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Old 08-01-2006, 10:11 PM   #1
William Blankenship
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Artists: How much reference do you use?

What percentage of the time are you referencing from photos and such? No sense in being specific, just round to the nearest 5-10 percentage point.
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Old 08-01-2006, 11:29 PM   #2
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10-15%, but I should really use more.
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Old 08-02-2006, 01:12 AM   #3
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Yeah, I'm around 10-15%, too. And, yeah, I should be using more reference than that.
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Old 08-02-2006, 02:22 AM   #4
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I use a lot. 30- 40%. If I want a Corvette - 87 in my comic I really want it to look like a real one with all details. Same with buildings cause there are details I never tought of with out references. I also think its more fun that way.
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Old 08-02-2006, 04:49 AM   #5
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Depends on the project, I remember this book I did about the Pre-Historic Engravings of Foz Ga where I spend at least 50% of the time looking at encyclopedias.

Superheroes too require some references, mostly guns (I dont really know exactly what an M60 looks like ). and cars (aside from the volkswagen beetle which blueprints are engraved in my brain, most cars I draw are usually from my miniature car collection ).

Edit: Ive actually started collecting toys now, at the age of 35 because of this.
I have an F-14 (can draw it by heart by now), an F/A-18, a Ducati and around 50 cars (mostly luxury models - it was a promo-)
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Old 08-02-2006, 07:07 AM   #6
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Really depends on the project. If I'm doing book illustrations around the subject of horses - maybe 10-15% of the time. I am doing different projects right now - historical, so I need some accurate references from the 17-18 centuries, - technical (something I don't often get) so that takes a bit more maybe 70%, as accuracy is number 1 in tech work and I don't always know what a particular bone in a hoof looks like, - and an a short comic book ( which is completely new and I'm having a ball) and I am using about 40% reference for that, mostly for guns and buildings, so far. And feet. I'm not friends with feet yet.
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Old 08-02-2006, 10:03 AM   #7
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A ton, as much as possible.
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Old 08-02-2006, 10:14 AM   #8
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good thread ^_^

too much reference. but if i want the undercarriage of an armored car i'm drawing to look like an armored car undercarriage, and not like a shitty high school prop i hit the internet, or look thru my files. besides that's one of the first things an editor would/should find, yes?
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Old 08-02-2006, 10:44 AM   #9
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The problem with using reference is that if you use too much, you end up a slave of your reference photos and images and it stops being your work and your style.
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Old 08-02-2006, 11:47 AM   #10
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It varies by project, but just enough to get by.l

Toys are great, because you can hold them at any angle that you need.
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Old 08-02-2006, 11:48 AM   #11
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At the moment I'm working on a project where I have to draw scenes of people in a ballroom, so I'm referencing this; however, I am not sticking to any design I find, but rather using many different aspects of different ball rooms and shaping the ballroom as I need. I'm not using any references for the people, as they have been already designed so I know what they look like already (since I didnt create them I did reference what they look like). I might reference some ballroom dresses and what not. I'd say Im doing about 40% referencing here. When I was doing my Night Tracker sequential pages I didn't do a lot of referencing, as this story is set in the future. I just made up stuff, and referenced NYC a little. An average I use about 20% to 40%.

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Old 08-02-2006, 11:56 AM   #12
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100%. It's all traced baby!
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Old 08-02-2006, 12:16 PM   #13
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After i read a script i make a list of all the things in that script that I'll need to reference and I'll take a day to go get it. Cars, guns, boats, specific buildings or landmarks, particular clothes if I'm feeling saucy, set ups of convenience stores, etc. If theres a difficult pose/angle that i can't take a pic of myself in I have one of those poser programs.
It's always good to have some kind of reference to glance at and expand upon so that you can draw a convincing image.

To varying degree I use ref 30-55% depending on how important accuracy is in the story.

I own a handful of gun replicas, and a small fleet of to-scale diecast cars of various makes/models. Those are two things that come up most frequently so i just buy them. I keep recent issues of clothing catalogues. Stuff like that.

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Old 08-02-2006, 12:24 PM   #14
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More than Wya.






And I swipe from him too.
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Old 08-02-2006, 01:03 PM   #15
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Typically, I use about 25-45%. I have the fortune of having access to many live models, especially Martial artists and wrestlers. I love asking two fighters their opinions on strategy, because they will spend an hour or more arguing and demonstrating their ideas of the best moves.

In regards to guns, I just ask my hubby, he's the expert collector. I don't know the difference between a Barretta or a Browning .

Also, I do as Dano, by collecting small die-cast cars, motorcycles, and military vehicles, and at times have been known to disassemble toy model parts and rebuild them into something more unique. I've even assembled Dollhouse furniture parts and vehicle parts together into an assemblage.
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