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Painters of old photographs had special training

Adair Countian's father painted portraits which had a lifelike look, with no indications of paint or brush strokes. Writer now wishes he'd talked more with his father about this aspect of his life.
Comments re article 42218 Interested in painting of old photos

By Jon Halsey

My dad painted photographs in the 20's and 30's. He said he painted mostly portraits.

He did not seem to have any special artistic talent and he even said none was required, just special training. I got the idea from the way he talked that the training was not very involved, which always seemed a wonderment to me.


I saw several of his works and they looked amazingly like color photographs, although primitive by 2011 Photoshop standards. The skin tones and hair colors were very "lifelike" and you could not see any indications of paint or brush strokes. I have seen photos painted by some that showed obvious signs of having been altered, but not his.

We had his "tool box" for many years. It consisted of about 20 to 24 tubes of colored oils, a variety of brushes and a few metal blades. The kit was housed in a wooden case approximately 1 inch thick by 18 inches long and about 12 inches wide as best as I can remember.

Unfortunately, Mom threw it out after he died, as she saw no use for it and I'm sure the oils were all dried out.

I often wish I had quizzed him in a little more depth about that aspect of his life. -Jon Halsey


This story was posted on 2011-02-02 17:53:42
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