Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Email With A Question

Hi everyone, I recently got an email with an interesting question that's been asked to me several times. I actually had a (rare) moment to answer... so I did, and here are both mails in case you find the subject interesting (I won't print his name in case he wouldn't like to see it published). To go with the post, two old drawings (too bad I don't have the time to come up with new stuff lately!) ------------------------ "Hey Marcos, Hope all is well. Just finished reading your book and thought it was great. I was hoping you could answer a question for me regarding chapter 3. I understand that we first must compose the light and darks, then the lines, and then finally fill in the details. My question is, do you fill in the "details" using reference material or from memory? In other words how do you go about filling in the abstract? Thanks!" ------------------------ "Hi, and thanks for reading Framed Ink and your positive feedback on it. Here is my rather lengthy answer... Mostly I go by memory. Normally I imagine the finished work and pull from there to then put it on 'paper'. Now, this takes a long time of practicing passionately, drawing and drawing and then some, walk down the street and observe everything as it could be a nice frame or image, go home and then draw it. Run into happy artistic 'accidents' while practicing... making sure you can then train yourself to reproduce these at will. Get inspiration from masters, lots of life drawing at studios and on the street, watch good movies and appreciate the visuals... and on and on and on. One interesting exercise you can do to achieve this is, use an image (a photograph) observe it for a few minutes trying to memorize the bulk of it as well as some important details, hide the picture away and then try to draw it. After you are done compare both and see where you failed, repeat with the same or other images until you learn how to observe properly by starting with the essential and most important details. This will help you create a good memory archive as you then keep observing and observing from life. Do I use reference? sometimes, but I have to tell you for the feedback I get from people, a lot less than they imagine. Nevertheless, even when using reference you have to make sure you have the bulk of shapes resolved beforehand, and then use the reference that fits into your plan. (obviously references will also be needed in case we need to be accurate in terms of ...specific military uniforms, car models etc, you name it) There is not one only way to work, some people will feel comfortable using a bigger percentage of reference in their work, as long as they take the adequate inspiration from it instead of just copying, and they manage to make it work for the job, it's all good. I hope this answers your question. 'Best. Marcos."