OK so part one over, and hopefully you have acquired or are in the process of acquiring the items suggested or equivalent alternatives? No? That's OK I have plenty to share just pop around and you can borrow mine: D
This week's journal concerns itself with the magical ingredient to any artwork the subject! Seems fairly obvious that to draw (paint, digital, mould etc.) anything you need a subject matter and like writing this is where a lot of people get a mental block (how many times do your kids/brothers/sisters/cats say "What shall I draw?" or "I do not know what to draw"? It is not something I have personally suffer with but that may be because I am quite new to drawing, and find the world full of ideas and opportunities, or it could be that I spend a lot of time looking for suitable reference materials and ideas for drawing? Either way, unless you wake up as Picasso, Leonardo or you will probably look to find references for your art, so we will start with that;
1. Finding a reference, there are literally hundreds of web sites dedicated to art references here are some examples;
a. Picture sharing website www.flickr.com/, www.pinterest.com , www.tumblr.com/ and of course our very own DA
b. Stock Image 'warehouses' stcock.exchng www.sxc.hu/, depositphoto depositphotos.com/ and www.visualphotos.com/
c. Image search google.com/images or yahoo.com/images
d. Professional photographers sites 500px 500px.com/ and individuals own sites
All of these can provide literally millions of examples of anything you can possible imagine, and if you do not know what you're looking for just go for a random search, call out a word and search you may be surprised what you find.
WARNING here is a warning though, too many people just 'right-click' a photo and save/print it out, draw it and never credit the artist who created it let alone ask for permission. I cannot stress enough that you should try all possible means to contact the photographer/artist and ask for their permission even if you can not always try to include a reference to them. Just imagine how you feel when someone uses your work and manipulates or takes credit for it and doesn't ask it doesn't feel good to you, so why would you expect the photographer to be happy?
2. Choosing a reference this is really down to personal choice, and ability, but there are some guides that can help you through the maze of millions of pictures, these tips are intended for the beginner, and you can ignore (some) of these as you get more and more advanced;
a. Always use good quality, high definition photographs I know the girl/man in the background looks better than the main character, but unless you can count how many eye lashes they have you will not be able to see enough detail. Try and get hold of 300dpi, large wallpaper sized copies, as a guide have a look at the pictures on 500px and try to match the size as a minimum.
b. Try and find something interesting what I mean by that is if you are going to do a portrait, try not to use one that is full face straight on into the camera why? Well for 2 reasons, 1. It's boring and been done a billion times before, and 2. Unless you're really good it will look flat and have little depth or realism. By if you want to draw a portrait, then look at the face in profile, or at an angle. Look for emotion in a portrait not just a passport photo, try and find one that is smiling, sad, angry, nervous or scared.
c. Be wary of dark areas that cover too much of a picture due to shadow or contrast, likewise with bright shiny areas (glare from water for example), whilst these are fine for those more experienced if you cannot see the detail, how can you draw it? And large dark areas around the eyes, fabrics or shadows across a face look dramatic and moody, but they are incredibly difficult to look realistic with pencils.
d. Do not be afraid to crop an image if you see a great portrait, but it has complex areas crazy hair, jewellery, clothes or even just the case that the person has great eyes but a crooked nose then crop it to the area you feel comfortable with better to draw a great set of eyes, than a face like a Picasso modernist piece!
e. Finally draw what or who you like if you like a pop star/actor/actress then this is a good place to start if you hate Rihanna, then do not draw her, it will show in your drawing. (I would also steer clear of family and friends, as they do not always like reminding that they have a double chin or bad skin )
OK enough of the instructions, what are we going to draw Paul (I hear you all saying!), well given the above I have a few references for us to choose from I could be dictatorial and decide on which one to draw, but as this is supposed to be us doing it together, I thought we could all choose the reference. I have selected a number of old favourites, most have been done before on DA, and most of you will be familiar with them. I have done this so we can see how other people have tackled certain aspects of the drawing, and we can even try and see if they are willing to give us some tips.
I haven't chosen anything too complex or difficult, as we are trying to ensure we cover all experience/skill levels do not worry, I am sure we will do more of these, and step by step we will do more advanced stuff - to balance things up we have 2 women and 2 men to choose from (yes it is going to be a portrait) - you have 1 week to vote (you can find the vote on my profile page paul-shanghai.deviantart.com/), and we will then (finally) start putting pencil to paper - any questions?