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Daily Deviation
Daily Deviation
September 8, 2014
HOW TO MAKE YOUR ART LOOK NICE: Reference n Style by trotroy It can't be said often enough that using great references makes for great art! Check out this fun and useful tutorial on the subject!
Featured by Elandria
Suggested by EeNii
trisketched's avatar


To all my fellow artblocked, stumped, and confused artists, here's a kinda long guide on how to work around your stumps! And it's also basically the answer to why some artists are good/awesome and how you can work your way to become as good/awesome/even better than them!

Some works used in this aren't mine and are used for reference purposes and are credited as such.

Keep practicing yo! and excuse my writing

EDIT: Holy man, thanks so much EeNii and Elandria!


Color and Harmony
Flow and Rhythm in Lines
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651x10192px 4.43 MB
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Murasaki99's avatar

This sums it up so well. For artists starting out, the idea of referencing seems like "cheating". Nope, nope, you have to learn somehow and this is the best way. :heart:

goosetooth's avatar

I'd love to see a tutorial on how to build your visual library

RammPatricia's avatar
Good one, but speedpaintings are not being done without reference because they have a good visual library. It's because they usually record only a small proportion of screen so you don't see the lots of images open, or they record the full screen, but the second monitor is open with lots of reference images. There are not many artists out there who can do good pieces without reference, simply because they should not. There is no reason to draw/paint from your head, that's the number one mistake if you are not a super professional yet. Also about 70% of speedpaints are fake. I like this image though, good information that should have been pushed in the face to every beginner.
AOS1981's avatar
This gave no help
minecraftdodi's avatar
Thanks! i've been on artblock and now your encouraging me~
ivoryfox's avatar
This is so true! Thank you for doing this! Do you mind me using this for an art lesson with 15-16yr olds with credits?
shoucchin's avatar
Thank you for this! It's nice to see this because it reassures me that references are the way to go. Especially in high school, I was often told by my peers that referencing was akin to copying (even if I changed almost everything about a drawing!) and so I wouldn't get better. Seriously, thank you!
trisketched's avatar
Glad to hear it! Yeah many consider that referencing is copying unless it is *heavily* referenced. But usually heavily referencing something is for learning purposes anyway. 
ForsakenStrange's avatar
"Magical Drawing powers"
"Demonic sacrifice"

Trust me, I tried it before, and it didn't work. The demon said he needed my soul.

I already sold my soul a long, long time ago.
Charlene-Art's avatar
trisketched's avatar
thanks charlene!
Charlene-Art's avatar
irismondragon's avatar
Thanks for doing this! I'll start my own reference library from now on :)
LifyehDragon's avatar
This is great! Gave me more motivationfor my own art, also reminded me of some of the things some of my art teachers would say. I always look up posing references. :D Thanks for making this!
cutsnguts's avatar
thank you so much !! your tutorial is really amazing !
trisketched's avatar
Wow thanks for sharing your application! Hope you get to use references more often. They indeed do wonders!
C3lestialWolf's avatar
Hey there~ ! 
I just wanted to say thank you for all the tutorials you've made. Though I've only just found them, they seem to be incredibly useful and I'll definitely be applying some of the techniques you introduced in them! Like many others here, I avoided referencing like crazy, however now I'll definitely try it! 
trisketched's avatar
AGggg you're too kind! I'm glad you found these tuts useful :aww:
R-redbob's avatar
it really helps me, thank you for posting this. Your advices are really helpful! 
But I why a stupid question: how can someone "steal" from other artists without actually cheating or copying them ?
trisketched's avatar
a lot of people tend to misinterpret the definition of Picasso's word "steal". There is blatant stealing, and smart stealing. The blatant kind is taking an idea and barely even changing it (copying). The smart kind, however, is taking an idea (or multiple ideas) and then making a new/different one. That is how i interpret Picasso's quote based on my experience as an artist
Tishalee133's avatar
afdgsdfgsdha great tutorial! This was actually really helpful... I used to hate using references... I always thought it was like cheating... but not nowBirb intensifies  freeeedom!!!
ComicGoals's avatar
Omg do you have a list of Artists that inspire you? Because I love your taste.
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