View Full Version : Is this a good photo to paint?

12-06-2007, 02:36 PM
Hi, I'm new to this forum. I've been reading and I've read a lot about choosing a good subject to paint. Can you all please tell me what you think of this picture and is it good to paint? What should the eye be drawn to first? The fire or the cats? If it isn't good at all, let me know but I love this picture!

Thank you,


12-06-2007, 02:46 PM
My heart is drawn to this scene also, however! fur & fire are 2 of the most difficult subjects to paint! for me anyway. This is really gorgeous and heart tugging. I'd use artistic license and arrange the composition a bit and "go for it". Even the shine on the tiles is wonderful and the fluff of the "rugs" and the fireplace bricks, all wonderful. Probably the cats' faces would be focal with a close attraction, the fire in background. I'd let my soul soar, and forget about being exactly like the photo.

Many will give you expert techniques along the way for accomplishing this. Simply enjoy & cherish however it turns out. :wave:

12-06-2007, 02:49 PM
As shown, I would not call it a good picture to paint. My eye goes to the fire first and takes me out of the picture. If you had three cats (or some other object to the right - to form a triangle, the cats might work, but as they are now there is no continuity to the group. The head of the top cat with the fire and brick wall might also work. Just my opinion and its always easier to judge someone else's. Hope this helps.

Dale Ziegler
12-06-2007, 10:45 PM
This would be a difficult watercolor subject. Too many soft edges and not enough contrast in the center of interest. Try oils or pastels.

12-07-2007, 05:49 AM
This is a sweet photo of the kitties enjoying the warmth of the fire.

It has a confusing center of interest because normally our eyes are drawn to living things in a painting, which means the cats, especially the foremost one in the basket would be the focal point. BUT, our eyes also usually go to the lightest area first making the fire the COI. :confused:

I think this might be fairly difficult to paint and get the effect you get from the photo. But you could give it a go and prove us all wrong. :lol:


12-07-2007, 10:14 AM
First of all WELCOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I think it totally depends on your skill level because apart from the compositional problems mentioned above, it will be hard to get the desired darkness in the room that gives the fire it's glow.


12-07-2007, 04:08 PM
Not for me !!!
It is too dark for any details and the values all read the same .
Now you could do a Silhouette , but it would be so difficult .
However if you LOVE this reference , then you are inspired !!! How about trying it and see what you can do with it .
The Brush and Paper is yours ,..... and who is to say that you won't make a Masterpiece of it.I would probably begin this wet in wet .
Yes ,Welcome and Good Luck with it

PS - Here is a Picture of a cat that I just loved , but it read with Too much white and the photo gave little information . I decided to wing it , this is what came out .


12-08-2007, 09:57 PM
Warm colors move forward, cool recede. So the fire has to be a suggestion possibly just showing the mantel or the blue fire on logs and then the cats clustered in the glow. The deep orange connecting them.

12-08-2007, 09:58 PM
The reflection of flame or glow, connected them.

12-09-2007, 01:51 AM
Yes, I can imagine what RTi is suggesting; that is what I hinted when saying: I'd use artistic license and arrange the composition a bit - when done, this will be gorgeous - may start on some things easier and work your way to this. Everyone's observations & suggestions are worthy considerations. Hope you satisfy you heart in this one. Be Blessed! Enjoy!

12-09-2007, 03:38 AM
Alright----I played with this one. I see it done monochrome, transparent warm sienna, square composition with extreneous detail (objects)removed...use texture, silhouhette and light here....


1st off---I did the crop and played with exposure to bring up more detail. This is the version I would use for values. Exclude whatever items are on the floor lower left, they don't tell us anything important..just clutter...

***see below for Pink Line explanation****

Than use the following for the "shape" of the fire...


^^^^ONLY use this take to get the right shape for the fire.

If you cant restrain yourself from using color---limit the color to some features in the cats faces like in handpainted antique photographs--this too will draw the viewers attention to the cats as the COI and "balance" attention from the fire...

Whenever you question a photo....play with it...I don't have fancy software, this was done in Kodak Easyshare...(cheap cheap, but enough to 'feel around' if you know what I mean...)

Good luck!:wave:

Selahs art
12-09-2007, 03:53 AM
I did some gearranging in Photoshop for you.

Just a suggestion.... Maybe move the black cat more to the left too.

Hope you dont mind.


Hope it helps.

Nice idea, Ive done something with bad photos too, make you use your brain.


12-09-2007, 03:59 AM
PS---maybe one of our resident geniouses on perspective can clean up this corner for you so when you paint it, you wont have diagonal lines pointing outward to the corner......the composition rule people will ding you for a distraction like that...and it's not a bad point to consider BEFORE you undertake the prodject....hey..thats what we're here for....to help.


12-09-2007, 11:52 AM
Thank you all so much! I am going to mess around with it and see what I can come up with.

Brian Barnes
12-10-2007, 04:11 PM
I'd be attracted to this particular photo too.:)

All good suggestions so far. :thumbsup:

I tried my hand at it and came up with this composition:


Looks like a difficult watercolour however ......... but would be great using oil, acrylic or pastels.:)


12-10-2007, 05:15 PM
I like the suggestions but wouldn't have the fire disappearing off the top of the paper like it does. Show a line or two of the brick fireplace liner above it instead. ;)