References for drawings and paintings

And in ancient times, and today, artists use different “tricks” to draw a more realistic nature. Previously, artists used perspective grids (Dürer mesh), shadow on Earth and reflections, “sketching” which they received highly realistic and accurate images of the world. These methods were used by many recognized masters of painting — Dürer himself, Picasso, Van Gogh and others. With the invention of photography, projectors, and then computers, it became much easier for artists to use ready-made digital or other ready-made images as references.

A reference in drawing is a picture of a real object acting as a model for drawing. One of the artists simply puts a photo nearby and looks at it in the process of drawing. Someone does the tracing, that is, translates the image onto paper or canvas like a copy. For tracing, light screens are often used, where a photograph is placed and a blank sheet is placed on top of it, then the light is turned on, and the artist copy the main contours. Computer screens or projectors are also used.

Why are artists needed if there is a photograph?

What kind of artist is this if he simply copy the finished image? The fact is that the artist’s work only begins with drawing borders and basic forms. For many authors, this process speeds up the work and makes it possible to quickly get the right proportions. After all, an artist is not a copy shop, I think that the main value of a picture is its color, some creative solutions, a special mood and style. After all, each artist further in his own way works with lines and forms. Previously, it also seemed to me that copying out contours was cheating. I am now inclined to this, after my only experience in drawing the Kremlin from reference photographs:

I took the first photo of the Kremlin I got in Google Pics, uploaded it to the Sketchbook on the tablet, there is the function “use as reference substrate” in the application. As a result, a photograph is placed on the entire layer, and on top of it you create a transparent layer. Then simply draw lines on the photo. In the same application, there is another function – to use the photo as a simple reference, in which case the photo will be stuck from the top to the side, and you will not paint it cleanly, but simply look at the photo and draw it yourself.

The second way — to look at the finished image and draw it yourself without sketching — this is a more disastrous way to create unique works. In this case, I do not think at all that there is any element of copying or simplification. An artist can look at real life or in a photo, I don’t see much difference in this. The photographs probably give some slight simplification from the point of view of composition, but at the same time there are very few colors and shades in the photographs, which makes the coloring more complicated. I really like to draw on references from the Internet or from films / videos. No need to go far, just turned on the computer and found a suitable plot.

Portrait by video

As for my experience of “sketching” from a photograph of the Kremlin, on the one hand I liked the process itself – it was more like meditation than drawing. It is quite simple and fun. On the other hand, the result turned out to be rather boring and straightforward, in this picture (illustration) there is no my style, only in places it makes its way on the clock or turrets. The funny thing is that even when sketching, I managed to change the Kremlin so that igroglaz saw Tatar motifs in it. This is all from laziness, I wanted to simplify or remake most of the details so that it was easier for me to draw them.

How do you use references?

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