Monday, November 24, 2008

Reference Photo Day

Here are some images I've made over the last couple of years and the reference I shot of myself for them.

Click on the image to see the reference picture. I'll answer any questions in the comments section.

Thanks for looking and enjoy!


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22 comments:

Giovanni Pasini said...

so fun!
great!

Joel Kimmel said...

Very cool. I'm way too embarrassed to show the reference photos I take of myself!

Annie Wu said...

Just like Joel there, I'm too embarrassed to ever show my own photos, but I like seeing what others do. These are marvelous.

Tobias Schwarz said...

thanks for posting this. great reference.

Pinflux said...

Fantastic! It's great to see you actually use yourself as some of these characters, rather than just using the poses. I wonder if I'll be able to spot you in your work from now on...

Steve said...

haha this is funny stuff lol

deryke said...

awesome post. i wish i could have shown this to the student in my last drawing class.

especially the way you are shooting in some sort of closet situation. that just rocks!

Haylee said...

It's great to see the reference for all these great pieces. I love the singing one especially. Keep on rockin it!

Francis Vallejo said...

haha, great post Frank. The thing I miss from living with my artist buddies is that I have to run, set the timer, pose, and somehow figure how to get the right angle on the pic by myself. My neighbors must think im crazy.

Greg said...

I have a question: for those instances where the final pose and/or angle of the character in the illustration differs from your pose in the reference shot, how do you 'make up the difference'? Is it just experience, or what?

One more quick question: do all your illustrations of people, or human-like figures need a reference shot for you to be happy with the outcome? If not, when do/don't you need a reference shot?

Finally, thanks for embarassing yourself in public like this. :-)

Jack Noel said...

These are great. I like the way you sometimes put on bits of the outfit.

Here's one of mine: http://jackdraws.blogspot.com/2008/01/vice-trap.html

Frank said...

Thanks for the comments, guys.

deryke - sadly, that "closet" is my studio.

francis vallejo - Yes, I get a lot of mileage out of my camera's timer. When I started art school though, all I had was an analog camera (so inconvenient).

greg - I was wondering if anyone was going to pick up on that. I use reference for three basic reasons:
1) for getting the right pose
2) for getting a good look at some difficult-to-make-up anatomical detail, or a detail of how the folds & drapery might look.
3) for doing a more "realistic" image.

90% of the time I am just using reference as inspiration for a pose, meaning I'll act out what I think it would be like to be in that situation. Those are cases when the illustration least resembles the reference.

The 2nd most often way I use reference is for something like a hand in close-up, or the way a blazer might bunch up around the elbow, or perhaps I have a difficult angle to invent and I want to make sure things are in the right spot.

And least often, I'll stick pretty closely to the reference and do a more realistic image. The Playboy piece is an example of that. It was a case where I wanted the anatomy of things like his lips and ears and especially his hand to look really good close-up.

Thanks!


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M said...

Thank you so much for posting these, Frank! You're very brave and generous for sharing your knowledge and process.

It is also great to see how you pull and stretch and exaggerate, giving much more energy than an ordinary photo would.

It is also good to know that you sometimes need reference to lend believability, but I suspect a bulk of it comes from your keen observation skills - or is it just from drawing a lot?

Also for example, the party crashers one, would you first draw thumbnails, then take some reference for inspiration/pose assessments, then do a tighter sketch?

Oliver Dominguez said...

Hey Frank, thanks for posting the refrence shots of your illustration. Its nice to see your process.

I notice too that you use your ref. not to the full extent. I always though you did all your work out of your head. Thats good to know, you use ref.

Nice work man, and the ref. are funny!!

Cheers,

Oliver

Frank said...

M - I could do everything out of my head but photos give me details I wouldn't have thought of otherwise. The exaggeration isn't so much keen observational skills as it's been lots of studying anatomy and drawing, drawing, drawing.

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elisio said...

that was a lot of fun and cool.

Anonymous said...

REFERENCE???

CHEATER.

God.

-JT

Dustin dArnault said...

That's pretty cool man. Funny as hell.

Howard Shum said...

Amazing looking work!

Sam said...

Liar! That's me in the bottom sketch! I'm hurt, really, really hurt. . .

deep{6} said...

that bottom drawing is delicious. wow.
{s}

shunendo said...

That's awesome. I've never done this, but I have to try it now. Great ideas and art on your site. Thanks for sharing.