Fine Art Photography – How to Create Images in the Style of Classic Artists

Photography has its foundations in painting and other creative arts. Using a mix of techniques, it’s possible to copy the styles of classic artists and create stunning photographs. Photography can be used to create pictures in the styles of Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh and Andy Warhol.


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If you are interested in creating photographs in the style of classic artists, start by studying their work. If visiting a gallery isn’t possible, visit the library and study books featuring the work of some great artists. You may find the work of a particular artist attracts you, and this is a great way to find creative inspiration for your photography. As well as the artist’s choice of subjects, observe the way they use light, color and composition in their work. Using a combination of photographic techniques and image editing software, you should be able to emulate the style of the artists you admire.

The subject matter is one of the key elements of creating a picture in the style of a classic artist. Impressionist painters are generally associated with landscape and seascape pictures. Painters like Turner were famous for conveying the impression of light and atmosphere in a landscape, and the creative photographer can shoot pictures in a similar style. The direction and character of light are key in an Impressionist style picture. Photoshop or similar image editing software can be used to mute colors and add soft-focus effects to emulate the Impressionist style.

Composition of a picture is another way to create photographs in the style of classic artists. Studying the works of artists like Turner is a great way to learn how to frame and compose a picture effectively. If you want to create classic landscape pictures, look at the way great artists position the horizon line. The classic approach is to break an image up into thirds and position key elements of the frame at intersections. A horizon line running along one of the lines dividing the frame into thirds makes for a very pleasant composition.

Some artists have a particularly strong eye for light and use it to great effect in their work. When looking at a painting, consider where the light is coming from in the scene. Is the light diffused or harsh? Understanding the ways artists use light in their pictures is another great way to learn how they see the world.

Considering an artist’s angle of view can help you to understand how to use lenses in photography. Wide angle lenses create a sense of space and scale which classic landscape artists used in their paintings. Longer lenses flatten perspective, and this gives a photograph qualities of the work of more modern artists.

Use of color is a powerful way to emulate the styles of different artists. For example, John Constable’s work features rich natural greens. Muted tones and colors are associated with artists like John Marin whereas Salvador Dali and surrealist painters used vibrant colors in their work.

Photoshop and other image editing tools are great for manipulating photographs and creating images in the style of classic artists.

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