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How to transform a boring photo into an interesting painting

Don’t dismiss photos you’ve rejected for painting reference – follow Marie Antoniou’s advice and take another look – embrace the imperfections and allow the artist within you to experiment and create

ACRYLICS

As an experiment I grabbed the first three objects I came across in my studio and took a photo of them. I didn’t want them to be particularly interesting, as I wanted to demonstrate how through my own creativity I could try and make a relatively dull picture into a more exciting painting

Marie Antoniou teaches drawing and painting, privately and in adult education classes. She exhibits widely, and has been selected for the Society of Wildlife Artists’ annual exhibition, the David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year, the BBC Wildlife Artist of the Year competition and won many awards. Maria contributed to the acrylics section of Artist’s Painting Techniques, published by Dorling Kindersley, price £20, ISBN 9780241229453. For more information about Marie’s workshops, and to see more of her work, visit

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About The Artist

Welcome to our June issue with plenty to inspire artists in all media. Watercolourists will love Amanda Hyatt's Five Steps to Watercolour technique with a 10-minute exercise to try, Ann Blockley's invitation to let go of reality and get creative with the medium, Jean Haines' advice on how to paint white flowers, while Julie Collins shows how adding ink can create definition and impact. For inspiration for oil painters don't miss cover artist Jason Sacran's step-by-step self-portrait, Patrick Cullen's article on painting in India and Paul Brown's advice on using just six colours to paint a landscape. For acrylic painters we have Michael Kidd talking about his stylised acrylic compositions, Jo Quigley's demonstration on how to paint successful reflections in acrylics and Marie Antoniou on how to transform a dull photo into an interesting painting, while Barry Herniman demonstrates the versatility of the under-used medium of gouache. With all this and much more, why not try a new medium or technique in the coming weeks under the guidance of our fantastic contributing artists!