Thursday, July 3, 2008

Giraffe-man is going to be a huge hit...

Here's an interesting piece on alex ross, photo-reliant/mimicking art and what it's done to comics. The comment section is mostly worth reading as well.

What drives me crazy though, (even if i agree with the central premise: ross=lame, fumetti-esque comics=suck) is how photo reference has somehow become a catch all pejorative term for quasi-plagarism/lazy/crutch-for-the-unskilled.

Photo reference doesn't mean photocopying, tracing, duplicating, or stealing a photograph. Photo reference means just what it sounds like. It's reference. It's the visual research you do, so you know and understand what it is you're planning to draw. Let's imagine I'm drawing a comic that features a giraffe (yes, the imagination is a terrifyingly powerful thing). I have a vague idea of what giraffes look like in my head. I know they have long necks, and sort of look like a cross between camels and horses, but beyond that it's pretty fuzzy. How long is the neck in the relationship to the body? They've got those knob things on their heads, but what exactly do they look like? and where exactly are they on the head; are they behind the ears, or between the ears? And what the hell kind of ears do they have? Shit if I know off the top of my head.

photo by digitalART2

photo by cornstaruk

photo by Wildcat Dunny

Oh, that's what they look like. Now I can draw any giraffe I want. Thanks, photo reference. And thanks, baby giraffe...

photo by Ron D’Raine

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