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a frog the size of texas

February 19th, 2009

11:49 pm - Reference Example

Was painting on the Matsumoto picture, and realized that if I took a screenshot, I'd have a really good example of how to use reference.

There's WAY too many people out there with no idea of what "reference" really means. Some think it means tracing. Some think it means copying exactly. Unfortunately, no. Those are, respectively, tracing and copying. If I have a live model in front of me and I am drawing her likeness, she is not my reference. She is my SUBJECT.

Reference is when you take a source picture, whether it's a photo or painting or drawing or sketch, and use it to apply SOME things to your picture. You can reference a pose. You can reference lighting. You can reference gravity, or folds, or volumes, or whatever aspect you want.

In this case, I'm referencing lighting. I found a picture of a young woman with a round face - because I really did not want Western-model cheekbones in this picture - whose head was at turned away from the camera at basically the same angle Matsumoto was, and with light coming from the direction I wanted. Actually, it was coming at the exact opposite angle, so I had to flip the picture horizontally.

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