Thursday, 11 February 2016


Acrylic on 6" x 9" Strathmore Windpower

One of the most important things a modern artist can learn is nothing to do with painting, it is how to create an accurate image of their work to post on the internet. Van Gogh and Monet didn't have this problem, but the further we move into the onscreen age the more important this becomes.
I've discovered that not every technique works for every artist. A lot of it depends on where you live (ambient light) and what media you use. I've developed my own method based on hundreds of tips I've explored, but I still have challenges with some paintings, particularly those with iridescent, interference or fluorescent paint. This painting is one of those and I'm sure it hasn't sold yet because I just can't take an accurate image. 

I follow a blog by Karen Margulis who is a pastel artist and these are her tips. Do you have any tips you can share in comments?

How I Photograph My Paintings by Karen Maruglis

It has to be low tech and low maintenance. I want quality photos of my paintings for my blog but I don't want to spend a lot of time taking them. I need to point, shoot, upload and not have to do much editing. I have worked out a system that works for me. It is simple and takes little effort.

All I use is a point and shoot digital camera and take a photo of the painting while it is still up on the easel. Nothing fancy. I just point and shoot and keep the flash on.

My easel and current painting. When I am finished painting I take the photo

Keep in mind this is the set up I use to take low resolution photos for blogging and for email. I also use them to print small photos and for my business cards. If I need higher resolution photos I will increase the quality setting on my camera to high (about 10 megapixels)

I use a Panasonic Lumix digital camera set on a medium quality setting.

I always keep the flash on.

I don't use a tripod but I do have steady hands.

I stand about 4-5 feet from the painting and zoom into the painting. I don't crop it in the camera but leave a bit of the foamcore showing.(I will crop it when I upload the photo to my computer)

I have two fluorescent light fixtures over my easel area. I keep a warm and cool bulb in each.

This balance of light along with the camera flash results in color that is very true to my paintings.

I upload the photos to my computer. I have an iMac and use iPhoto. I crop the photo in iPhoto. Occasionally I need to adjust brightness, contrast or saturation which is easily done in iPhoto. 95% of the time I don't have to make adjustments.

This system works well for me. Since we all have different lighting situations it will take some experimentation to find the correct balance of light to get the truest colors. If your photos come out too warm or yellow....try turning on the flash and stand back about 5 feet.