With the sun streaming in on the floor next to my easel, my dog (a.k.a. my studio assistant) is taking a nap. I also look at her as my life model. Except for her collar she is a nude model if a bit hairier than most. I think it is better to paint something from real life. A photo is fine but most of the values and colors get washed out or pushed into a rather narrow spectrum.
I snapped a photo of my model just in case a cat or coyote walked by outside and she felt the need to spring awake and move from her position. She managed to stay asleep long enough (35 minutes) for me to get the values and colors in as well as her position. Then she moved and got up. I was able to keep painting using the rug and sofa side as is. They don’t move on their own so all I had to deal with was the changing light.
Painting from life lets me see the nuances that normally don’t come through in a photo. I had to wait to the next day to finish this painting as I did loose the light in the room I was in painting because we are very near the winter Solstice.
I think the painting turned out well.