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  1. #1
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    Am I cheating scum?

    Okay, so here's my latest. It may look mildly impressive at first until you hear that I used a photo reference. There is NO WAY I could draw a background like this from imagination, as half of the people on these forums could. And thus I feel like I'm a fraudulent, background-stealing fake artist ill deserving of the ubiquitous praise I get over at Deviantart (as one might expect).

    Any thoughts?

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  3. #2
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    most of the time you don't know if someone is using a reference in their work because they don't mention it. If you took the ref and directly copied it then fine, its a study, hopefully you learned something. If you took your ref and embellished it and this the outcome, then nice work. It looks great either way so stop whining and asking for someone to stomp on you.

    Go work on your figure drawing and get out of the 80s for gods sake.



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  5. #3
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    everyone should use references

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  7. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matsign View Post
    Go work on your figure drawing and get out of the 80s for gods sake.
    How can I get out of the 80s when the 80s are FOREVER??
    You know we're still living in them!

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    lets clarify something here. some ppl think reference seems to mean paintover. the phrase reference means to refer to, i.e. you look at something. using photos to paintover or using filters on them isnt cheating but it looks like what it is and there fore sucks.

    its time to knuckle down and really lick boot!
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  10. #6
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    ...And as for figure work, I even use photo reference (of myself) for that.
    Which is okay if I'm drawing myself beating myself up.

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    its a study. asl ong as you didnt use the eye dropper two much you would learn a hell of allot about colour. and if you didnt trace it you would learn allot about proportions and perspective.

    Remember your not trying to impress every time you draw, sometimes you are using it as a tool to aid your understanding of something.

    theres some amazing lighting & detail in the image. the image stands on its own and i love it. love to see a background of that quality with some people in it. x

    keep it up. x

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  13. #8
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    Tristan Elwell
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  15. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul "Otaking" View Post
    Okay, so here's my latest. It may look mildly impressive at first until you hear that I used a photo reference. There is NO WAY I could draw a background like this from imagination, as half of the people on these forums could. And thus I feel like I'm a fraudulent, background-stealing fake artist ill deserving of the ubiquitous praise I get over at Deviantart (as one might expect).

    Any thoughts?
    Forgive me for making assumptions here, but I'm willing to bet that you're a mortal human being without an eidetic memory. Everyone uses reference images, or like roidvoid said, they at least should. No one knows what every object looks like from every angle, in every lighting condition. This is a complex scene, full of surfaces of varying levels of reflectiveness, and multiple light sources of different colors. There's only a small fraction of artists who could paint a convincing scene like this from their imagination. You saying that half of all CAers could do that is an extreme exaggeration.
    That said, I think you did an awesome job on this. Fantastic rendering.

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  17. #10
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    would anyone want to escape from the 80s?

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  18. #11
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    Looks pretty nice to me. Would you mind posting the reference, though, just for comparison's sake?

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  19. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlameRaven View Post
    Looks pretty nice to me. Would you mind posting the reference, though, just for comparison's sake?

    Well, I don't have the ORIGINAL photo but I do have the original with my own signs stuck over it (it's part of an animation scene so the signs had to match up with the next scene)

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  20. #13
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    Notice how your painting of the subway station looks better than the photograph? A painter can control the content of his work better than a photographer, and show you exactly what he wants you to see. Nothing more, nothing less. I think the best art is therefore photorealistic painting, not photography.

    Now could I draw something like that from imagination? Sure. If I first practiced for several years and didn't get bored or distracted by anything else. It all comes down to stamina and willpower, I suppose. But I don't even feel I have enough of that stuff to draw something like that from reference. It's not my passion. I'll love it when A.I. gets to the point where we can teach computers to do this kind of thing.

    As far as imagination... Have there ever been times in your life when your mind is flooded with images when you lie down and close your eyes at the end of the day? Perhaps images of things from the day, or people you might meet, or drawings you might do in the future? That has happened to me only a couple times in the past several years, and it always involved being in a new environment with lots of social, visual and/or intellectual stimulation. I had to get out of my routine and attend a conference or a wedding in a new place. It's fascinating how the mind works. What's especially useful is when you can learn to flood your mind with images of pictures you might draw in the future. It makes the inspiration part of being an artist a lot easier.

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  22. #14
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    wow i really like the first pic. however, i´m wondering how you achieved such gleam effects?!? could you please tell me? thx bye

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  23. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by oaki View Post
    wow i really like the first pic. however, i´m wondering how you achieved such gleam effects?!? could you please tell me? thx bye
    Er... combination of airbrush and the old cheap-out Dodge tool in Photoshop!

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  24. #16
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    Heh. My crit has nothing to do with using reference or not. As a graphic designer, the thing that sticks out most glaringly to me is that you used two different fonts for your 3s. A sign-maker would not do this. Every info sign in the metro system would stick to the same font.

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    Nice piece! I don't think using photo reference is a bad thing if your using it for its informational value. The only real crit I have is that the large sign and its reflection depict two different things! Keep up the good work!

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    I also think it comes down to what the artist is trying to accomplish by using the photo reference. This piece strikes me more as a learning challenge because you really didn't add or evolve anything about the pic. It's not used to advance some narrative or make a statement as far as I can see. You did a great job at capturing the details but ultimately if you walk away from this piece without learning anything was it really worth it?

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  27. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redmond View Post
    would anyone want to escape from the 80s?
    Two words for you: Maggy. Thatcher.

    Positively virtuous to use photo refs, by the way, but it might be nice to include some more features of human interest, rather than taking them out.

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  28. #20
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    looks amazing, but I did notice that the reflection of the 4 on the ceiling is the wrong way around

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