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  1. #61
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    More stuff from Rockwell and one the photographers who worked with him:



    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...ryId=114285155

    There is the link to the full article somewhere on the left, it's a somewhat interesting story. I didn't know he had photographers, I thought he'd take his own photos. And one of them didn't quite like Rockwell's stuff, didn't thought it was artsy enough. If I recall (I didn't reread the whole article, so I may be "making it up" now) Rockwell mentioned that he felt very hard not to use references, perhaps even tracing, and found that the ability of doing that was an impressive feat.

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  2. #62
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    Everybody here seems to think that these artists who paid people to shoot reference for them equates using reference from other people without permission.
    This is obviously false. The fact Robert Mcginnis or Rockwell used their own reference does not give everyone license to steal reference from other people off the net or from other sources without permission.

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  3. #63
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    I didn't quite have the same impression about "what everybody here seems to think", quite the contrary (didn't read the whole thread though), and in my case specifically, I didn't want to suggest that, if it sounded that way.

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    Posted a question!
    What about doing caricatures of famous people?
    We need photos right?
    Love to find concrete info on this!

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  5. #65
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    Yes. So what's the question, exactly?


    Tristan Elwell
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    Hi Elwell
    If I wanted to create caricatures of famous people and put them in my portfolio, can I use any reference photo on the net?
    It would only be for my portfolio, to show what I can do!

    Can't find legal info on this!
    Thanks!

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  7. #67
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    It's complicated.
    Depending on how realistic vs. stylized the caricature is, it could be transformative enough to not be a problem.
    Also, most caricatures could be considered parody, and thus be protected.
    Still, just to be on the safe side, these days most caricatures you see in magazines are done from stock photos that are provided to the artist, and that the publications have the rights to.
    In any case, doing stuff for your portfolio, even if it might technically be infringement, is unlikely to be of any real consequence.
    (Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, this is not legal advice!)


    Tristan Elwell
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    Thanks very much, I appreciate it!

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  9. #69
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    It's awesome seeing the side-by-sides of Rockwell's references and finished pieces; it simultaneously makes his mastery less intimidating (he didn't just conjure these images up from nothing) and more intimidating (the things he's changed really make the images what they are, and are no less lifelike than the details that are faithful representations of the references). It must have been surreal seeing such lifelike paintings in an age when photographs themselves didn't look that good... or heck, before photographs even existed.

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  11. #70
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    Some great and interesting stuff here. The argument of 'skills before copying' is a good one. But on the oher hand: you can only better your skills by a mixture of knowledge and good observation. These are excersized the best with live models and settings. The next best thing is photography however. It is advisable to learn how to make your own reference photos. With digital camera's and photoshop to further influence results you can get some amazing groundwork done - again if used properly and with understanding of the fundamentals.

    In all we have it much easier now then Rockwell did for example: that is to say, on the technical side of things. The internet, digital photography, and a lot of stored knowledge plus more freedom to spend time on what we really want. The downside is however: 1. You continuously discover new theories, artists, statements and influences, and have no time to really sit down and work with those. 2. People tend to take the easy way out.

    I do believe however that correct use, technical skills, knowledge and above all good observation and experience are key.

    I would also like to add this youtube interview. It is the great David Hockney, talking about the use of camera obscura (in essence: reference material and copying) by the old master painters.


    http://m.youtube.com/index?desktop_u...?v=jMRpmqeKg-g

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    question

    I have a question regarding copyright...

    It seems that many artists out there use photo's found on google to make paintings. These paintings are then sold on either the website of the artist, or through art selling sites.

    I have seen paintings based on pictures of the famous green eyed afghan woman (she was on the cover of National Geographic Magazine once), based on pictures of tigers, lions and other wildlife that have basically been copied in paint and then sold.

    Even on this very site, I have seen many copies of Frazetta's work, either before his passing or as a tribute to his life's work.

    Now.
    According to me digging around in copyright claims, all of the above is illegal.

    1) Work for personal studies is not illegal. You can copy paintings or photographs, paint them, to study texture, animal shapes, color composition or whatnot, for your personal studies.
    2) Whenever you publish these works, you breach copyright of the original owner of the work (the original painting or photograph)
    That means, that showing your personal work on a forum such as this, is illegal.
    3) Whenever you sell your work, based on an origininal painting or photograph, you are also fully breaching copyrights of the original creator.

    Of course, copyright is no longer an issue 70 years after the demise of the original creator, but that is, in the examples provided above, not the case.

    I feel this is important stuff for all of us. Beginners in the field or not.
    I realize that, since I am a beginner at the start of my professional career, I'm merely providing what I have found on the subject.
    I might be wrong on several accounts. But please, enlighten me, and the rest of this community, if you can point out where I am wrong, and teach us.

    All the best in your endeavours.

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  13. #72
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    Well, clearly working from another's photographs has various legal complications. However, there are a few basic ways to step around that:

    1. Take your own photographs! Be it that you personally click the camera or you hire a photographer, if you own the photograph then all's in the clear.

    2. Public Domain images and Stock photography. There are many old turn of the century photographs that are public domain, as well as restriction-free pictures known as "stock". In the case of stock photography, be sure to check that you may use them without copyright violation (stock isn't quite the same as public domain, some rights often remain) and be prepared that you may have to pay for the privilege of using them.

    3. Don't copy the image. My personal favorite tact, not all cases call for exacting realism and accuracy. If you need to draw a building in a certain style of architecture but not a precise building, then use several photos of that style to create a drawing not entirely like any single photo. If you need to draw a particular person, use several photos of that person to create a likeness that is not a copy of any single photo.

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  15. #73
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    Oh, come on! We all use photo references. Especially if you do graphic novels or comic art. There are a lot of great sites where you can find these, like this: http://photo-reference-for-comic-artists.com/

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  16. #74
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    I can't think but that anyone coming here is also probably regularly looking at the muddycolors blog, but I wanted to point out Dan dos Santos' most recent post, showing his process with thumbnails and photo reference. Dan is a highly skilled pro and very generous about sharing his wealth of understanding of the different aspects of illustration art. This particular post is one more great example of how one skilled professional uses photographic reference.http://muddycolors.blogspot.com/2012...heartland.html

    "Three's so little room for error."--Elwell
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  18. #75
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    This seems to be a pretty good article on reference selection for us beginners.

    http://www.freshdesigner.com/good-fi...ide/#more-1314

    "Don't judge a book by it's cover" Frank Frazetta 1928-2010
    RIP Frank.

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  20. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cory Hinman View Post
    I can't think but that anyone coming here is also probably regularly looking at the muddycolors blog, but I wanted to point out Dan dos Santos' most recent post, showing his process with thumbnails and photo reference. Dan is a highly skilled pro and very generous about sharing his wealth of understanding of the different aspects of illustration art. This particular post is one more great example of how one skilled professional uses photographic reference.http://muddycolors.blogspot.com/2012...heartland.html

    Don is such a wonderful artist, and so helpful. I stumbled on a few techniques i thought might work and he confirmed that he also uses them. I cant afford models but as Timothy Bradstreet has done, friends and family make great free reference.

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  21. #77
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    what if i use dc characters but with me and my friends posing as them ? i want to do a piece like this but dont want any copyright infringement issues..sorry if my grammar isnt that great im pretty tired

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    Excellent thread!!

    Gotta admit, I'm often guilty of trying to be like Frazetta and just develop my own stylized 'mental mannikin' to work from. But recently I've started to switch over to using reference more. One big reason was because shortly after Jeffrey Jones passed away recently (the #2 guy in the heroic fantasy art scene of the 60's/70's IMHO) I discovered an amazing article written as a sort of epitaph by his friend and student George Pratt on his blog, which featured a lot of advice Jeff had given him over the years. Here's what Jeff had to say about photo reference:

    Jeffrey Jones on photoreference:
    I remember telling Jeff how I was trying to do more work out of my head as I was feeling trapped by my reference. He understood where I was coming from but said, “My work looks the way it looks because I shoot reference. I need that information, then I can play with it.” He said it was good that I was playing with doing stuff out of my head, but that the reference gives the work knowledge it wouldn’t otherwise have. He said he never understood why artists are embarrassed to use reference. It makes no sense. The artist shoots the reference, it’s their own photos, taken with their particular eye toward composition and light.


    Then I also got Jeff's latest book**, published just before his death, in which can be seen many of his paintings next to his own self-portraits in the same pose. Jeff had the rare fortune to be not only a great artist but also a great model. Wish I could be either one of those..

    I highly recommend the entire blog entry. Lots of other great advice to aspiring painters in there as well.

    Seeing the way Jeff looked in those days, skinny and lanky, and knowing about his gender identity issues that eventually resulted in his undergoing transgender surgery, you can understand a lot about his art - why his male heroes tended to be so graceful and elegant rather than hulking and uber-masculine like Frazetta's, and why his female characters were always render so compassionately, unlike the more common approach in the genre which was to portray women as pinups or sometimes as porn.

    ** Actually I'm not sure now if I saw these pics in his book or in the documentary Better Things: The Life and Choices of Jeffrey Catherine Jones. This is a site where you can purchase a digital download of the film, which I have done and can highly recommend (both the download and the film itself, though I think the film spends a bit too much time focused on Jeff's choice to become transgender - but it's still excellent if you're a fan of his work).

    Last edited by Darkstrider; January 20th, 2014 at 02:13 PM.
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    Hmmm - can't seem to get in to edit that, so I'll just add to it.

    Another contributing factor to moving away from the Frazetta method is that, from the reading I've been doing about him (most notably on the excellent blog of Doc Dave Winnowicz) I've come to realize that Frank most likely had a photographic memory. So ordinary artists can't be expected to do what he did at all. I mean, how else to explain the legendary story about learning Bridgman in one night?

    Geeze, talk about an unfair advantage, on top of all his other amazing talents!!

    Last edited by Darkstrider; January 20th, 2014 at 01:37 PM.
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