XM Magdalena 3D print, GGeorgy (3D)
LC #42 Pipers Alley

View Full Version : Question about Photo Reference

01-15-2005, 04:36 PM
When people say they've used a reference do they mean that they took the pic, copy + pasted it into PS/Painter/w.e, and then just painted over it? Or do they mean they just had the photo next to them? Thanks

01-15-2005, 04:44 PM
Nobody ever admits to the first one, but is obvious a lot of people do it. I have drawn a layer directly over a drawing for color excersizes, but I draw everything else, sometimes using references if I get stuck. In my drawing, "littile lionheart" at the bottom of this screen, I used a photo reference for the hand holding the stone. But I drew from it.
But from this picture:
I just made a layer over my own face and studied the skin and the light and stuff with the brush.
There is certainly an interesting style that develops from drawing over a picture, but its not very noble in my humble opinion.
Still, people dont pay for noble. They pay for good.

01-15-2005, 05:01 PM
Here is a good tutorial by PAC about using photo reference that I thought was helpful.

Tutorial (http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/8183046/)

01-15-2005, 06:35 PM
I once wrote a tutorial on the first, in that case, I saw nothing wrong with it, I was at a friends place and the illumination from the cup was just amazing, therefor I wanted to try something, and took a couple of photos to work with.
As I also had taken the photos, I think it was ok, taking someone elses photos isnt the best of moral things to do.


Normaly If I'm in a hurry, my idea of referencephoto is lifting the photo into photoshop to plot out proportions and where things should be then toss the photo or having a webpage open and look at similarities there.
Thing is, if you paint everything to the exact according to a photo then you prolly wont catch a persons features.

Take theese examples:
I sketched it with a frame from LOTR on hold on my tv.

and this:
Painted with no reference, just posted the WIP on a board with bloomfans and had them give me critics on what to change so it would look like bloom.

On this one I lifted a screenshot into the picture, marked with a grey marker where eyes and mouth and cheeckbones where supposed to be, then tossed the photo:

problem with doing this, or paint portraits of someone else than your loved ones it seems. Is that you get a lot of comments saying its paintovers. On this occasion I wanted it to be obvious that it was bean in eqilibrium, its his best role in my opinion, and my favourite movie.

I have never used a photo as background and painted in details, nore used parts of photos and tried to pull it off as a painting, that thing only comes back to bite you in the butt.

My opinion is prolly seen as somewhat liberal by some, but hey, I tell people how I did things, take it or leave it :D

01-15-2005, 07:05 PM
then theres something called tracing, and then theres tracing and posting without saying so:


this we dislike :p

01-15-2005, 07:38 PM
Then you have the "midly and partial inspired by" Personaly, I dont see the use of mention them when I post the work.
Like this one:

01-15-2005, 08:29 PM
edit; but most of all, dont be to quick to judge people.

01-15-2005, 09:04 PM
The world is so complicated that reference is a necesity (unless of course you're a genius like Frank Frazetta).

It all really depends on the look you're after. If you like comic painter Alex Ross (http://www.alexrossart.com/), cover artist's Glenn Fabry (http://www.glennfabry.co.uk/workinprog.htm), Michael Whealan (http://www.michaelwhelan.com/), or concept design legend Syd Mead (http://www.sydmead.com/v/01/splash/) and want your work to be similar you better have access to a large "swipe file" and some models.

Such a photorealistic look is almost impossible to do otherwise. Don't be ashamed of it.

Frank Frazetta (http://frazettaartgallery.com/ff/index.html), John Buscema (http://home.ca.inter.net/owenandsusan/home.htm) and maybe about twenty-five or so other modern artists have that magical ability to, for example, "draw the exact characters from the Wizard of Oz film sitting in a Panzer Tank on 42nd street in 1942" WITHOUT REFERENCE.

I think the "reference stigma" is something particular to digital art. With minimal work a digital artist can cut and paste together a pretty good image. The sweat and tears us traditional guys go through to get the picture right don't exist in this digital age.

... and that's fine. However, I think it will take a few years for the new digital methods to be widely accepted.

I would look at some tuts of traditional artists to see how reference used and adapt them to your way of thinking.
Some suggestions-

The Techniques of Syd Mead Volume 4:Final Gouache Rendering (http://www.thegnomonworkshop.com/dvds/sme04.html) DVD from The Gnoman Workshop. He demonstrates how he incorporates photographic reference in the final painting.

Fantasy Art Masters: The Best Fantasy and Science Fiction Artists Show How They Work (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0823016366/qid=1105822205/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/103-5856699-2451807?v=glance&s=books)

and any issue of Wizard magazine that has a tutorial of Alex Ross in it.

01-15-2005, 09:20 PM
life drawing or *drawing from life* is basically goin out an drawing what u see,so are these guys...tracers???no cos like one other guy jus sed,its impossible to draw certain things without seeing them in front of u or having something to refer too.

i don't think anyone in this forum is a tracer.

i mean..to everyone....its really simple...reference...is something for u to REFER too,hence the name REFER-ence.u use it as a guide,not to copy exactly *unless thats what ur goin for*

01-15-2005, 09:39 PM

i don't think anyone in this forum is a tracer.


try pressing the link i posted. theres atleast 1 ;)

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