Every once in a while I’ll pull an art book off my shelf and re-read it. Last week I flipped through the early chapters of Painting What (You Want) to See by Charles Reid.
Like all good books, re-reading it always bring back something new. I’ve never actually worked through the early exercises of this book, so I decided to do them last week, using old photo references.
The really great thing about vintage photos is that the values are simplified already, so they’re perfect for an exercise where you’re practicing seeing big shapes. (Of course, I had to choose a subject where there’s also a whole lot of detail that overlays those shapes, because I enjoy that bit too.)
Even when I’m doing little studies, I like to use imagery that I am interested in. These old images of Indian Maharajas and Maharanis were the perfect subject for me.