Learn from the real pros

Namely – you can learn a lot about composition, portraiture, and so on from painters.

Like Edgar Degas. He was the master of making paintings look like photography – capturing the moment. Here’s an opportunity of learning from a painter who learned from photography. Like in the use of his crops:

Who would ever dream of cropping people halfway, and of having people look right out of the frame? Degas would, that’s who. He took what the new art of photography did and made it into some of the most artistic paintings we have ever seen.

And then there’s John Singer Sargent, the master of portraits.

See Rembrandt and his light in there?

And in this work by Singer Sargent, do you see Velasquez?

Here’s Velasquez’s “Las Meninas”:

My point ? That we all stand on the shoulders of giants – we do not copy what came before, perhaps, but we certainly are inspired by it, learn from it, and use its lessons in our own compositions.

So my advice for you today is to go to art museums, buy art books, and browse art. If a painting is famous and in a museum, tat is probably because it is great. And we can all learn from the greats. Don’t restrict yourself to great photographers; learn from the great painters also!


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