This allows you to get stronger at some skills worked on in your past (recognizing value and using the grid method for enlarging an image) while at the same time getting better and more familiar with painting with oils without dealing with color mixing.
I am totally fine with you doing this for your project. I will always prefer if it is an image you (or someone you know) have taken yourself, but finding a b/w image online also works.
One thing to remember is that painting from the photograph you find online without altering it in a decently significant way isn't ideal for a future portfolio you may want to create.
It is with this in mind that I want to put the following together.
First option: as stated above, you find a b/w image and use that for your painting; from here the only decision you really need to make is which color to use.
Second option: you use a photograph that you (or someone close to you) have taken. I can work with you in class to get the best b/w conversion for this, then you will pick your color and you will be off to the races.
Third option: you create your own image.
But wait, isn't that what the second option is? In part, yes. Maybe.
I have used these foreshortening examples with students for a project in the past, and as generally "straight" photographs to work from, the ideas would work really quite well. It would require you to put some thought ahead of time into the images though, and get some photo options taken ahead of time.
I do want you to be able to bring some of your own creativity into the composition and not be solely limited to working strictly from ONE photograph if you would like. That's why I was showing a lot of the examples from pinterest in class the other day.
I still want you to work from photographs though. You can have a series that you draw from, or you can even select out certain parts and "collage" them together in procreate (which would give you one photographic image to work from).
If you create your own image - whether it is as one original photo or as some sort of collage, please refrain from having too much blank space in the background. Think about how you can create a dynamic composition - which we have been working with since our first painting in Art 1, actually.
Some of you feel as though you kind of intuitively "get" how to create an interesting composition with a clear focal point, use of depth/space, etc., but if you do some simple google searches you can find some interesting ideas that might help. Of course, pinterest has a lot of the same things available, so if you want to start creating an easy place to keep ideas, that isn't a terrible idea.
I know a lot of the image examples include figurative work, but you don't have to use a human figure. There are plenty of ways that animals, nature, machines, etc. can be used.
And if you are interested in going deeper...
One thing you might find interesting - and what I hope to get into later in the year - is to think about the symbolic meaning behind certain items. Now, if you google this content you'll get information that is all over the map, and we must remember that different cultures (and times in history, even) associate different meanings for the same (or similar) object(s), but to plow into this idea can be absolutely fascinating.
For example some symbolic meanings of the following are easily found:
Blackbird = wisdom, power, beauty;
Cardinal = responsibility, balance;
Oak = honor, nobility, wisdom;
Hand = strength, power, protection;
Cairn = balance, safe travel;
The list goes on (nearly) infinitely.
You may start with images or ideas that you think are just fun or interesting, but you can also begin to infuse what you make with additional meaning/layers if you choose to. IMO this just makes it all the more interesting.
There is an artist, Kirsten Francis, that has changed her making process a lot over the years, but when I first found out about her (and bought her art, oh, and some postcards of hers are in the display cases between rooms 501 and 502 now), she was doing these interesting woodcuts that have often "simple" compositions, but interesting use of imagery that you could possibly get some ideas from (in terms of combining images in a way that is creative and not like a "straight" photograph).
What I would do is think about using photographs to draw/paint from, but think about how you can use those references to create a personal and unique image. I do want you to aim for realism in terms of the representation of the elements of your image, but the layout and way they are combined can be unique.
This is all a lot to unpack, but I believe in all of you, and the curiosity you have. You can go quite deep with your art making and imagery and I get really excited by that part of the process - much more than the purely technical aspect of it.
I would add that I don't want you to lose the fun in image making. Make if fun for yourself for sure! But I know you have it in you to add more layers to your image too!
Let's see some ideation and sketches and talk about where you are going before the end of the week!