Painting on Photography// Photography on Painting

Camera Lucida and Camera Obscura were the only lens based drawing techniques available before 1837, which literally means in Latin “dark” and “room”, it comes down to the fact that light travels in a straight line through a pin hole which creates an upside down image on a surface opposite to the pin hole that the light travels through. This technique goes as far back to 5th century BC, with the Chinese Philosopher Mo-Ti to which he called the technique “collecting place” or “locked treasure room”.
Aristotle (384-222 BC) next discovered this technique through witnessing a eclipsed sun through holes in a sieve. Leonardo Di Vinci was known to have noted Camera Obscura down in his note books. Johannes Kepler, a German Astronomer  first used the term ‘camera obscura’ which he kept with him a portable camera for his Astronomy.

From then Camera Obscura was known to help many Painters such as Jan Vermeer and Guardi, from which at the start of the 19th Century it evolved in to the first Photographic Camera.

Camera Obscura has recently been made known again by artist David Hockney,  introduced Lenticular vision which involves combining a number of images together to create a 3D looking effect. Below is an example:

sourced from:


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Photographers would take inspiration from Degas’s work and create similar techniques from breaking down the piece in to columns and posts. Pierre Bonnard, an example of his work is shown below began to paint from Photographic sketches..


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In the 1950’s both Painters and Photographers such as Franz Kline and Robert Frank took ideas and inspirations from work such as Degas’ which led to the results below: These gestures are carried on today and will be ongoing, example of work by Lee Friedlander:


sourced: Robert Frank –


sourced: Franz Kline –


Sourced: Lee Friedlander –

In an exhibition from the Museum Of Contemporary Photography called “Painting on Photography, Photography on Painting” relies on the basis facts from above to represent modern artists and give a new take on ways of seeing the links between Photography and Painting and how far the boundaries can be broken in order to still consider it either Painting, Photography or blurred lines between the two practices.


Eric Fischl – information sourced:

Eric Fischl is a New York born Painter who also works with Prints and Sculpture. He is most well known for his work being based around naturalistic American life which shows the truth that society in this age sees as inpolite, I think Fischl produces his work in such large scale due to the fact he is trying to highlight the culture of today that we can’t avoid when in their presence, they totally involve the viewer. This artist takes influence from paintings by Kline and Degas’ due to the technique used of splitting images in to columns.

This is a completely refreshing perspective on looking at what Photography is, Eric Fischl’s work links to my own due to his Painting being based around Photographic images, although he changes them slightly to exaggerate the culture that mainly focuses on materialistic factors rather than substance.


Moni K. Huber –

In Moni K. Huber’s series above entitled ‘Arcadia in Decay’ which shows what was once a utopia for tourists from the East and West which involves the aftermath effects of the civil war. Huber’s paintings shows that the areas are majestic even through their decay, with themes from history, architecture and nature combined. Her work involves Painting with watercolour, acrylic and Photography which give Photorealistic effects and records a moment in time beautifully.


Randy Hayes

Randy Hayes creates Photo paintings, at times making one image from multiple separate images and then painting over them, his work creates perspectives from all different sides which I find incredibly interesting and his work beautifully amazing especially in his series ‘The World Revealed’ (The two images above). Hayes has received many awards, other museums that have featured his work include New York Contemporary Art in New York.




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