Tuesday Tips and Techniques: How Not to Be a Slave to Your Painting Reference

October 08, 2019 1 min read

This week’s painting tip comes from Shuang Li’s  “Fearless Waterscapes.” It’s a simple but powerful one: Put your reference photo several feet away from you.

Why: That way you use it as inspiration without becoming a slave to its details. As Shuang says, “I’m not copying any photo, I’m creating my own painting.”



When it’s across the room, you can only see the big shapes, which are the most important pieces of the painting for 99% of it. When the reference photo is immediately adjacent, it becomes too easy to get focused in on all those details and add them to the painting way too soon.

Learn more great tips from Shuang Li’s “Fearless Waterscapes.”

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