Recently I was watching a video over on KelbyOne.com® about compositing (titled “Character Composite” by Glyn Dewis), and the focus of the lesson was making a character composite from shooting the background, to shooting the character, etc. However, one of the things that caught my attention was when (near the beginning I think) he talked about what he called a mood board. A mood board, by his definition, is a collection of images that convey the mood or have something you like about them that you want to reference when you start making your composite. It made it so that both he and his client (or in this case virtual student) have a vision of what they want the finished project will look like. And that is a very useful tool, especially as he went on in the composite process. What does that have to with drawing or the number of photos on my iPhone®? Well hold on a minute and I will explain.
Compositing is the combining of visual elements from separate sources into single images, often to create the illusion that all those elements are parts of the same scene.” ~ Wikipedia
The above picture is a screenshot of what I call my reference photos. I save images I see and screenshots I take while watching shows and sort them into albums by fandom. Below is a picture of one of my recent drawing projects and what I used in the process of drawing the two characters.
Beside the usual equipment (paper, pencil, and eraser) there are three black and white printouts and ‘The DC Guide to Pencilling Comics’. If you look closely, you would notice that the printouts are images, 2 of Captain America® and one of Black Widow®. Which brings us back to the KelbyOne.com course I took, and the mood board. These images have something I liked about them, and 2 of them where in my reference folders. The image of Black Widow I used as a reference for the body position of the character on the left, and I used the animated picture of Steve Rodgers® for the same as well as a general reference for what Captain America’s costume should look like. I used these images as starting points, referencing the section in the book about drawing bodies for Cap.
And then, after several hours of work on each character, I somehow managed to put on the paper the images in my head. Which, trust me, is way harder than it sounds or looks. And the drawings aren’t perfect. But they are way better than they would have been without the reference photos.
I guess what I am trying to say is that there is logic behind the madness of having that many photos on my phone. Without them, not many of my projects would have been started. I work best when I am inspired, and what better way to start a project than knowing that it is possible.
Anyways, I hope that this has inspired you to take the time to start your own reference folders for your projects, whatever they are. Until next time!