Using Less Than Perfect Photos

if you work from photos , sometimes you will come across a reference that you love but that isn’t quite right.  What do we do to fix that less than perfect photo? That is the subject of this weekend’s pastel workshop. below is the photo reference for my painting:


This photo by Ron McGinnis portrays a tender moment between mom and her baby. I wanted to paint that. But there are some problems. The back of the horse is a bit hard to figure out and the legs are definitely awkward.

The first thing I did was eliminate the background and add a new one.

Secondly, the horse doesn’t have too much definition. You can’t really see the eye very well or any muscles or veins. So I went in search of better reference. here is my finished painting:

Horse and Foal Finish1

I am happy with the way it turned out.

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