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I found a great image I'd love to paint: How do I do it?!? Answered

 Hi! I found a great image of Peter Pan flying around a ship in Neverland that I want to paint myself with acrylics. What is the best way to do it and what tips are most useful for the texture of the water and the trees?

  And how do I draw Peter?




As far as color matching, you can use a clear glass pallet or even a Pyrex cooking sheet. Place a copy of your reference picture underneath it, then match the colors you see through the glass. Another note... Don't get hung up if you introduce minor variations; environment, lighting, even activity surrounding you will influence how you translate what you see. It just think of it as added value:->

One more note: The pictures you're showing us are all copyrighted images. Copying them for your own use is probably legal as "fair use". Publishing or selling the copies isn't. Disney, in particular, has VERY little sense of humor in this regard.

Yes, I know... it's for a small mural in a friend's house. Thanks for the warning, though

Back in the days of walking to school uphill both ways, we used to call it paint-by-numbers. Cheating only if you were presenting it as an example of your "intrinsic" artistic abilities... ;-)

(In fact, I've seen several artists use projection tracing to assist in enlarging their original  human sized sketches into mural sized installations, so it's not as though the pros don't use it too!)

As an aside, Artists like David Hockney make no bones about the use of the technique, and he's gathered fairly strong evidence that a fair few of the great masters did it too.

Ok, in my personal opinion an artist only need his mind and media to produce true art. Anything added hinders his/her/its true ability as an artist. That’s why we(humanity) can’t come up with a new art period since the 1960s. LOL "contemporary," "postmodern," and "modern art.”


In the world of professional theatre, we use projectors to scale up images all the time for scenery and backdrop painting. Not cheating, just practical.

If you're asking how to paint, your best method may be to print the image, then put paint on top of it. You'd mix the colours to match, just put acrylic on top of what we see there in the original image.


For someone with no experience (like myself): Make the image into a slide. Project it onto your canvas. Use a pencil to trace the shapes onto the canvas, and to make notes about shading. Then treat it like a paint-by-numbers exercise.

Or: Overlay a grid on the original. Draw a grid on the canvas having the same number of boxes in height and width. Copy shapes grid-space by grid-space; this improves your ability to copy the shapes and proportions by limiting how far wrong you can go. Color as above.

The rest is beyond my ken. I know what I'd do, but I'm incompetent so that wouldn't help you.