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Painting A Portrait From A Photo :: Creative Process

Lately, I’ve really been pushing my art in new directions and taking risks.

I don’t normally create paintings inspired by portrait photos, but I was super inspired by a recent art challenge.

I created three portraits inspired by a photo.

The process completely pushed me in a new direction. It helped me see my artwork and my process in a new way.

What I loved most was the progression between each painting.

I began the first piece feeling incredibly rigid and boxed in by the photo. As I started painting, I realized I was copying the photo so much that my own style could not shine.

So I went back to my comfort zone, adding marks, supplies and colors that I love the most.

From there, I could see my voice. And it really helped me to see just what makes my style, my style.

I’m really not in love with the second painting.

When I looked at the first painting, I loved it, but it didn’t closely resemble the photo. So I tried to make the second painting look more realistic. And that completely made me paralyzed. I got so attached to the photo and making my painting look like the portrait that

I lost all freedom. I tried to return to my favorite marks and supplies, but even then it came off as rigid.

Then I wondered why I was trying so hard to make my painting look like a photo.

My strength is in my imagination.

So I started a third painting.

I’m really not all that happy with this third painting either, but I learned so much from the process. And I love the freedom this piece exudes.

With this third piece I was able to tie in my favorite supplies and marks and really push myself to try something new.

I returned to the patterned dots, wild hair and deep eyes. And I took them further.

Painting from a photo is something I am excited to do again. I’d love to see where it leads me next.


Juliette Crane


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  1. Beautiful work; love them all.

  2. Absolutely beautiful. Just discovered your art, what a treasure.

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