Painting from photographs. How to start? Or finish?

Artist in studio-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia

fix my painting-classes-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia


What about painting from photographs?

Have you wondered how to start a painting? Whether to use brush charcoal or pencil? What to look for to make it interesting?


Have you ever felt a painting was not quite finished but unsure what it needed? A certain something, but not sure exactly what? Sometimes it’s the bare bones of the painting that aren’t quite right. Sometimes it is only one element or perhaps two – an easier fix.

Solutions – Painting from photographs

I have designed a short course designed around painting from photographs. It will give you the basic tools build up a painting and to see what’s needed as you go along. You will try out a new visual approach to painting and find ways of solving your painting problems.

You will relish your new approach. And with practice it will give you more freedom and fluency.

painting-photographs-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia

Painting from a Photograph will give you key understanding about the essential elements of painting composition.
I believe that painting from photographs is easy the “way in” to landscape painting. It controls your subject matter to a great degree while still allowing some freedom of choice in your approach.

If this sounds like something that will help you, here’s your chance to get on board.

Be quick! There are only a couple of spots available. And after this broadcast the spots will fill.



Starting date is October 5th. Classes will run on Thursday mornings, 9.30-12.30 for 4 weeks with the last one on October 26th.

Fees are $145 for the 4 sessions of 3 hours each. If you are a newsletter subscriberyou can enrol for the special price of $130. You can sign up here now if you wish!  Either way, take the step and register before the spaces fill.


Open for art business – info on classes

cafe painting-outdoor painting indoors-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia

Dear readers, We are open for art business again!

Open for business-seascapes-Philippa Robert-Cafe Lune

Everyone has an IT story to tell. Such stories usually include wringing of hands and rolling of eyes from audience and narrator alike. I am not going to tell mine, except that it ended well. Now you can see the padlock icon next to the site address.

With winter off the calendar (despite some lingering sky signs) it is time to pick things up again.

art business-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia


During the down-time my leaflets about CLASSES were impossible to follow-up via the website. Here’s a second chance! Click on that CLASSES button above for more information.

I apologise if you tried to do this last week. Then again if you did try, you probably would have abandoned me and not be reading this. But I won’t go down that rabbit hole. Here we are again.

exhibition preparation-seascapes-Philippa Robert-Cafe Lune-feature painting.jpgSMLR

In the meantime, my seascapes are still hanging at Cafe Lune. Just a little under a week to go. Cards and books available too. Drop in if you can!

art business-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia


From studio to beach with paint

classes on hold

From studio to beach with paint – sound messy?

Crossing the road was the easy bit!  The going was tougher on the sand with our trolleys, but I had chosen an area which firmed up as the tide ebbed. Perfect.

Here is the spot.

from studio to beach-outdoor painting-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia-Transition to outdoors 2017
our spot – can you see it mid-frame?

The wind was up. One palette and my palette paper landed on the sand early on. The splatterings were spectacular but lifted off the sand with paper.

Here is the group, looking rather more elegant than I do when painting.

from studio to beach-outdoor painting-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia-Transition to outdoors 2017

So how did it go?

Feedback from participants was great! Let me share some with you.

What did you enjoy most about the class?

A: That it was outdoors! That I ‘broke out’ and didn’t get too hung up about the detail, using broad brush strokes, and working quickly

B:  I enjoyed the fact that your “Transition to outdoors’ class was quite different to any art course that I had done before. I loved the challenge of painting outdoors.

C:  Good instruction, both about equipment and technique. Small enough group to allow individual attention.  Pleasant companionship.

What was your biggest accomplishment?

A:  felt that I made some progress, despite initial doubts about achieving something in a relatively short time.

B:  I was very pleased that in the 3 hour session I managed to complete a painting. Your first session describing blocking it in and limiting my colours used helped very much.

C:  Two small outdoor paintings. One quite free which built on the first more careful one.  New understanding of how the light changes.

The three participants had varying levels of experience, but none had worked outside before. It was exciting to share their experience as they broke the barriers down. Their enthusiasm and commitment rewarded them with a fine painting or in one case, two!

When is the next class?

Spring can be windy, but I am planning to take another group through their paces later in the year. Transition to Outdoors. Is it for you?




Art tuition: Composing your Painting – spaces available

Composing your painting-art tuition-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia

Composing your Painting (aka Basic Beginnings)

Hey! Did you know? There are still a couple of spaces available in Composing your Painting, running in February!

If you feel some confusion about the title of the course, that is understandable!
Since its launch, I have suspected that its original name implied Novices Only. But it is more inclusive than that. If you are an absolute beginner it would be a good place to start. But if you have tried painting, or even attended some classes in the past, this short-term tuition could give you a boost.

art tuition-composing your painting-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia

Course content

These sessions will give a basic understanding of composition.
We will examine the ways that Form, Tone and Colour contribute.

Composing your painting-art tuition-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia

My belief is that these three elements underpin the structure of a painting and that decisions about them determine the “success” of the final product.
Paintings CAN be composed differently, but this approach provides some criteria for creating your painting and analysing it as you go along.

art tuition-composing your painting-Philippa Robert-AdelaideSouthAustralia-beachpathway

Just a note here about Colour. That is a huge subject on its own but we will tackle it from the angle of colour temperature to simplify it for this context and for me!

Course format

My classes are in-person and in the studio. Classes are very small to allow for lots of individual attention. For “Composing Your Painting” there are a maximum of three participants.
There are three sessions of three hours each in this course, all held in my studio in Brighton, South Australia.


The total fee for this course is $100 (or $90 for subscribers).
The fee includes materials. More details here.

Class Dates

THURSDAYS February 9th, 16th and 23rd.