I generally tend to paint too much details (with reference the style I like). I just found a trick wich might help me (I hope) when working from a reference photo. With a picture sorware I apply a special filter ("edge preserving smooth") which erases details but keeps the main edges of the photo. Here is an example with a photo I took. It's like squinting. Look like the simplified photo looks already like a painting!

I know this trick is like crutches, waiting my eyes are able to do the job by themselves.

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Excellent find Philippe! It's a tool! not a crutch :)

It does look like squinting, I love it! Makes the values more clear as well.

Hi Philippe.  Thanks for sharing what you are using.  I have tried this a couple of times with more complex scenes so that I can block in the important color and shapes first and I have found it helpful (particularly when there are lots of trees, leaves, reflections, etc.).  It keeps me from focusing on all of the details until I can block in the painting.  

Interesting Philippe! I have two photos in my computer, that i blurred like that. I havnt tried painting one yet. Anything to loosen me up! Thanks for sharing!

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