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I've just recently registered here, so I don't know if this was posted before - but, I was wondering, Jason, when you do your portraits (for games like icewind dale 2), what kind of references do you use (if any at all)? The detail in the faces is rather striking (at least, to me).
i used to use reference for the heads...but ive painted hundreds of heads like that and really dont need it anymore. I will keep an actor..or person in mind as i paint...but after six years of figure work from life and then another three doing them from imagination I can finally invent a little bit.
but...reference would help me more...my heads tend to start looking similar.
the key to the whole thing is to take as many figure classes as you can. I took fifteen...plus two semesters of anatomy drawing and cadaver drawing.
i wouldnt be able to do it if i had not drawn from life so much.