers to paint from. Creating from live objects really does give your paintings more life. You've got the real thing in front of you after all! You have control over lighting and background. There is something so joyful about having fresh flowers in the studio. Think about what you would like to paint. Flowers? Fruit? Knickknacks? Half the fun is setting up your still life. You can use colored tissue paper, scarves, fabric or fun papers to add color and pattern. Be sure to add a strong light source to create dramatic lights and darks!
Have fun creating a still life of objects or flowers to create from!
Working from Your Imagination
Painting from your imagination is the ultimate use of your creative license. As long as you keep in mind; lights and darks, composition, focal point and choose a color palette you will have a successful painting. I like to do warm up paintings purely from my imagination. I don't have to worry so much and I feel more freedom just letting myself paint. Painting from imagination also tends to result in more expressive and whimsical images. You can always add to them or even paint over them! Letting my imagination and creative intuition take control always feels freeing. Give yourself time to play with creating from imagination. Think of a bouquet of flowers, a forest of trees, or just start making lines and shapes and see where it takes you! Start with using just black and white and add color to it later. Who knows what images or ideas you might come up with letting your imagination play!
Whatever your preference, photos, life or imagination, I hope find freedom to explore creative expression in your own unique way!