Paintings of Musicians

A few tips on capturing musicians (they don't like to be captured)

   While my first photographs, 50 years ago were sports, music was a close second.  As a kid I was always singing and I used to have fun impersonating them. So I was always looking for stage presence. That is the key when photographing musicians. However, there are some musicians that don't have much feeling or stage presence but still have great pipes.  Of course if you know the song, you can predict the feelings and stage presence. 

   I like to position myself off to the side for singers, rather than from the front. This avoids the microphone being in the way. If the singer is right handed I like to be on the right and if left handed on the left. This way you see there lips, usually. I also like to photograph everyone in the band. The drummer is the hardest to get because they are hidden in the back. If you have stage privileges you can get some awesome shots from the wings. Sometimes if they put the drummer on a raised platform, the better shot is not from the pits but the isles about 20 rows back with a telephoto. Running out of room for tips, I'll have to save the rest for a class. If you like these music images there are more on my FREE membership site.

Scroll down to get to #1and don't forget to read the copy for an explanation and a few tips.
All these images were painted on  a 20x30 canvas so you won't see the real detail of brush strokes.

#10  Dogbone Sanctuary  painting by Randall Tomaras

While I'd love to tell you all the step by step procedures in each painting below, I play around with a million different options until I am satisfied. Now that I have got back into teaching, thanks to covid, I will try to make note of what I do from here on out.  None of these are standard plug-ins. I find most plug-ins are just a start. Besides, why do something that everyone else can do.

   I can tell you that this one is primarily a watercolor. I probably changed the background before I turned it into a watercolor.

   Most of these images were done between 2006 and 2013, before a lot of the programs were available. But I do now start with Photoshop and work my way to Topaz and Painter. 

   This image is of  the bass guitarist of Dogbone Sanctuary.  Had to wait for the hair flip, but I knew it was coming from the previous song.

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# 9  Ashly Roberts painting by Randall Tomaras

This is Ashley Roberts who was one of the lead singers for The PussyCat Dolls, that were active from 2003 to 2010. This image was taken in 2006. It only has a light brush stroke and might not be that noticeable since is was done to a 20"x30" canvas. For most paintings I like to perform the painting at 100% size of the intended print.

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# 8  Alpha Ya Ya Dialto sketch by Randall Tomaras

Alpha Ya Ya Dialto had great stage presence. This is one image that I turned into a sketch with the DaVinci program in Topaz's Impression.  

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# 7  Lee Oscar painting by Randall Tomaras

   Lee Oscar who is famous for his harmonica playing and his song Low Rider made a surprise visit to Sequim in 2012. He jammed with a local band at Wine Rose Cellars. The lighting was very bad as it is in many night clubs. So I pulled up the shadows in Photoshop and the exposure, but it was very grainy. So I dropped out the background and replaced it with something lighter, then I did an overlay pointillism painting in Painter. Then increased the sharpness in Photoshop.

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# 6  Leon Hendrix painting by Randall Tomaras

   This image of Leon Hendrix was taken at the Seattle Hempfest in 2005 or 6. While he is not as good as his cousin, he did put on a good performance. In this painting, I gave it a grunge look. You know it's a Seattle thing.  Then I did a black and white overlay pointillism and reduced the opacity by 55%. If you are getting lost I am working on a painting course. Sign up for free membership and I will let you know when I release updates.

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# 5  Jon Winter painting by Randall Tomaras

   This image of the late Jon Winter was taken at a Microsoft Christmas party where I was hired to take images for the evening. The party was at Paul Allen's Experience Music Project at Seattle Center.  I did the Microsoft Christmas parties for a number of years.  They always had good entertainment. 

   Jon was a flashy guy, you can tell by his suit. So in the painting I tried to match his personality with my brush strokes. The key to any painting is the brushes you use. If you stick with the default brushes you will have paintings like everyone else.

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# 4   Kenny G painting by Randall Tomaras

   For another Paul Allen party, he brought in Seattle's Kenny G. The saxophone is a vibrating type of instrument, so I tried to match it with the brush stokes with a sharp edged brush.

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# 3  Mavis Staple painting by Randall Tomaras

   Mavis Staple is well known for her Gospel singing. The original image was a solid blue sky. To give more of a gospel feel to it I brushed in the white to look like the sun was shining on her.  Of course, this would only work if the lighting was short on her. In a video, I will show different types of lighting and how to build light in a studio. Once you know how to build the different types of lighting you will also be able to recognize them out of the studio.

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# 2  Travie McCoy sketch by Randall Tomaras

   Travie McCoy back in 2006 was quite a show. He was the lead singer for Gym Class Heroes, until he went off on his own. This is a perfect example of positioning yourself as I mentioned above. Unless you are in a high position, you avoid swallowing the mic by being to the right of a right handed person. That way you can catch the emotion of the singer.I turned this one to a black and white to be even more dramatic.

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# 1  Tom Hagerman painting by Randall Tomaras

   This image was from 2006 when Tom Hagerman came to Seattle for Bumbershoot.  I picked it as my number one because I thought the background, which was trees matched the classiness of the violin. The reflection on the glasses makes this stand out also. 

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