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Photographic reference - Pan's Labyrinth

Drawing from photographs is very beneficial in terms of improving ones visual vocabulary. After countless of practice, we will have images stored in our mind to call upon, rather than refering back to photographs instead. These research images can be collected from books, newspaper, the internet and so forth but if you have a set idea in place of what you intend to create, it can be easier creating reference photos yourself. This is what I did for my second illustrated piece for Scene Stealers. I took photos from several different camera angles of the same scene in order to choose which one would communicate my intentions most effectively.

Further tips for adapting photos for reference that were of use to me:

- Start with an initial quick sketch of your character or background.

- Choose interesting as well as difficult angles and poses

- Put the photograph away before revising your sketch

- Tilt your composition slightly so the point-of-view is not the same as the photo you used

- Draw your background or character using only the interpreted sketch

- Stylise and distort the shapes that fit your style

- Simplify backgrounds

- Think in terms of three planes/layers of depth:





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