For hundreds of years artists have used tools to help them with composition, perspective, relationships, and simply getting the image onto the surface. Whether by graphing, using a variety of 'view-finders', a camera obscura, or a modern digital SLR, the goal is the same - get the work going. Today I hear so many different opinions (i.e. judgements) on the merits or sins of using supplementary tools. According to some, using anything beyond a pencil is comparable to selling your artist soul to the devil (a figure of speech, of course). Myself, I have one more to throw into the fray....and I find it to be the handiest 'tool' for anyone who paints from photographs...the iPAD! I have all my subject photos loaded into my iPAD, where I can call them up and, with a few pinches on the screen, enlarge areas of interest to view details, subtle lighting effects, eye colour(!). I have used my laptop in the past but the size of the iPAD, the portability, and convenience of the touch-screen has won me over...try it - you'll love it.
I describe myself as a seeker. I try to always be growing and learning, and to be making contributions - to give back. I believe strongly in the 'pay it forward' approach to life. Every smile, every kind act, is a ripple that carries forward and affects others. If nothing else, be kind.