I have been experimenting recently painting subjects that I don't meet in my daily life using reference photos. This I call painting a subject whereas I call creating a painting when I use my entire imagination to make up a composition, choose colours - often not associated with the subject and paint a pleasing work.
My biggest thrill comes from the total creation of a piece but both ways of working require brush stroke skills but one requires good observation and the other a good imagination. It is nice to have this variety to call upon so when I am using the reference method I am almost guaranteed a reasonable outcome as long as I observe well whereas I can be quite zapped when I use the creating method with a lot of hit and miss results.
I hope as I journey on my love of creation will always be stronger than painting a subject but it is necessary to get pleasing results amongst the misses so that you are jumping to get into the studio each morning.
This painting from reference courtesy of Gary Jones wildlife photographer gave me energised power this week
Painting Size 16"x12"