I just recently started painting from a computer monitor when working from a photo reference. I love to paint from life, but sometimes that’s not a option; or, I’ve started a painting from life and I want to work on it some more to complete it. That was the case here. I have gotten frustrated with trying to work from photo prints. First of all the ink is really expensive. And typically I have to do many prints to arrive at one that I’m happy with — right color, contrast, size, etc.
Here are the advantages to painting from a computer monitor as I see them:
- Closer to real life than print
- I can resize the photo at will at any time. Choose a part of the photo and blow it up if need be.
- Adjust color right then and there
- No ink costs
- Initial outlay of cash for monitor and the rest of the setup
- When measuring I’ve managed to get some paint on the monitor! LOL! Cleans off with Alcohol usually. I may put some clear acetate over it to protect it.
It took some research to find the articulated arm to mount the monitor on. The next challenge was finding a way to mount the whole thing and make it flexible enough to take down if necessary. My husband came up with the brilliant idea to get a wooden ladder. It’s stable enough to handle the weight and it’s easy to take apart if need be.
The only other consideration I might mention is that I went with a cheap monitor to start out. To make sure this whole concept was going to work. It doesn’t have the greatest resolution particularly for color — especially compared to my Macbook’s resolution. So eventually I’ll probably upgrade to a better monitor. In the meantime I’ve found if I use my photo editing program I can boost the colors so that they look better on the big monitor.
Here’s the result from the painting you see in the photos.
I would say that my painting from a computer monitor experiment has been a success. Now I’ll be keeping my eye out for a monitor with better resolution. Happy painting!! All the best!!