Thursday, September 5, 2013

PPF: Using a Reference to Draw and Paint (+LSNED)

I'm taking an online class from Dina Wakley on drawing and painting a particular style of face. One thing she recommends is drawing from a reference. I didn't follow that advice for my first few faces, but I did for the two faces I'm posting today.  On the whole, I like these better.  The face up top is based on this drawing by Fabio Mingarelli.
It really helped me get the shading right (or at least better) and gave me some idea about what to do about hair. I also created this art journal page:
I based it on this wonderful print from Ellen Heck's Forty Fridas collection. 
Although I find it really helpful with my drawing and painting (and I'm not planning to sell or display these beyond my blog), it still feels a little wrong to me somehow to "copy" someone else's art. Do you know what I mean? Does anyone else have similar qualms?
Posting these to Paint Party Friday and 29 Faces.  These are also pages in my Learn Something New Everyday art journal.  The lesson for the top page is "Using a reference photo really is a good idea." My lesson for the second drawing is "Don't be afraid to take a chance. Sometimes you get lucky!"  I'll blog more about those lessons this weekend.

29 comments:

Valerie-Jael said...

Good faces, and a wonderful idea using a reference. Valerie

Missus Wookie said...

I do understand but then remind myself that when I cook - I sometimes wing it but also read recipes and follow them. When I garden, or decorate my home or xxxx I sometimes wing it but also browse for inspiration, lift ideas and yep copy until I'm confident with what I'm learning.

I liked those quotes - using a reference is cool idea and I'm glad you tried it.

Amy said...

You have done so well Rinda - the first sketch reminds me a lot of Audrey Tatou, the French actress. I think you have captured a great likeness in the second painting.

I have similar thoughts to Missus Wookie regarding the copying/inspiration issue - I think we all take aspects of each others work to some extent. I think it is very difficult to be completely original and even though you based your painting on those sketches, they are still uniquely yours with your style and colour added to them.

Anne Manda said...

Copying has been used in art studies for ever! It's a great way to learn, nothing wrong with it! <3 These are wonderful, you used them as inspiration and made your own interpretation!

Sian said...

Audrey Tatou sounds right to me too.

Lots of portrait artists work from photos of their subjects and this doesn't seem too far from that idea to me. A great way to get inspiration and learn

Ginny said...

Both faces are lovely. I liked seeing the reference and what you created from the inspiration. We are all inspired by something but then as artists we are able to put our own unique interpretation on what we create which is exactly what you did.

Karen said...

Using a reference or a starting design is nothing new in the art world, for sure. Sometimes my design follows the inspiration piece closely. Other times, it would be hard to figure out how I went from it to the final product. Your drawings get better and better--and they were good to start with!

Deb @ Paper Turtle said...

It's been so fun to see your portrait drawings develop, Rinda. These are fantastic, and I think the idea of using a photo for a drawing is a great tool for practicing. I've heard of artists using photos to create sketches and paintings for a long time, so I think you are in good company.

Giggles said...

These are great...but I'm with you I also feel uncomfortable copying!! But it seems to propel others forward when they do...maybe it's a good idea for learning!

Hugs Giggles

Ayala Art said...

Excellent! I do not feel bad to use reference. If you use the classics, you learn so much from them, studying and practicing. If you use a modern, you have to be careful of copyrights but if it is practice, and not to sell, you are ok. If it is a living person, it is always nice to ask if you can use their images for practice.

Mary C. Nasser said...

Fabulous portraits!
Love the mark-making you incorporate!
♥♥♥
Happy PPF!!
Mary
Mixed-Media Map Art

Jeanne said...

How lovely to have this talent to paint. Me... NOT SO MUCH, other than stick people...

Kim said...

Your faces are great, sounds like a fun class!

Ila East said...

Copying as a way to learn has been with us from day one, especially when you copy from someone who is a great artist.

In today's society, we stress doing things your way so using a model of some type doesn't mean you are going to copy it, it's just there to give you an idea. Then you make it your own, and I think you have done that.

Corrine at sparkledaysstudio.com said...

I do know what you mean. I draw such wonky things anyway that copying would be impossible. But for your own development I think it's just fine....Lovely work. xox

Diana Evans said...

lovely work with the references!!! well done!!! Have a wonderful weekend!!!

Linda said...

fab work! I know what you mean about "copying" but sometimes I find that copying teaches me so that I can eventually move forward with my own style and process. I wouldn't be comfortable selling something I copied but certainly if I followed techniques but worked them in my own way I would.

Christine said...

lovely work from the references!

Abigail Davidson said...

Practicing always helps! Nice work and happy PPF!

MeOfCourse said...

Hi Rinda. You've been busy. Love your face and also that you worked from references. It's a good way to continue to learn. Practice makes perfect.:)Thanks. Have a great weekend. Happy PPF.

Anne said...

I like the first face a lot. Lovely ! xxx

Beverly said...

I can definitely see where you learned from these, they are great. I think taking it as a lesson and inspiration is good, you always will end up with your own individual mark on it.

Irene said...

Your faces look great, I think it's okay to use as inspiration.

denthe said...

I've never copied someone else's art, but I often use photos to get the shading right. But I always make sure I change something, like giving them different hair or changing their posture slightly. It's a great way to learn and to practice different angles. Your faces look very different from the faces you took as reference, so I don't see them as copies, but really as your own ...

rose of Walk in the Woods, LLC said...

These are both wonderful! And I don't see them as copies … rather, I see them as works inspired by others. Merry creating!

rose of Walk in the Woods, LLC said...

These are both wonderful! And I don't see them as copies … rather, I see them as works inspired by others. Merry creating!

Melissa said...

I believe copying in all part of the learning process. Remember when you learned to write - you followed the outline, then copied the letters, then you could do it all by yourself & develop your own unique handwriting. I copy (scraplift) all the time in my scrapbooking, but it's always my own unique layout. (Of course, I agree that if you are selling or otherwise displaying something as your own it would need to be original.)

Cris, Oregon Artist said...

The impressionists used to go to the Paris museums and set up to copy past masters.. There are paintings of them doing it in fact..it was a learning experience. keep up the good work.

Debbie said...

I love seeing how you used references, and I agree that it leads to a better result. Even if you are not striving for realism, you see things in a reference that you would not think of. Since you are not doing exact copies of the original reference and you are creating truly unique, original works of art, I think you are fine. But I am not an expert on the law, so don't quote me!!