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Winter Edition 2012

Paint My Photo


Winter Sunrise by Trish Acres

Where Photographers and Artists Meet

A Snowy Winter Path - Watercolour by Maria Balcells


We have a bumper winter edition for you! Included in this Quarter’s Newsletter: • Step-By-Step demonstrations • Meet the Photographers - find out more about some of our wonderful contributors! Beginning of a Snowman by Freda Austin Nichols

• Making the best use of albums on PaintMyPhoto

Plus much more...!

Don’t Miss Ro’s Winter Wonderland - a selection of glorious winter photos to inspire you... [1]


Venice Remembered

Winter is Upon Us... Welcome friends to yet another PMP Newsletter! I am sure you are going to enjoy the Articles that are in here, I have to say I am so impressed with the way members have responded, it amazes me how much talent exists on our site! That talent extends to our dear editor, the wonderful Ruth Archer, who may blush at my effusive praise, but it is heartfelt. She has done a stellar job in the design and assembly of the ebook this Month. I wonder if calling it a 'newsletter' is appropriate! This production is becoming more of a 'PMP Magazine' ! A big thank you must go out to this Months contributors, we also have article offers starting to come in for the Spring edition, that will be an exiting edition too! So, enough from me, grab a coffee, and enjoy this wonderful publication.

Not a member? Take a look at this Paignton Sunset

Newsletter and see what you’re missing! It’s free to become a member of PaintMyPhoto join us now and become part of our friendly, growing community.

Join PaintMyPhoto Now! Pond


John Robinson


John is a photographer living in Lancashire.

John Robinson

You can contact John via his profile page on PaintMyPhoto. Visit John’s PMP Photo Gallery to see more of his wonderful work.

Nicola 5

Beautiful Landscapes, Fabulous People Studies, Classic Cars and More! First and foremost, on behalf of all members, may we thank you for your generosity in sharing your wonderful photos! Can you tell us how you first discovered Paint My Photo?

My camera is a Canon EOS 550D. I use the EFS 18-55 and 55-250 lens. What, if any, photography/image software do you use to manage your photos?

I was introduced to PMP by my sister in law, Judith Farnworth. I initially was reluctant to join as I was unsure whether or not my photos were of the right calibre for this site. Obviously now I am so pleased I made the right decision.

I edit my photos especially the portraits using Corel Draw and Corel Paintshop Pro. Personally I find Corel easier to use than Photoshop. I also have help and guidance from a regular to this site, Robyn from Australia, and so would like to take this opportunity to pass on my thanks and gratitude to her - long may it last.

What is your favourite photography subject? I can't pinpoint my favourite as it changes from day to day or season to season. I would, however, say one would be the beautiful scenery around where I live, namely Pendle. What type of camera and equipment do you use for the photographs that you post on Paint My Photo?

If you had to choose just one photograph that you have posted on Paint My Photo, which one would it be and why? This is a difficult question as over the last few months I have posted a lot of photos, all of which have been my favourites. If I have to choose one then Still Waters. I just love the setting and the composition of it.



Finally, we’d love to know a little more about you, do you have a personal website (or other online presence) where we can see more of your work? I have always enjoyed photography, but it wasn't until my wife bought me this camera that I became more involved and enthusiastic about taking photos. I can also appreciate the artists side, and spend many an hour talking art/ photography with my sister in law who is one of my biggest supporters. Now when ever I go out, I automatically reach for the camera, just waiting for that next picture to be taken. I would like to say at this stage, how much I have enjoyed being involved with PMP and have received, and am still receiving so much positive feed back. Because of this, I am now looking in to setting up my own website, so will keep you posted on any further developments.

River Tees, Hawes 2

One Sunny Day 3 My Next Car!!!

Snow in Central Park

John’s Choice Still Waters

A River’s Walk



All Alone

It was a Foggy Morning 2

Karen 5

Pendle Hill 2 Le Jog Rally


St Thomas a Beckett, Heptonstall

The Witches of Pendle 3

After the Rain 4

Laura W


The Village Tour Bus 2

Donna Sommer


Donna is a photographer and artist living in Hawaii.

Donna Sommer

You can contact Donna via her profile page on PaintMyPhoto. Visit Donna’s PMP Photo Gallery to see more of her wonderful photos and paintings.

Carnevale 4

Flamenco Dancers, Musicians, Beautiful Cityscapes and More! First and foremost, on behalf of all members, may we thank you for your generosity in sharing your wonderful photos! Can you tell us how you first discovered Paint My Photo? I discovered IDP while searching for inspiration to return to painting after not "fine art" type painting for a long, long time. I was doing textile painting, a bit of pottery, tile painting and was employed as a sign painter by trade for many years. I joined IDP, posted a couple paintings, and then it was Bix (thank you Bix!) who commented on my page saying check out PMP, and post some photos of Italy for us. Well of course I had plenty to share, so I did. I immediately found PMP to be such a great community! Such a great confidence builder, so positive and encouraging, one cant help but grow as an artist/ photographer from this site. Years ago I painted with acrylics and oils. PMP has so thankfully excited me to attempt painting in the one medium that previously intimidated me, watercolor..... and thanks to much encouragement and inspiration from PMP, I wont give up! After joining PMP I was hooked: a place to share my photos, a place to seek, learn, and paint again! A perfect

match where I had tons of photo ops to share and lots of subjects to paint, network, get feedback, not to mention the wonderful supportive friends I have gained here. I could go on about how beneficial and wonderful PMP is. Who could ask for more really. What is your favourite photography subject? There are so many beautiful subjects I love to shoot, it is difficult to decide. In Italy, around every corner, everywhere I looked there is beauty, same here in Hawaii but so different. When I take photos, I ask myself... would it be something that someone (me included) would want to hang on their wall, or in a gallery, or want to paint, or just mainly bless someone. If I had to pinpoint though, it would be musicians and dancers. I guess it is because I have always been a "wanna be" of both, and, they are another art form. Unlike a painting, the dancer and the musician perform only for that moment unless someone records it in some way. I sure miss the many photo ops I had while living in Italy of this subject, but I am looking forward to capturing with my camera the beautiful Hawaiian Hula, Tahitian, Polynesian dancers, and the



ukulele, drummer, vocal musicians. They are all so amazing and have a big style that exists only here on these little islands in the middle of the sea. What type of camera and equipment do you use for the photographs that you post on Paint My Photo?

Bird of a Different Color

I donated my trusty little Sony point and shoot to my husband about two years ago. Since then I shoot with Canon EOS rebel T3i. I love it, still learning all it's capacities and tend to shoot mostly on the automatic setting (no flash) because hey, the manufacturer knows best and sometimes you just don't have time to adjust settings to capture the moment right? I need to buy a zoom lens one of these days so I can try some macros that I so admire here. I recently purchased inexpensive Fujifilm Finepix xp50 for future underwater shots. A waterproof camera is a must for here in Hawaii. You would not believe the beautiful photo ops under the sea. It's a whole 'nother colorful world down there! What, if any, photography/image software do you use to manage your photos? I use iPhoto on my Mac. It works for me for now. If only I had time to discover and learn the others! I post mainly the original photo, crop and adjust just for fun.

Tango at Gaudi’s 3

If you had to choose just one photograph that you have posted on Paint My Photo, which one would it be and why? It would be "Flamenco Dancer".......for many reasons: Barcelona is a fabulous favourite place, I love this dance, but mostly, because this photo was taken with my camera sitting on my lap pointing (as best I could imagine), at the dancers and musicians on the stage...... because no photos were allowed at the beginning of the performance. I just snapped away, pretending I wasn't :). When I got home I discovered I had great shots of the ceiling, half heads, only feet, half a dress, etc. LOL. But then discovered this one. Well worth my efforts. It was an incredible night I will never forget.

Blue Reflection

Finally, we’d love to know a little more about you, do you have a personal website (or other online presence) where we can see more of your work? I do not have a website yet :(. On my to do list. :)

The Happy Violinist



Florence Reflections

Mi Casa

Sugar for Shawn

Sweet Dreams Color of Love

The Babe is Back in Town


Egypt Sphinx Painting

Donna’s Choice Flamenco Dancer Notes and Strings

Happy Birthday Zoe


Nicola B


Nicola is a photographer and artist living in Buckinghamshire.

Nicola B

You can contact Nicola via her profile page on PaintMyPhoto. Visit Nicola’s PMP Photo Gallery to see more of her wonderful photos and paintings.

Red Flowers

Fabulous Flowers, Luscious Landscapes, All Creatures Great & Small! First and foremost, on behalf of all members, may we thank you for your generosity in sharing your wonderful photos! Can you tell us how you first discovered Paint My Photo?

I have two cameras. My main one is a Sony Cybershot DSC-H2 bridge camera that I have had for five years. My other 'handbag' camera is a Fuji Finepix JZ500. A great little camera but I do miss a viewfinder. I have a tripod but I rarely use it.

I discovered PMP on idrawandpaint. It sounded interesting so I looked it up. I paint and draw, take lots of photos - ideal site for me!

What, if any, photography/image software do you use to manage your photos?

What is your favourite photography subject?

I use Picasa if I need to edit any of my photos.

Favourite subject? I will photograph anything that catches my eye. I like beautiful scenery but it is often difficult to do it justice. I also like photographing flowers. This is fortunate as my husband is especially keen on photographing gardens and we visit a lot of them. Wish he was as interested in actually doing some gardening! I think my favourite subject must be all kinds of wildlife. Sometimes it needs a lot of patience, sometimes it is frustrating and sometimes you get lucky! What type of camera and equipment do you use for the photographs that you post on Paint My Photo?

If you had to choose just one photograph that you have posted on Paint My Photo, which one would it be and why? Choosing one favourite has been difficult. There are a few that are favourites for a variety of reasons. I finally decided on this Autumn photo. I love the Autumn colours and I enjoy walking through woods the most at this time of year, especially when the sun is lighting up the leaves. Although there is not a lot of colour, the patch of light caught my eye.



A couple walked by us as I was about to take the photo which was annoying at first until I realised they could be a good addition when they reached the light. Finally, we’d love to know a little more about you, do you have a personal website (or other online presence) where we can see more of your work? I don't have a website, but I have work displayed on the following sites:

idrawandpaint - Nicola’s Page Bee on Buddleia

Painters-online - Gallery Nicolasart (1) Painters-online - Gallery Nicolasart (2) Fine Art America - Paintings & Photographs by Nicola for Sale



Nicola’s Choice Wendover Woods Oriental Poppy






Tulip Dorset’s Jurassic Coast

Alun’s Dog


On The Way

Wast Water





Craig Johnson

Craig Johnson Craig is a photographer living in Anderson, USA. You can contact Craig via his profile page on PaintMyPhoto. Visit Craig’s PMP Photo Gallery to see more of his wonderful photos.

Balloons over Anderson 1

Amazing Abstracts, Divine Sunsets and Breathtaking Buildings! First and foremost, on behalf of all members, may we thank you for your generosity in sharing your wonderful photos! Can you tell us how you first discovered Paint My Photo? I had just come down off a promontory in Bergen, Norway in May 2012 where I had photographed panoramic views of the harbor. Two women passing through the ward of a nearby 900 year old castle fort were standing near me. I recommended they go up an obscure stairway close by, follow a trail up and get the best view of the city. A few days later I was standing on the bow of our ship at sunrise taking photos of the Geiranger Fjord in Norway when one of these women can topside. She waxed most enthusiastic about the view from my suggested high place. We talked about cameras, lenses, composition, and the like. She then told me about PMP as a place to post my images for file sharing. It has been a splendid forum for posting my views of paradise and a grand way to interact with photographers and artists from all over the world.

What is your favourite photography subject? I think architecture is one of my favorites followed closely by nature. Architecture photographed in certain light can be timeless and almost placeless. Often I will make images of details from structures leaving it to the viewer’s imagination as to what the structure and its location might be. I have had a long standing specialization in imaging places of worship, be they late decorated perpendicular gothic cathedrals in the UK or late classic stepped Mayan pyramids in the Central American jungles. For years I have presented 8-12 week courses in on evolving forms of ecclesiastical architecture. Recently I’ve been entranced with the verticality and stark geometry of large cities. Most recently I plopped down on top of the Empire State Building in NYC for three hours at dusk and fired away as clouds, sun, a rising full moon, and city lights created ever-changing panoramic landscapes. Capturing the serenity of nature is part and parcel in my work. I even take a camera with me when on a jogging path.



Seasonal changes in plants and trees, reflections on water, and sunrise and sunset capture a sense of simplicity and stillness that many find restorative, even inspirational departures from the chaos and frantic pace of contemporary life. What type of camera and equipment do you use for the photographs that you post on Paint My Photo?

Numinous Possibilities

Waking Dreams I

Nevsky Orthodox Cathedral II

I use a conventional Canon EOS DSLR which generates an 18.1 MP file. I find it produces very literal images. This can work well for architecture and midday nature work. I use a 10-24 mm wide angle lens for panoramic work. One has to pay careful attention to flaring, parallax, and focus with 10 mm. Distortion from parallax is something that can produce magical art compositions but it needs to be intentional. An 18-55 mm lens is standard in the middle ranges of my work. I also use a 75-300 MM zoom for plucking off architectural detail up high. My most recent lens is a 100 mm fixed macro. This lens can be rather intimidating. It’s heavy and will force one to become very disciplined about depth of field and camera stability. I am growing in my interest in tiny things, bugs, flower parts, minerals and this lens does allow one to be very selective about depth of field. It actually wants to be on a tripod. I use strictly a full manual mode; setting ISO, F-stop, speed, white balance for every image with all my lenses. My camera has never been set on semi-auto or full auto mode. I have never used flash, and don’t even have one.

It took me many years to consent to hauling a suitcase of glass and plastic around with me. The EOS systems do generate very good image files but I do find myself paying more attention to the technology than I would like. Carrying a five pound camera and lens plus a big bag and tripod can get tiring if one walks ten miles in a day in an old walled city. For several years I’ve used a Lumix DMC-FZ35 super shot. At first glance it looks and feels like a toy. It has an effective range of 18-512 mm. It has some obvious limitations but one of its great features is a very good live view. I feel light and free when the only thing in tow is this little 13 ounce toy-like camera. It will stuff into a big over coat pocket. Yet I have won contests and cash prizes with it and find some of its quirks with color balance and saturation produce very artsy images. It overreacts on color and shadow. This used deliberately produces some amazingly magic images. I recently was able to use it hand-held to make images of sunspots on the surface of the sun. It also does nicely with the crests of craters on the moon. I’m REALLY happy I did not sell it when I bought a bag of Canon stuff. When I am using it I feel like I am paying attention to composition and not the technical aspects of imaging. I feel the result more than see it. What, if any, photography/image software do you use to manage your photos?

The Color of Winter

For the longest time I refused to do any post-production editing at all other than minimal cropping with the most basic and primitive picture manager embedded in the Microsoft operating systems.



Recently I have discovered the wonder of highlight and shadow management which compensates for the intolerance of digital to contrasty light. This has proven wondrous, allowing me to make marginally acceptable images into true wonders without creating anything my eyes did not see. I have loaded up an Apple I-Mac 27 with 75,000 images and Lightroom. I will never ever be bored. Yet, I will stick closely to my philosophy of only generating images the viewer can believe in, never adding or taking anything out of the image. If you had to choose just one photograph that you have posted on Paint My Photo, which one would it be and why?

Genie in a Bottle

A View of Heaven’s Glory

A Cause for Celebration. I did nothing to set up this image. Everything was on the table as it is seen in the image. This late afternoon view of my dining table is an imperative to find great beauty in the ordinary circumstances in our daily environments. It is also an imperative to live well every day, not just on special occasions. Most of my images are made in epic places around the world. It’s easy to take impressive images on top of the Empire State Building at sunset or in the Geiranger Fjord at sunrise. It’s a whole lot harder to do so five feet from one’s own refrigerator. I have long made it a personal challenge to extract inspiring images from the ordinary. This image speaks about the wonder of ordinary life, of life itself being cause for celebration. Inviting friends to one’s table to celebrate it is a numinous experience. To me there is no such thing as an ordinary day when one is above ground and painfree. Finally, we’d love to know a little more about you, do you have a personal website (or other online presence) where we can see more of your work? A regular guy has been allowed to live a magnificent life through no merits of his own. A montage of assorted jobs and experiences in universities and hospitals over the past 35 years, and having never married has allowed me to really see and hear our world. I’ve made it to 52 nations, some many times. The best part is sharing what I see and hear with others through writing, lecture, and visual imaging.


The ultimate compliment I ever received is being told by a highly educated health professional, “I would rather see the world through your eyes than through my own.” I was stunned. The invention of blogs and other resources is allowing me to do this with large audiences. A regular guy gets to show this magnificent world … to the world. Off-line we make it friendlier and safer. A group of us build Habitat for Humanity houses. We build dreams for people who have forgotten how to dream. Single mothers often fall through the cracks. We catch some of them. At Meals on Wheels we serve 169,000 meals to those who no longer can dream of seeing the world or even the inside of their local grocery store. Life is about participating in a group effort to make the world something the disadvantaged want to see with their own eyes.

Dispelling the Darkness



I have 12,500 captioned and indexed images posted on Facebook. Log on to Facebook and simply do a search for “Craig Childress Johnson” and a unique hit will occur. My work is all public and easily accessed. FB does compress files a lot so the grandeur is sometimes lost in the process. I have about 400 full-res files on


Goblet of Stars 9

Craig’s Choice - A Cause for Celebration

Balloons Over Anderson III

Canterbury Cathedral - Cloisters

Embracing a New Day


Road’s End Retreat - Celtic Sunrise 4


Victoria Victoria is an artist and photographer living in the United States. You can contact Victoria via her profile page on PaintMyPhoto. Visit Victoria’s PMP Photo Gallery to see more of her wonderful paintings and photos.

A Step-By-Step Demonstration by Victoria

Collage Torn Paper Painting - The Making of Sweet Potato I received an email from Ruth Archer asking me if I would write an article for the newsletter. I was overwhelmed with a feeling of gratitude and joy. I was asked to do something important. To pass along information to others that may hopefully inspire them to branch out and try something new.   This is different from writing in your want to make sure you do this right the first time. So if you are reading this ...thank you in advance for your time.  I will try to stay away from the dot dot dot ..., it is a bad habit of mine.   I was asked to write about my collage work or my what I call torn paper paintings. I have been experimenting with different ways of doing this. Some  are made up of all torn paper. Others, torn paper and acrylic paint. Some layered, some not, but today I am choosing to talk about the one I call "Sweet Potato". It all starts with a photo of your subject. I chose the photo by Lynne Hurd Bryant of a beautiful horse.  Thank you Lynne! I like to take the photo into my editing program, Corel Paintshop Pro XI, and adjust it to fit the canvas I will be working on. I am partial to square canvases. So for this one I am using a 12x12 inch.  In my program I set up the composition to work best on the size of my canvas by using a square within the program which I can move around the photo to get an idea how it will look once sketched on the canvas.


ART IN THE MAKING A Step-By-Step Demonstration by Victoria Collage Torn Paper Painting - The Making of Sweet Potato - Cont... Once the horse is sketched we are ready for the collage paper. You can use paper from many sources, but stay away from newspaper inserts. The paper is to thin and once glued down you will be able to see through to the backside. It also wrinkles much easier. I prefer nice magazine sheets or scrapbook pages. But you can use paper from grocery packages, music sheets, old books, stamps, words printed on your PC etc. Once you start looking around and collecting you will be amazed at how fast you will build a supply of paper. Always keep in mind the palette colors you prefer. This can get very out of hand so I started building my supply in baggies by color. Don’t forget black and white and lots of words and symbols.   Once I have collected several sheets of the paper in the colors I plan to use I am ready to start. I like to paint the outside edge black for a nice clean looking edge and let that dry while I am tearing my paper.  See the next photo.  I tear all my paper pieces as I work. Cut the edges to fit. It is also important which way you tear the paper. Up or down. One way will leave a clean edge and the other will leave the white background paper showing. I like some of both. I usually start at one corner and move around the piece to let each one dry just a bit before layering the next piece. Working from the background forward usually works well for me. If you are using wording you may want to keep it going in different directions to add interest. Over lap all your pieces. To glue I use Liquitex Gloss Gel Medium. I use a stiff cheap 1 inch flat style brush, brushing a good coat where the piece will lay and then another coat on top of the piece to seal it to the canvas or surface. If you feel you have used to much gel under the paper then use a credit card to squeeze out any excess gel. It is advised not to use any water to water down the gel as it will make the paper wrinkle and take longer to set up.


ART IN THE MAKING A Step-By-Step Demonstration by Victoria Collage Torn Paper Painting - The Making of Sweet Potato - Cont... I work around the subject matter close to the drawn lines, even going over a bit. You will layer the paper pieces on top and re-establish the lines. I think looseness is very cool looking and a bit abstract so I do not worry about being exact.  At any time you can add more pieces to change or correct an area. Now comes the fun part for me...oops, those dots again!  Now we work on the face of the horse starting with the darker areas and key areas like the nose and eyes to establish the location. You may have to re layer some of these areas a bit. When you are looking for pieces think in terms of color and value, and little things that would add interest such as the butterfly you see here. If it doesn’t work for you, easily layer another piece.   Now start working on the middle values and shaping the horse. I like to add most all my highlight last. You will find by now you are getting used to tearing and shaping the paper and it all happens pretty fast. Your painting is now shaping up and looking great!  The excitement is mounting, we are so close. Now as you take a look at this you can see all we have left is the mane. Here you will have a glorious time tearing the beautiful mane so that it can blow in the wind, layering the colors, darks and lights next to each other for the best contrast possible.   In this last photo of “Sweet Potato” you have probably already noticed the word sweet on the face of the horse. The word came from a sweet potato recipe in one of my magazines. I do hope you have enjoyed this little journey into the world of collage and I will be looking forward to seeing your beautiful torn paper paintings. I will gladly answer any other questions you might have so please feel free to contact me anytime. Below I will add a few tips that might come in handy along the way.


ART IN THE MAKING A Step-By-Step Demonstration by Victoria Collage Torn Paper Painting - The Making of Sweet Potato - Cont...

Victoria’s Top Tips for Collage Painting • A folded wet paper towel to cover your brush when not using. • A pair of tweezers for placing small pieces of paper. • If you are using canvas, place a upside down paper plate underneath it for support. • Complementary colors work best, they enhance each other. • Finish & protect your painting with a thinned coat of acrylic clear self levelling gel. • ( Tri-Art and Golden both offer self levelling gels) • A wet rag for your impossible not to have, messy hands.  

“Life is a Canvas and only you hold the brush” Thank you PMP!

Three More Beautiful Collage Paintings by Victoria

Stop & Smell the Flowers, Sophia

Corvair68 “Lust at First Start”

Cardboard Dreams

See more of Victoria’s wonderful paintings at



Gina Rahmam Gina is an artist living in Somerset.

An Article by Gina Rahman

You can contact Gina via her profile page on PaintMyPhoto. Visit Gina’s PMP Photo Gallery to see more of her wonderful paintings.


ACEOs - Small is Beautiful! Many people are unaware of ACEOs, what they are, or what the term means:

display their collection in a photo album sleeve. ACEOs should not be confused with ATC, whilst they are the same dimensions - ATC stands for Artist Trading Cards and these are Swapped or given away, they cannot be sold. These could almost be put in the same category as a business card.

ACEO stands for Art, Cards, Editions and Originals. They are small works of Art that can be an original one off piece, or an edition which allows you to create a specific amount of runs of 10, 20, 50, 100, numbering them accordingly. Or an open edition where there is no limit to the amount you produce. Not any SMALL produced art piece can be categorised as an ACEO - they have to be of a certain width and length. The measurements that make an ACEO are 2.5 inches by 3.5 Inches.

I first came across ACEOs via Folksy, a site that allows UK crafters and Artisans to sell their work. A chance read on the forums from an Artist who painted ACEOs and sold them on the site. The concept intrigued me and I struggled to see how a meaningful piece could be created on such a small and what I felt to be such restrictive


space. However I soon discovered otherwise and in fact they became the catalyst of change for me and my work.

Any painted medium is allowed along with Mixed media, sewing and embroidery as long as they are not to bulky, as many ACEO collectors like to


ART IN THE MAKING An Article About ACEOs by Gina Rahman ACEOs - Small is Beautiful! - Cont... In art, being able to practice your stills and techniques on a daily basis is so important but hard to achieve when a piece of work can take many hours and days to complete. Okay, so that large piece you are currently in the middle of may be worked on everyday, but an ACEO allows you to condense that lesson or skill you are trying to perfect within an hour from start to finish. This condensed period allows you to experiment and step outside your normal comfort zones to let go and not be concerned about it working and being a piece de resistance. Why? Because it may just be an off-cut of watercolour paper, so no big loss if it goes in the bin, and you have not wasted hour upon hour on this piece. I feel that, without the burden that “this piece has to be perfect”, my work does not carry the burden either.


So how do you create work on an area that is 2.5 by 3.5 Inches? Well just use smaller brushes, your Rigger brush is your best friend here, and you only need 2 sizes up from this in a round and chiselled edge brush. I have been known to use a palette knife too. You can still be loose in your style and use the wet in wet technique with surprising results. I often look at my larger works and think “this section works really well”, whilst disliking the overall painting. I have been known to cruelly hack away at the larger piece and create an ACEO or two from the areas that I feel work or have become the focal point of the piece in question. Dylan

ACEOs can sometimes work in the same way as a camera when it frames what the eye sees and creates a stunning scene, cutting away all the needless information around it. If you fear that large blank space and what you are going to fill this vast expanse with, then ACEOs could be the answer also. Artists block could become the thing of the past. When taking my skills learnt on an ACEO across to a larger piece, I have found that I am more confident with adding detail without being to fussy. I keep that same frame of mind of being free and without Burden,whilst painting and overall, I have more confidence in my ability to paint.


ART IN THE MAKING An Article About ACEOs by Gina Rahman ACEOs - Small is Beautiful! - Cont... ACEOs have allowed people to find out more about me as an Artist, to see my work first hand and its quality. Collectors of ACEOs (and there are many of them out there) may move on to purchase a larger piece. Only recently I sold an ACEO of an Accordion player on ebay, the buyer turned out to be a collector of Accordion paraphernalia, as well as being an Accordion player himself. He as asked me to let him know if I create a larger piece. He brought this ACEO for £3.00, at this price it could be an impulse purchase. I wonder if he would have taken the plunge and brought a larger piece at £30.00 online without knowing me and my work. From this ACEO we built a small relationship and had a few discussions. To get a repeat Butter Mouse purchase, then sometimes you need to have a rapport with the buyer. Art is quite tangible and so can be difficult to purchase online, quality and workmanship can be hard to see from a photo. Why not join our ACEO group on PMP and try creating some yourself? Being able to share your work and chat with fellow artists is as important in our development as painting itself is.

If you enjoyed this article why not join the ACEO Painting Group? It’s a great way to meet other like-minded artists and share advice and ideas. ACEOs are a fun and inexpensive way to paint - why not give them a try...



Christine Williams Christine is an artist living in Scunthorpe.

An Article by Christine Williams

You can contact Christine via her profile page on PaintMyPhoto. Visit Christine’s PMP Photo Gallery to see more of her wonderful paintings and photographs.

Grey Wolf Portrait

The Night Belongs to Cats - A Creative Collaboration As a teacher, my husband Graeme was looking for a way to relax and unwind after work, when he stumbled upon poetry. He was interested in the different forms and metres and in the intellectual challenges that writing in those different forms involved.  He set up a Blog to publish his poetry, and even entered one or two competitions.  

started wondering aloud whether I might like to come up with an illustration for his poem, as well. I put it on my ‘to do’ list, where it sat for a few months until I had time to give it my attention.

When it came to the painting, PMP was invaluable, as always, for lots of cat photographs. However, I didn’t find many shots of aloof, powerful The poem ‘The Night belongs to looking cats and very few nocturnal Cats’ came about when he was out ones.  I was going to have to do some for a walk late one night.  The adaptation.  Once that was decided, streets were deserted apart from the Franklin’s lovely photo of a big bengal Chat Kha cats and him.  He felt that he was cat up a tree in Provence stood out for Franklin’s Photo intruding on their world - that he it’s composition and for the cat’s didn’t quite belong there. physique and attitude.  However, it wasn’t a nocturnal shot, so I was going to have to At the time I had been asked by a local author to make some changes.  I had a little play around come up with an illustration to go with a poem with the image in a photo editing programme on she’d published on her website, with a view to my PC, changing levels, colour balance and my illustrating some of her books in the future.  I generally tweaking the image to give me a very was busily beavering away at this, when Graeme rough sense of moonlight.


ART IN THE MAKING An Article by Christine Williams The Night Belongs to Cats - A Creative Collaboration Cont... The result wasn’t brilliant, but it gave me a starting point in terms of colours and tones. My speciality as an artist is ACEO’s - little 2.5 x 3.5” paintings, which provide collectors with an affordable way of owning original artwork. There’s quite a market for them on eBay, where I often sell them.  I paint in watercolours on heavyweight textured watercolour paper, which is substantial enough to take very watery washes without buckling.  After sketching out the rough structure of the picture I started painting with a series of basic washes.  Then it was a case of working back into the painting with finer brushes, alternating between darker detail work, lighter detail work (using white gouache as it produces a much cleaner highlight than white watercolour) and coloured washes.  The washes soften down and add subtle colour to the dark and light details, but as long as you’re not too heavy-handed, don’t wash that detail work away.  I love using white gouache in this fine detail work as it gives great highlights, and also with the use of washes, good opaque greys and creams.  It also lifts the subject of the painting away from the washy background. The finished painting was published by Graeme along with the poem on his Blog, and we are looking at the possibility of having them printed up as cards for sale.  Graeme hopes that in the future he might be able to earn some money from his poetry, but not as much as he hopes I’ll become a famous artist and he can live off my earnings!

The Night Belongs To Cats Most revellers have long since fled, And I, alone, am out of bed, Walking the streets so still and dead, The night belongs to cats. See lordly Toms on high survey, Nocturnal realms where they hold sway, While others go in search of prey, The night belongs to cats. As mournful yowls fragment the night, And deep in shadow, eyes shine bright, I wander where I have no right, This night belongs to cats.

Poem by Graeme Williams

Painting by Christine Williams [24]

ART IN THE MAKING An Article by Christine Williams The Night Belongs to Cats - A Creative Collaboration Cont...

Dog Tired

Molly Watercolour

Beautiful Horse

We thought you might like to see one or two more of Christine’s paintings - what a talented artist!

To read more of Graham’s wonderful poems, visit his blog at:

Christine’s fabulous paintings are can be found for sale on the following websites: She can also be found on Facebook


Ro’s Winter Wonderland A Peek in Ro’s Treasure Chest...

Robyn Lovelock (Ro) Ro is an artist and photographer living in Melbourne, Australia. You can contact Robyn via her profile page on PaintMyPhoto. Visit Robyn’s PMP Photo Gallery to see more of her wonderful paintings and photographs.

Abstract - ESP’s Poppy Fields

Ro’s been busy searching our gallery and finding fabulous winter scenes to inspire us through the winter months - we think you’ll agree, what a splendid selection!

LINK LINK Snow Scene 2

Snow Scene

Link Link Link Christmas Snow

Winter Walk [26]

A Winter Robin

LINK LINK Berries in Snow


Winter Road


Link Homecoming

School Run

Frosty Kitty

Link Sedro Woolley

Link Bala Lake 5



Cardinal in Winter

Winter Mist



Light on the Horizon

Winter Scene 2



Big Snow UK 08


Die Angel Im Winter


Suzanne Wallick Suzanne is an artist and photographer living in Kansas, USA.

An Article by Suzanne Wallick

You can contact Suzanne via her profile page on PaintMyPhoto. Visit Suzanne’s PMP Photo Gallery to see more of her wonderful paintings and photographs.


Challenging The Status Quo For over two years now, Paint My Photo has been artistic development. Stretching beyond what offering monthly painting challenges to artists of and how an artist usually paints, and trying new skill levels and interests. Starting in April of 2010, techniques and media, always allows him or her using one photo to paint from, five to learn new skills. Another reason for enterprising artists took up the the challenges is to pull together challenge and happily posted their artists of all styles, painting media, entries. In the recent months of 2012 and skills, to learn from each other as we have had entries numbering over they each share how their particular 30. Every month we see new artists work of art was painted. This and their work, and it is always such involvement opens up great avenues a great surprise to see the different for developing life-long friendships ideas come out in the ways they with other artists around the globe! painted their entry. Originally started and maintained by Roy Simmons, the Almost every month, we try to provide Van Gogh in Honfleur by Christine Williams job of Challenge Admin was handed a little incentive to "sweeten the pot," June 2012 Winner over to me in February of this year, so to speak, and award a prize to the much to my delight! Since then, I have artist who's entry has been judged by a asked Robyn Lovelock to join me, and her never PMP admin team, to be the "winner" of the ending supply of help, creative ideas and input challenge. It may be a painting techniques book, has been invaluable to me. a special brush or drawing tool, or even a prized place of honour for a period of six months, as One of the main reasons we post the painting seen on our main page headliner! challenges is to promote personal growth in


monthly challenges An Article by Suzanne Wallick Challenging The Status Quo Cont... It's always great to have some kind of special enticement to enter the challenge.... But the most important reason for our challenges?

JUST THE PURE FUN OF CREATING ART!!! Challenges are posted the first of every month, and they run through the last day of that month....and each one has a new theme, or special technique to be used in Getting Ready for the Masquerade by Gem painting, and along with it, instructions peculiar to that August 2012 Winner challenge. But we always use photo references taken from the wonderful galleries we have within PMP. We have had wildlife and masquerade mask challenges, one-color Monochrome, and Seasons Greetings challenges in December. One of the favourites so far is a Swapsie Challenge, usually in March, where an artist's painting is entered into a random drawing and Swapped for another painting done by another PMP artist....and then mailed to wherever in the world that artist is!! who knows where your art may be eventually hanging in this old world of ours?

Paeony Posey by Rosalind Amorin - July 2011 Winner

Another popular challenge was to choose a photo from our PMP galleries, and paint it in the style of Pablo Picasso, Vincent Van Gogh, or William Bouguereau! We had some really great paintings come from that one!!! In the future, we hope to bring more fun and exciting challenges to our PMP artists...collage/mixed media, portrait or self-portrait, color swaps, night and city scenes, and maybe even some waterfall or macro paintings!! One just never knows....but if you have any requests, or good ideas, don't be shy about them, pass them along to Robyn or myself...we are always ready to hear new ideas!!

  PMP's monthly painting challenges are open to all members of the site and we try to include all the different kinds of media, from graphite pencil to oil painting! We want to invite and encourage everyone to paint and enter their own unique piece of art, regardless of skill level, and remember, our challenges are not contests, or competitions....but a friendly forum composed of many artists from around the world, eager to explore new concepts and techniques in fine~~and FUN~~Art!!


Kitty Cat by Vivienne Adams Masthead Challenge Winner

monthly challenges An Article by Suzanne Wallick Challenging The Status Quo Cont... Any comments, suggestions or ideas to help improve our challenges will be openmindedly received, and considered!! We hope you are ready to think outside of the box and join us in our very next challenge!!!! See you there!!!

If you would like to know more about the challenges, or have some ideas or suggestions, please contact Suzanne by sending her a message from her profile page.

To View the Monthly Challenges, click on the ‘monthly challenge’ option in the top menu. To view the entries for the challenges, make a selection from the grey dropdown list that will appear when you hover your mouse over this option.

PaintMyPhoto would like to extend an extra special thank you to

Suzanne and Robyn for all the hard work they put into the Monthly

Challenges. Everything they do is on a voluntary basis - what stars they are!



Ruth Archer Ruth is an artist and photographer living in Cambridgeshire. You can contact Ruth via her profile page on PaintMyPhoto. Visit Ruth’s PMP Photo Gallery to see more of her paintings and photos.

Making the best of albums Time and Tide

Creating and Using Albums on PaintMyPhoto What exactly are albums on PMP and how do they benefit members? An album is basically a collection of selected photos and any member can create them.  They can contain just your own images, other members’ images, or a mixture of the two.  They are very useful for organising specific groups of images, particularly for the following: • You can organise photos (your own and/or others) into specific groups like ‘Flowers’, ‘Original Paintings’, Other Members’ Paintings That I Like’, ‘Photos I Want to Paint’ they can be anything you want. • They make it easier for artists who like your photos to find the subjects they are interested in. • Their advantage over saving to ‘favourites’ is that you can create many albums, but you can only have a single favourites collection, which is limited to 100 images - if you exceed this in ‘favourites’, then the older ones are automatically removed without warning. Albums are also limited to 100 images, but once full you cannot add anymore, so you lose no images you can either clear out any images you no longer want, or create another album.   [31]

The thing about ning... An Article by Ruth Archer Creating and Using Albums on PaintMyPhoto Cont... Creating an album Creating an album is not as difficult as it seems.  There are several ways to access your albums area, but the most obvious one is displayed when you are in the photo gallery and a toolbar appears just under the top banner:  

To add an album, click on  ‘+ Add Albums’   The screen displayed will look similar to this (the notes in the blue boxes are purely for this article) 

Choose your own photos, or everyone’s photos here (you can have a combination of both)

Add your title & description in these boxes

Drag the images you want

from the left box to the right box

To remove photos, drag them back to the left box [32]

The thing about ning... An Article by Ruth Archer Creating and Using Albums on PaintMyPhoto Cont... It is then a case of scrolling through the images and dragging them from the left-hand box to the righthand box. At the bottom of the left-hand box is a link named ‘Older Photos’ – select this to scroll back to earlier images.   The downside is that older images may be hard to find; it can take a long while to scrolling backwards.  To make this a little easier, there is box under the radio buttons called ‘Tagged:’, in which you can add keywords to refine the images being displayed.  However, this is dependent on the images having the words you are using tagged against them. However, once you have set your albums up, it will be easy for you to select photos as you see them added to the gallery. You can also view the albums as a slideshow.   I would recommend using them – they are helpful when wanting to find a particular image, whether it be a photo that you’ve put on your ‘to-do’ list, or one of your own images.  They can also help other members as they can also view your albums – if you have organised your photos into topics, e.g. ‘Boats’, ‘Horses’, then they will be able to look at a specific subject that interests them.  

A Couple of Things to Know about Albums: As mentioned previously, the maximum number of photos that can be added to an album is 100.  If you fill one up it will tell you it is full.  You can either remove some older photos and replace them with newer ones, or alternatively create a new album. On the home page, as you are selecting and dragging images, they will show like this - I’ve just selected 3 of Ahmed’s beautiful shots for the five-star albums as an example, and it looks like I’ve pinched them and personally posted them! This is nothing to be alarmed about - if you go to the image it will still be owned by the original member -nothing will have changed. Unfortunately it’s a ‘Ning-thing’ - we are unable to alter the words that it displays on the page when they are being selected, but be assured no harm is done.

My best advice to you all is to just ‘get in there’ and have a go - explore the possibilities that albums offer. You can’t break anything and, with a bit of practice, I’m sure you’ll see the benefits! [33]


Roy Simmons Roy is an artist living in Basildon, Essex and the founder/owner of PaintMyPhoto. You can contact Roy via his profile page on PaintMyPhoto. Visit Roy’s PMP Photo Gallery to see more of his wonderful paintings and photos.

A Step-By-Step Demonstration by Roy Simmons Painting with Acrylics I have been asked to write a little about the ways I have been working in acrylics lately. I am happy to do this, and show a few examples and some ‘step by step’ sequences. First though a few thoughts about landscape painting, and painting generally. Many of you will already know that I paint watercolour in a loose ‘fearless’ way. You can see some of my techniques on my youtube channel, and to get more detail get hold of my ebook ‘fearless watercolour’, which also includes an unlisted link to view a 1 hour ‘RoughBrush watercolour’ video I have previously made. So will I be splashing acrylics around in the same way? Well, not really! I have found that I prefer a more ‘painterly’ approach to acrylics. Not to say that I am suddenly a highly detailed painter, far from it. More ‘controlled’ perhaps. I think this is an example of how you personally respond to a medium, rather than a ‘rule’ or ‘guideline’. On the subject of rules, let me expand a little on why I now like to use the phrase ‘fearless painting’. Let us look at some of the ‘rules’ that are bandied about from time to time, you may have heard some, or all of these yourself.


art in the making An Article by Roy Simmons Acrylic Painting • “You must study drawing before you can create Art” • “You must not use white paint in watercolour” • “Always paint lean to fat” • “Never use black” (Guilty of that one as charged- more later) • “Make a detailed sketch before painting” • “Tracing is cheating” • “…x y z is cheating (lots of variations on this one) • “Never work from photographs” (guess my views on that) I could write more and debunk some/all of the above but that is not my point. My point is this… A Rule is only good if it helps YOU create the Art you want to. In other words, do not adopt any rule in painting based on anybody’s say so, until you have broken the rule, and decided whether it helps you. Before anyone points it out, there are some ‘rules’ in the physical process of painting that should be adhered to for purely practical purposes. For example, you cannot paint acrylic over oil paint. Or watercolour over pastel (Is that true? – discuss). When I first started to be interested in Art and painting as a young man I read all the books I could find in the local library, particularly about the impressionists and post impressionists. I never really realized that most, if not all of these books were written by people who never picked up a brush in their lives! So I would read a phrase like ‘The Impressionists removed all dark colour from their palette, black was banished, using only pure pigments they produced paintings suffused with light’ Sounds very poetic and appealing doesn’t it? Sadly it is very misleading. So I always take pause when describing my methods, and a fair amount of what I like to describe actually is about what takes place in your mind as much as on paper/canvas. For example in fearless watercolour I describe how you should approach a painting, to always keep in mind that you are making a pleasing arrangement of colour and tone, not just trying to ‘copy’ a view. This has turned into quite a long waffle, I hope you are still reading! I will soon get to the paintings I promise! My style is constantly evolving, but the main feature is that I paint quickly and loosely in both watercolour and acrylic.


art in the making An Article by Roy Simmons Acrylic Painting These Acrylic paintings are done on 140lb watercolour paper. Mainly because I buy it in bulk, and also, I like to advise customers to frame them like a watercolour, with a mount. I also like the slight ‘tooth’ of the paper and lately am using the fact that the acrylic behaves like watercolour, especially in the early stages of a painting. Ok this Acrylic painting is of a view near Sudbury in Suffolk, I started by painting a mix of Alizarin crimson and white over the whole surface, to give a very warm underpainting. As a side note, to force yourself to vary how you start a painting, change the underpainting colour from time to time, you will find this is a simple way to stop yourself becoming ‘stale’ and too ‘samey’. Although of course you do naturally develop your own ‘style’ of painting. The sky was painted quickly using ultramarine blue, white and also in the lower part of the sky some light cadmium orange. I use a medium sized system 3 brush from Rowney, but any similar brush will do. If you use a fairly ‘dry’ mix you will find that the tooth of the paper allows some dry brush effect, in this case flecks of the background alizarin crimson shows through. This can give a pleasing effect which you learn to exploit. Of course if it is not happening for you, or you don’t like the effect, keep applying pigment to fill the tooth of the paper. The thing with Acrylics, it is all over paintable, and fixable.

Stage 1

Stage 2

For the trees I used a small bristle brush and a small bristle fan brush. A note about the fan brushes, they are great for a foliage effect but you can easily get carried away! Then you have an effect that is too repetitive, be sure to move and rotate the brush somewhat to get a variety of marks. Colours used , sap green, ultramarine and… black. Now back to black! I always used to advise not using black, and indeed if you are completely new to painting I would advise against it until you fully learn the power of mixing darks from complementary colours. In that I mean for example mixing ultramarine and burnt umber for example. The reason I say this is that a novice will simply add black to get a tone without fully understanding the power of colour temperature, warm and cool. So by using a mix, you can add more umber for Stage 3 warmth or more blue to cool. If I am using black I use it sparingly once the colour temperature has been established, and as a quick way to get to the tone I want. Branches were added with a dark mix and thin paint with a rigger brush. [36]

art in the making An Article by Roy Simmons Acrylic Painting In this 3rd stage image you can see I am thinking of a centre of interest and the lighting design for the painting. The clump of trees to the right were not there, I added them for balance. Also the furrows of a ploughed field in the foreground have been moved to also help with the composition. The background trees are roughed in using an alizarin crimson yellow and blue mix (could have used an umber sometimes just quicker to mix from what is on the palette). In this stage I am using all my efforts to emphasise the centre of interest, by painting in a tree in front of the darker background tree we can create a pleasing counterchange. Also now I add darks to the foreground, and paint in the strip of light in the middle distance. Some of my brushstrokes of warm and cool colours are simply to delight the eye, those flashes of cool light blue on the shaded areas for example.

Stage 4

Here is the completed painting, you can see I added some more flecks of colour, this is perhaps the part that is hardest to easily explain, you need to study Artists you admire to see how they finish off. Basically it is often described as ‘bringing it all together’ which is perhaps not always helpful but it is these little ‘touch ups’ that often give a painting an extra ‘zing’. Well I hope you have found this helpful, you can always catch up with me on PMP and I will try to answer any questions, also Rick Brind runs the Acrylic painting group on the site where other members are able to give excellent advice. Remember, my ways of working are not the only ways! Experiment and explore, for that is the way to grow your Art and keep it fresh.

Completed Painting

If you enjoyed this article why not join Rick’s Acrylic Painting Group? It’s a great way to meet other like-minded artists and share advice and ideas. Go on, you know you want to...



Ruth Archer Ruth is an artist and photographer living in Cambridgeshire. You can contact Ruth via her profile page on PaintMyPhoto. Visit Ruth’s PMP Photo Gallery to see more of her paintings and photos.

A Review By Ruth Archer Snow Angel

Selling Prints Online - Fine Art America (FAA) It’s a tough and competitive world out there! The advent of modern technology has opened up many new channels for artists and photographers, enabling many, many more people to get their art ‘out there’. The downside of this, of course, is that with so many people flooding the Internet, it is difficult to ‘be seen’. Having your own website is the obvious answer. However, developing your own can be time-consuming and difficult. Being a web developer by profession gives me some advantages in this area, but I have to say the last thing I feel like doing after working all day is coming home to more of the same! I decided that I would look at what ‘ready-made’ options are available to join - and there are many very reasonably priced ones available. The site I am going to talk about in this article is Fine Art America, which specialises in selling prints of photographs and artwork in various forms and sizes. Free account holders can upload an unlimited number of images but may only offer 25 of those images for sale as prints.

Link to my website

Initially, this is what I did, but then having spent a little time looking around the site I felt it was worth paying the $30.00 (around £18.00 at the time of writing) to have a personal print-selling website and utilise FAA’s premium features into the bargain.


marketing art & photography An Article by Ruth Archer Selling Prints Online - Fine Art America Cont... The example shown in this image is what appears immediately after your image is uploaded - it is instantly available. It is a simple and very impressive interface to use and, even though I am familiar with Internet technology, I feel certain that those with little experience would still find this easy to use. The pricing structure is also very straightforward; you decide on how much you wish to receive for each size of print you wish to sell e.g. you decide on $10.00 per 8 X 10 print and that is what you will receive. Fine Art America add their own costs on top of your desired amount. You will need a PayPal account into which FAA will deposit any sales funds you have made. There are a few key points to take into consideration: • You do need to have high quality images to upload poor quality images will only lead to disappointed customers and returns. • Don’t expect to make a fortune overnight - due to its popularity, it is a highly competitive site and Fine Art America is also competing with many other companies selling prints. For me, I look at any sale being a bonus. • Fine Art America designed specifically for selling prints - you can add the price of the original to the site, but you will have to deal direct with anyone interested in buying it at this time.


However, if you want to find a reasonably-priced way to promote your art, with the bonus of possible print sales, then FAA is well worth considering. You can create a free account, or pay $30.00 to make use of the premium features and have your own print-selling website. The website you are provided with gives you your own pages in which you can personalise your information and displays only your images. I’ve been impressed by what I got for my $30.00 - I couldn’t have created something as sophisticated as this for the money! There is currently a free trial running that you might like to try. Click on the logo to go to find out more. [39]

PaintMyPhoto Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 4  

Winter Edition