Why using reference is a good idea

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Elexia
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Why using reference is a good idea

Post by Elexia » 08/27/12

https://imgur.com/a/FvzkM

There is nothing wrong with looking at a photo for proportions and lighting help. Here is an excellent thread which emphasizes just that! Find a picture you like, reference it and make it your own!

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Erithe
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Re: Why using reference is a good idea

Post by Erithe » 08/27/12

This is true! This artist particularly works directly on the photos themselves, and often, I believe, takes the photos personally. However, there are places where you can go (Deviant Art had a big community) and find reference material.

Just remember, if you're not just using an elbow or a bit of neck to get a post right, but you're using an entire piece as the above artist is, give the photographer credit. There's nothing wrong with using references and I would say that you ought to use references if you want to improve as an artist. Life drawing is best, if you can find it, I think. But photos work, too, when you can't.

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Brighthawk
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Re: Why using reference is a good idea

Post by Brighthawk » 08/27/12

Oh wow holy cow. These are freaking cool.

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Savriel
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Re: Why using reference is a good idea

Post by Savriel » 08/27/12

I think every artist struggles with using reference for a while, in a moral way. The way I think of it is, for a while art is sort've like a muscle and the whole point is to make it bigger, so using helpful things feels like cheating. THEN you hit a point where you start to realize that the entire point is to build stuff with that muscle. So references are helpful and useful and entirely a good idea to use, because.. you have something to say!

That being said, be honest about your resources and give credit where it's due. Nobody likes a tracer.

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Sibelle
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Re: Why using reference is a good idea

Post by Sibelle » 08/27/12

I use reference more than I say I do. Probably because generally speaking I use bits and pieces and when it comes to faces especially - I tend to just get one of the angles and do the majority of the rest myself. Personal preference and because I am at a point where I feel like I am advanced enough to actually push out portraits that I like without too much tracing.

That said, I do feel like it cheapens it. I really need to use reference for other things and less but there also comes a point where I'm also not using enough of it that it feels weird to actually credit it.

I suspect the linked artist actually colors directly over the image and some manipulation to do it. I tend to sketch alongside and then work it from there. Tossing in different hand gestures and looking at various noses, or whatever in the process.

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Savriel
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Re: Why using reference is a good idea

Post by Savriel » 08/27/12

Yes. It's sort've a gray area- a lot of times I just pull pieces of multiple images to look at hand angles or noses or whatever, without bothering to say so or link or anything, it's just become the way I work if I run into tough spots. Same with really general photo textures like a boulder face or a starry sky. If I use an entire pose or render something after a specific face, that's the sorta thing I'd credit. Sometimes I draw purely from imagination, sometimes I'm looking at three different noses to try and learn it correctly as I work. I think it's a judgment call for everyone.

I mean, ideally you would use a reference, learn to do it on your own, and move on. That's the whole point, just like how the old masters would stare at naked dudes while doing their bajillion studies before hanging upside down from some church ceiling to do the paint job. It's all a lot more complicated nowadays with the Internet, but if an artist constantly demands more of themselves, in my opinion they can't go wrong.

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Erithe
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Re: Why using reference is a good idea

Post by Erithe » 08/27/12

I would caution against tracing if you can, because it gives a lot of images a weirdly flat look. Practice drawing from the image or from life, and you'll find that your images start receding into the distance more and your proportions will be correct. I use references for anatomical questions quite often and I don't necessarily reference those. Some of them are from magazines, etc. But if my images is going to look significantly like the original in any way, I do note it.

About the artist linked up at the top, from what I've read, he takes the photos then manipulates them by painting over them in Photoshop. He's really quite good! I love how he makes the real girls look like something out of a sci fi or fantasy painting :D

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Elexia
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Re: Why using reference is a good idea

Post by Elexia » 08/28/12

Yes I should reiterate I didn't mean completely trace and copy. I have a very difficult time with facial proportions and will sometimes trace a nose or how the eyes are places, especially the second eye! The fist one always comes out great but then that second one.. that's partly hidden behind the bridge of the nose from a side angle... it ALWAYS eludes me. I'm not afraid of sighting references. I do it pretty often. Or if I'm inspired by a style I always link the artist I got the inspiration from.

But I digress! Here is another nifty link about using reference and how it can help you learn and grow. (also he has some other great work in there that you should check out)

https://edgarcardona.blogspot.com/2011/ ... steps.html

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Erithe
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Re: Why using reference is a good idea

Post by Erithe » 08/28/12

Elexia wrote:Yes I should reiterate I didn't mean completely trace and copy. I have a very difficult time with facial proportions and will sometimes trace a nose or how the eyes are places, especially the second eye! The fist one always comes out great but then that second one.. that's partly hidden behind the bridge of the nose from a side angle... it ALWAYS eludes me. I'm not afraid of sighting references. I do it pretty often. Or if I'm inspired by a style I always link the artist I got the inspiration from.

But I digress! Here is another nifty link about using reference and how it can help you learn and grow. (also he has some other great work in there that you should check out)

https://edgarcardona.blogspot.com/2011/ ... steps.html
O.O The evil second eye. I totally feel you on that one. Sometimes, even WITH references ... it just ... yeah. It's bad.

I really like that tutorial. 1. it's very brief and 2. It's very useful! :D I've done that, too! It's wonderful how a little bit of drawing from a reference can shift how you draw. I started, recently, adding a line from the nose along the inner corner of the eye to show how the nose attached to the cheek ... and omg. that little line was magical. And I got it entirely from drawing from life/references.

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Sibelle
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Re: Why using reference is a good idea

Post by Sibelle » 08/28/12

Noses are something I love doing.

But screw second eyes.

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Savriel
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Re: Why using reference is a good idea

Post by Savriel » 08/28/12

Dude. I HATE the second eye!

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Ainaree
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Re: Why using reference is a good idea

Post by Ainaree » 08/29/12

You know what I hate? Flipping your drawing and discovering it all looks horrible... :lol:

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