Okay so you have completed your thumbnail sketches, now what? You most likely have some real questions like, how is my background going to look? What time of day does my scene take place? I’m really not sure how to draw that tree in the background.

That’s where this lesson comes into play. Finding background reference helps you to figure out all of the nitty gritty details in your scene. It helps to take the guess work out of your image making process. Even if you work only from your imagination I encourage you to use background reference.

It’s not about copying pictures exactly. It’s about filling in empty gaps. These gaps of uncertainty usually lead to an inconsistent image making process.

In the illustration I am creating over at Drawing Tutorials Online I stress to members the importance of background reference. For myself I’ve always looked for background reference right after I finished my thumbnail sketches.

Background reference enabled me to visualize my figure within a scene. It helped me to visualize my entire illustration.

It was also a huge part of my creative process. I really enjoyed going out into the field to photograph my own reference. When that was not possible I usually looked to the stock photography sites.

In the case of this illustration I used istockphoto to purchase the rights to use a photographers image. It really did save me a lot of time. Plus I do not live out west so I couldn’t possibly have photographed for the scene.

 

 

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Thanks so much for reading!

 

Mixed Media Figure Drawing

Learn how to model the figure using white charcoal on painted board. This free three lesson course will teach you how to add color and form to your figure drawings. Plus you will receive a downloadable PDF that compliments the course.

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