The distinct link between photography and painting has been a subject of discussion since the invention of the former in 1839. Many painting enthusiasts were convinced that photography was putting painting out of business and lamented a loss prematurely. Photographers feared that the painters did not perceive them as serious artists.
The two arts have competed over the years, each trying to outdo the other. However, painting and photography are quickly becoming complementary and the artists realize that each can enhance the other. Photography has been elevated as an art by the understanding of painting. Photography was originally focused only on realism which represents the subjects truthfully without artistic conventions or exotic elements. Photography has grown since, with new skills being employed to capture the ethereal and seemingly supernatural aspects of the world.
Painting from photography has also gained great acclaim, though the practice was met with strong opposition. The resistance was perhaps born under the impression that paintings from pictures are dead copies of a photographic piece. Some painters may be negligent in expression of their art and find themselves lacking individuality by using this method. However, a painter with the gift and desire to do great work will take a simple portrait picture and transform it on canvas. There is great freedom in expressing a picture through a painting. The resulting art is not only an expression of a subject’s emotions; it is a personal interpretation of the artist. That intimate touch is what enhances every painting making it something entirely different from the photograph.
There are many opportunities for painters to showcase their talent and reaffirm the position of their art in the current art market. The constraints formerly presented by the time consuming activity of long posing sessions and the exhaustion that came from such an activity have been removed. This freedom allows one to work in calm peace without undue external pressure.
The key to expressing artistic vision with paint medium is to have extensive knowledge of both arts. Often, a painter will be unaware of the strengths and limitations of the camera as compared to the human eye. This leads to misrepresentation of the photos and it becomes a disappointing creation. Painting from pictures is rewarding but it does require skill. It is therefore imperative that any painter desiring to venture into this work be one with true determination and an artistic signature that will be indisputably beautiful.