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Thread: Where to find portrait references

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Where to find portrait references

    I've always had trouble finding good portraits with superb lighting to do studies from. I've been through google images, deviantart, photography mob, but it seems I've used up those resources to the point where it's impossible to find newer material.

    Anybody know of really good sites that offer great non-cropped portraits in awesome lighting?
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  3. #2
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    May 2003
    Hudson River valley, NY
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    Tristan Elwell
    **Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial

    "Work is more fun than fun."
    -John Cale

    "Art is supposed to punch you in the brain, and it's supposed to stay punched."
    -Marc Maron
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  5. #3
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    Aug 2007
    Los Angeles
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    It's not a site, but get these:

    They're cheap paperback compilations of photographs depicting old Hollywood stars from the thirties on up. These books are particularly useful because the photographers back then relied heavily on Rembrandt lighting, which is dramatic compared to the flat lighting you typically see in today's fashion magazines. Because there is such a stark drop off from the lights to the shadows, one can more readily learn about turning the form on a smooth gradient, how cast shadows help to describe the form underneath, the effectiveness of developing a simple two-value drawing, the importance of shape design and simplification, and all that jazz.

    Alternatively, you can just do a Google image search for the stars above, like Ingrid Bergman, Cary Grant, Marilyn Monroe, Marlene Dietrich, Clara Bow, Louise Brooks, Susan Hayward, etc. Found a great one here, with high resolution scans:

    Hm, I'm gonna have to do some studies from there myself! Good luck!
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  7. #4
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    Sep 2004
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    Online tv - I like the news, interviews, documentaries, etc. The cool thing is you can see the person moving and use a couple of screen shots to go beyond the reinterpretation of just one photograph (ie. push the features/angles that you think fit the person/mood etc.)

    check the Tensai Tokyo Sketch Thread (Sketchbook)

    check the Tensai Cityscapes Thread (Finally Finished)

    Quote Originally Posted by strych9ine
    Fuck backgrounds, who needs em.
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  8. #5
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    Feb 2006
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    On Flickr you can subscribe to an RSS feed of a tag. I have 'portrait' and 'hands' subscribed in Google Reader, along with several other things I like to get random reference for.
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  10. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Thanked 12 Times in 11 Posts
    Sorry I have no references for you. Been looking for good references too and the Dr Macros website is really refreshing from the usual fashon shots

    There was a really good thread here on CA for portraits but I cant seem to find it now I remember it had a Native American in it, but thats about it, sorry

    C&C are more than welcome

    deviantart gallery
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