Shelby Keefe

Shelby Keefe: Painting from Photographs


Video Length: 5 Hours 45 Minutes
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Here's How You Can Turn Photographs Into Stunning Works of Art

Maybe you’ve heard it before.

Art critics and naysayers who tell others that it’s “impossible” to make a beautiful painting from a photo.

They say, “ Photos are too static to capture the liveliness of the real world.” Or,“They're too flat to create dynamic, enthralling paintings.”

Some say, “People only use photos because they can’t draw or paint from life.”

Maybe you’ve even said these things to yourself.

Mary, a 11th-grade art teacher in Milwaukee,Wisconsin, thought the exact same thing.

Despite her love for painting and the many improvements she’d made to her techniques over the years, she could not figure out how to paint from photographs.

It frustrated her beyond belief…

It seems so simple!

But her paintings usually ended up abandoned before they were even finished.

Whenever her painting friends would bring up the topic, Mary always had the same response:

“ Photos were never meant to be turned into paintings. It’s too hard. They just don’t have any life. The goal of a painting isn’t to make a copy of a photo, it’s to make a great painting.”

No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t nail the right perspective.

She couldn’t get the colors to shine and pop off the canvas.

The joy of painting seemed hauntingly absent when she tried to paint from photos.

After a while, she came to believe photos were simply not an option.

And so for years she thought it was impossible…

Until the day Mary found herself in a painting class about painting from photographs...

Where she picked up a few simple techniques that flipped her negative beliefs on their head, opening a world of possibility.

It turns out everyone was wrong.

She learned she could make wonderful, “alive” paintings from photographs. 

In just a few hours, Mary learned how to take some of her favorite photos and make them come to life on the canvas.

Mary still loves painting from life when possible, but a new source of joy has entered her life for those times when she can’t get outdoors to paint, or those times when she snaps a shot of a moment she would never have time to draw. And she is not alone. People are taking up this pastime all over the country.

Here’s why:

Learning to paint from photos gives you unlimited options for creating paintings that give you joy and make you proud. 

Anyone, even total beginners, can learn how to take a good photo and turn it into an amazing painting…

All it takes is some imagination and a great teacher.

If you want to learn how to paint captivating, beautiful, colorful paintings from photos, then look no further than fine artist Shelby Keefe.

When Shelby picks up a paintbrush, she wants to transport the viewer to a new world…

“I want to convey light, light, light, and a moment in time, or perhaps a feeling of place, a smell in the air. I want to remind them of a place they’ve been but can’t necessarily remember, or a place in their imagination that takes them back home.”

Shelby’s process for turning photos into paintings is amazing, not just because of how beautiful her paintings are, but because of just how easy she makes it.

Anyone who loves to paint will be won over by Shelby’s simple style.

  • EVEN IF you feel like you don’t have time… 
  • OR you don’t feel like you have the skills… 
  • And EVEN IF you’ve tried to paint from photos before without success.

Until now, you had to be lucky enough to live in Milwaukee, like Mary, to take one of her classes, or hope she’d show up to do a class or workshop in a city near you.


In this one-of-a-kind training, you’ll learn:

  • When to paint exactly what you see in a photo, and when you can use your own imagination to massively improve upon the photo 
  • How to paint in “atmosphere,” so your photo has a sense of depth (something even experienced painters often miss when turning a photo into a painting) 
  • How and why to align your colors when you’re painting 
  • What colors Shelby uses to create vibrant paintings full of life (and why she chooses each of those specific colors) 
  • When to sweat the details, and when you can paint for the big picture 
  • The ONE THING you should do with your canvas when you start instead of rushing straight into the painting itself 
  • A simple trick you can use to give yourself a better sense of how the paint will look on the canvas 
  • How to create a musical sense of rhythm in your paintings 
  • How to make sure the color of the paint on the canvas is the color you want (even when you’re using a vibrant underpainting) 
  • Why doing this ONE thing in the beginning can save you from HUGE headaches later on 
  • What your photographs should be printed on to get the best results 
  • What you need to understand about color relationships and how they impact the overall appearance of your final painting 
  • Why you should be using this particular type of paint for your underpaintings 
  • How to simplify the entire painting process by using a technique to create an easy road map you can follow 
  • How to use a single technique to guarantee you like the composition and layout of your painting before you even get started 
  • How to create unity of beauty and color in your painting 
  • How to find the focal point of the painting and how to make it stand out — hint: It's not where you think it will be 
  • The technique to make important elements of your painting pop 
  • The color mistakes most beginners make when painting 
  • The tricks the brain plays on us when looking at a photo, and how to become aware of them so your painting comes alive 
  • What products to use so you can easily “erase” any mistakes when doing your painting 
    And much, much, more.


Customer Reviews

Based on 11 reviews
Randy Rasmussen
Shelby Keefe: Painting From Photographs

I found the DVD to be outstanding. Shelby has the capability of explaining how she picks a subject and then how that subject is painted. Her looseness comes across in the painting, a work of art, not a photographic reproduction. Outstanding!

Myrna Walsh
I learned a lot

For something she thought was difficult in the early part of her career she sure made it easy and clear in the DVD. And I am sure it will be. I have a number of photos that I have taken and wanted to turn into paintings. Now I believe I can.

Jocelyn Lane

This is an outstanding art video! Shelby is an excellent teacher, an amazing painter and so down-to-earth and likeable. Her instruction is clear, easy to follow and well-paced. The production values are also outstanding. The cameras are always in focus, switching from her canvas to palette whenever necessary to make it easy for students to follow along. Too many times in art videos, the video doesn't always show what color the painter is using or shots are out of focus. That's never the case here. I also enjoyed the interview with her and the gallery of her work. I've seen quite a few art videos, and this one is my favorite by far!

Shelby Keefe

​I enjoyed Shelby Keefes Painting from photographs. Her work is incredible and she literally described every mix and every brush stroke she put on the canvas. I learned so much and Im thrilled my purchase.

In depth demo and full commentary

These instructional DVDs 2 are among the most thorough Ive seen. Shelby Keefe gives an ongoing and in-depth narrative while she paints, describing her decision making, colour choices, and reasoning, and the full painting process is included in the demo.