A New Year’s Resolution: Study Art

Anna at pondWhen’s the last time you have studied a painting? I mean, really studied. You looked at the lighting patterns, or in some cases, lack of patterns, catch lights, posing, colors and the brushstrokes.

Pick up a biography of an artist. Read about his or her movement and what inspired them. The lessons and techniques we can learn from artists who are not photographers are amazing.


When I first started learning about lighting patterns, not only did I study other photographers; but also artists outside the realm of photography I started with Rembrandt (imagine that).   And from there, my art education grew.  For those of you who know me, I have a bit of a dark side. So of course I was drawn to Ivan Albright. Check out “The Portrait of Dorian Gray” or “The Door”.

DSC_1503 1Other artists I have studied include Pablo Picasso, Rene Magritte, and James Ensor. With my love of working with dancers, one must never forget Edgar Degas.


One of my favorite places to visit is the Art Institute of Chicago. I try to visit as much as I can. There is nothing better than physically standing in an art museum gazing upon a masterpiece. Some pieces of work truly send chills through you.

However, if you can’t make it to the Chicago Art Institute or the Louvre, there are many other places to study artists. Check out the galleries of your local artists.   Of course you can hit the internet and with a simple Google search, you are on your way.

Yes, I’ll admit I’m a Pinterest junkie.   I have boards with recipes that I’ll never make and home improvement projects that will never be started. However, there is one board that I visit often. My Art board is filled with artists and art pieces that inspire me. you will find that I have many pinned images of Check out my board here: http://pinterest.com/lfrancescon/art/


One of the first artists I fell in love with was William Adolphe Bouguereau, a French Artist and realist. What drew me to his work were his images of the young peasant girls that he painted.

Having two young girls myself, I was drawn to these paintings time and time again. When my youngest brought home her dance costume, the pieces fell into place and I had my inspiration.

After a quick study of my favorite paintings, my youngest and I headed to our local park. With Bouguereau in mind, I began to photograph Anna. However, as I worked with her, Bouguereau’s works began to fade in my mind and my own ideas began to take shape; resulting in the portrait of Anna at the pond. This has become one of my favorite images of Anna and now hangs as a canvas in my home.

What artists inspire you? Who are you studying? Share in the comments and we will research and learn together.


About lisafrancescon

Lisa is a portrait artist who uses photography as part of a process to capture the personality of animals and the special relationship they have with their owners. Based out of Moline Illnois, she travels throughout the Midwest providing timeless images of family pets. Her fine art portraits can be viewed at various pet businesses throughout the Iowa/Illinois Quad Cities. Lisa holds a Master’s Degree in Education from Western Illinois University and taught in the public schools for many years. She continues to teach photography classes in her studio covering a wide range of topics. Her class sizes are small so she can offer her students a hands-on experience and individual attention. Lisa is a Certified Professional Photographer and has been awarded the Master of Photography and Photographic Craftsman degrees through the Professional Photographers of America. She is a member of the American Society of Photographers, one of the most prestigious photographic associations in the world and an association that must be invited into through photographic achievement. Among her many awards and accolades, Lisa has been recognized as one of the top 10 photographers in Illinois in both 2015 and 2016 from the Associated Professional Photographers of Illinois.
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