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Thread: Using photo reference correctly

  1. #14
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    Thanks, Chris.
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    Emily, thanks for posting this. Great thread (5 stars )

    I especially loved the Norman Rockwell stuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    There's a huge site about the impressionists' (and pre- and post-impressionists) use of photography here. It's in Spanish, but the navigation is pretty easy to figure out, and there's a small sampling in English here.
    Wooow, this ^^^ makes me so happy - and mildly less terrified by the masters LOL
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  5. #17
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    Awesome thread, and I learned a fair lot.
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  6. #18
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    excellent helpful information.
    thanks bunches for posting this.
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  7. #19
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    Thank you so much for the great information!
    I really needed this.
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    Will update sometime soon.
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  8. #20
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    Here's something that might interest people - I was asked to do a 'portrait effect' of the british snooker referee Michaela Tabb. I could take a lot of liberties so it was not one of my 'straight portraits' and is therefore interesting in that it willfully departs from the reference yet has to be a reasonable likeness. I thus made the drawing you see from the shown reference photograph and then made the painting entirely from the drawings without once looking at the photograph at all, releying entirely on the information that was important in the drawings.

    P.S. Emily, if you do not wish people to put their own examples in this thread then please feel free to delete it, I quite understand.

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  10. #21
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    No, thank you so much for sharing Chris. This is wonderful!

    This is an excellent way to work from photo reference and I want to thank you being willing to share it with us.
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  11. #22
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    Emily G, thanks for this thread! I'm constantly surprised at how many young artists seem to think that reference is some evil crutch that "real artists" don't need. The truth is not only is it ok, it's a damn good idea, and if you aren't using reference you are doing yourself a major disservice!
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  13. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Dweller View Post
    Emily G, thanks for this thread! I'm constantly surprised at how many young artists seem to think that reference is some evil crutch that "real artists" don't need. The truth is not only is it ok, it's a damn good idea, and if you aren't using reference you are doing yourself a major disservice!
    Well, I think alot of young artists are using Frazetta, concept art, myths about old masters or superhero comic book artists as their guide, but I don't think they realize that:

    1. Frazetta's stuff, while superb in its own right, is nowhere near as specific as Rockwell's. Superhero comic work is even less so. Fraz also used reference when he needed it. Alot of environmental concept art is realistic in general effect, but compared to a well researched landscape by the Hudson River painters it lacks in truthful information and subtlety of effect.

    2. Unless a person has photographic memory of the highest order, it would be impossible for their work to match the work of a pro who renders realistically using models, props or photographs. Try doing a Dru Struzan-like poster without reference of the actors...

    3. Yeah, maybe Michelangelo was knowledgable enough to draw the figure as well as he could from imagination, but at the expense of other subjects. He worked pretty much exclusively with the figure all the time, in 2D and 3D. Artists are not Batman where they can have absolute mastery of 10 different disciplines at a writer's whim.

    4. The final result is what matters. Master artists have used models, photography, copying other art, camera obscura, projection, figurines, sculptures, mannikins,etc. to attain the quality of work they were looking for.
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  15. #24
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    This is a great thread with a lot of usefull information. The Rockwell stuff was especially enjoyable. Photo refernces have been used for years, even the master used camera obscuras to help them get the details right. When all art is comprised of copying images either fromthe imagination or form life is there really a need to argue of the level of copying? Besides, I think it was Picasso who said that "Amatures Create, Professionals Copy" lol Of course that may be slightly out of context but you get the idea... : )
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArtMonkeyWorld Dave View Post
    Besides, I think it was Picasso who said that "Amatures Create, Professionals Copy" lol Of course that may be slightly out of context but you get the idea... : )
    First of all, it's completely out of context. Secondly, it's "good artists borrow (or sometimes, copy), great artists steal." Furthermore, besides Picasso it's also been attributed to others, including T.S.Eliot and Stravinsky, although I can't find a definitive source for any of them. And finally, it has to be one of the most misinterpreted quotes of all time.

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  17. #26
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    I've learned that the whole 'the old masters used the camera obscura' thing is a myth, or at least largely exaggerated.
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