adammbotsford replied to your post: Even though I used several di…
Are you using references photos or do you use them as a layer and paint over them?
The only time I ever trace or paint over a 2D image is:
- I’ve taken a photo of something I intend to use as a texture for a 3D model and I need to touch it up so it tiles well, or
- The 2D image is a render of a 3D model I made myself and I’m doing a paintover.
I keep a really large reference morgue and if I’m painting an unfamiliar subject I’ll keep several reference photos up for myself while working.
In the example above you can see some of the photos that went into my painting of Isa from a while ago. None of them are copied directly (though Samantha Wright looks enough like Isa that I’d cast her for the part if I was making a movie). The pose was made up entirely, though I did run to my mirror and look at myself a few times. When I was closing the psd I did notice that one photo had made it to the actual psd canvas: a stock photograph of a naked women which I had used to check her proportions when I was sketching.
But even this one wasn’t drawn over—I pushed it to the side and used it only as reference for how large her head should be, how long her legs, etc.
I REALLY recommend drawing from life instead of photographs or (even worse) other people’s drawings. Reference photos are meant to serve as help for things like “what do guns even look like?” or “what color is platinum blonde?” or “if a dog stands like THIS how would it hold its feet?” or “how can I make a photoshop brush that will give me brush strokes that look like this?” The more you’ve studied, the less you’ll need reference for. At this point, for instance, I can pretty much draw skulls, roses, some clothing, books, bottles, hair, etc without needing to go research what it looks like.
In the case of the picture I said made me feel gross, all my reference pictures happened to be making approximately the same face from the same angle. This always seems to be the case with men, in my experience; getting refs for women is harder because there’s a lot more variation in hair styles, makeup, and pose, whereas men just end up kind of being stoic and staring down the camera half the time, which happened to be what I wanted to do this time. I don’t like using reference so closely.
In conclusion, I really need to get back into weekly life drawing sessions because life drawing is awesome.