I'm getting ready to start a new series of work, so I've been thinking about subject matter, color palette and composition. For me, the photo's the thing - if I have a few great reference photos, I'm set! I work from my own photos, so I'm learning about how to shoot great pictures. My latest project was to make my own soft light box so I could shoot beautiful still life subjects. My new favorite photo blog is Strobist. There are tons of great tutorials on photography, written in an easy, funny style. I made my light box from an old cardboard box, inexpensive muslin fabric and white poster board. Here's how to make it:
It works great! I have a Nikon point and shoot camera, not fancy at all. I use either one or two desk lamps on either side of the box (you can adjust light for "tungsten"in your camera menu). I'm practicing all sorts of cool shots - hopefully I'll take one that will be my next painting.