On starting from reference and making it your own. ͏ ‌     ­ ͏ ‌     ­ ͏ ‌     ­ ͏ ‌     ­ ͏ ‌     ­ ͏ ‌     ­ ͏ ‌     ­ ͏ ‌     ­ This newsletter is about drawing. It goes out every Friday. Want to draw? Then check out my free workbook!

#153 - In Stead Of Copying Artists, Try To Use Them As Inspiration And To Draw In Your Style

On starting from reference and making it your own.

Drawing Demo

demonstration of how to draw using preliminary studies

This is the first of a series (hopefully!) of character designs I plan to do based on photos I took on the streets. This is from a photo I took yesterday at Dam Square in Amsterdam. The weather is nice now, so I am collecting as many pictures of people in interesting poses, with interesting clothes and shapes, or doing interesting things.

I want to see if this is a fun routine for me: do street photography, take pictures of people, then draw them from observation and then memory, understand the shapes and forms, and then push the figure to arrive at a character design. I also instantly have a hero image for an article and can share it on socials.

Reference Deep Dive: Character Design For A Big Standing Man

I have a problem. I admire the works of so many different artists, all with unique styles! I look at their work, and immediately, I am inspired to draw like them, to draw in their style.

I’ve been copying works by artists I admire for the past period. While copying designs that work yields beautiful sketchbook pages, something is dissatisfying about it: I want to make work that is uniquely mine!

This is a fun thing I am trying at the moment: look at a part of art I admire, a part of a drawing small enough that I can somewhat memorize it, and then I draw from memory, directly in pen, in my style, thinking up new details and changing things as I go. It is liberating!

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