There seems to be a lot of contention around using photo reference for drawing/illustrations. That using reference material doesn’t make you an artist or a fake (to a point.) I find that yes, if you do not have a good foundation built upon understanding anatomy or perspective, then no amount of references will help. However, I do understand that using photo reference can be a good thing especially for commercial or professional artists needing to meet a deadline. It is no different than using a mirror, next to your drafting table, to get that expression right. It has been recommended by the Great Jack Kirby, John Buscema, John Romita Sr, and Joe Kubert. Even looking at Alex Ross, he has friends that model for him with light for effect, and uses that photo when painting. These gentlemen have one thing behind them though, and that is the strong foundation of anatomy and practice. That being said, one should not trace over an image and add their spin on it as the stock photo used maybe copyrighted by that model or photographer. I personally, use reference taking a picture of my wife’s hand or shot of her at an angle needed. I even use myself just to get that pose I want. I do understand the foundations of anatomy but often time, just want to get it as realistic as possible. On that note, use references but use them wisely and don’t copy the whole pose. Build up your understanding of anatomy every day. I am constantly reminded to do so whenever I look at Steve Rude or Adam Hughes sketchbooks. These are men who have more experience in their pinkie but they keep on practicing and refining.
Artist’s born today:
Wil Wheaton. Wil is an actor and a writer. Best known for his roles in Stand by Me, Star Trek: the Next Generation, The Guild, and on the Big Bang Theory as himself. The man is known to all things Geekery and enjoy his twists on fandom. Happy Birthday Wil!