Saturday, March 1, 2014

About Art References
"Ships Passing in the Night"
Prints ($16.95 & $26.50) available -here-

A question I was asked recently:
How much do you use references for animals in particular?  

At this point, I mostly do birds from my imagination. Other animals I usually need at least a few reference pictures. I don't ever draw directly from any one photograph. Here's a pinterest board I use for gathering references on any one particular piece that I might be working on at a time:

You can get a pretty good idea looking there, what my painting of the moment is. I like to gather a lot of angles and really start to form a picture in my mine about how something moves, because movement is always utmost important to me. I want my paintings to be active in some way, even when the subject is still, there is movement in all the interconnected elements.

Often photos are of static poses just because of the nature of what it is - a photographer waiting for a moment, and the difficulty of capturing spontaneous movement. For example, it's very hard to find any reference of a bird flying AT the camera because usually a bird will be seen in profile, or flying away from the photographer. You're also not going to be able to find lions pouncing out at the viewer either because...well...that might be the last photograph the photographer would ever take.

So I have to examine the anatomy and figure out how things would look from angles that are not seen. If you scroll down through that pinterest board, you can see that I've got a ton of stag photos currently, and going back a few weeks armadillos, owls, moths, chinese junks, monasteries, running children...etc.

1 comment:

  1. Very good advice Steph, and I for one really appreciate all the hard work you put into this blog, an Facebook, and since I'm working on a artwork trying to replicate your style. I've got to say, until you walk a mile in another mans shoes, or in your case another woman's shoes ... hopefully not high heels ha!...All I can say, is that it's revealed my weakness ... The fact that your line work is wonderfully free in almost any detail you draw, and your light sources, which are very complex, especially when working in watercolour you render with ease ... I now realise that my finished sketch is not really cutting it, and my whole approach is a little unprofessional, but I am enjoying painting it, and can now put foliage on trees ...
    If you need a smile there's progression on my blog ...I wonder how many artworks you will have finished by the time it's completed ...:)