When working on a drawing I find there's two opposites of a spectrum that one can bounce between. One is working from reference - the Humphrey Bogart sketches for example. The other is working from one's own mind. Both of these have their own strengths. When working from the mind you get to tap into ideas quickly, immediately - shrinking this, extending that, adding stitches over an eye. A wrinkle here, a wrinkle there.
The challenge is merging the creativity in your mind with the laws of the "real world" we can find in photos. Laws like gravity, lighting, form, anatomy and so on. The dynamic between using what's in your head and/or what to seek reference for has always been interesting to me.
Alex Toth, the legendary comics artist, said that one should always seek reference, and his artwork reaped the rewards of this for sure. But he also merged this with his imagination, and did so seamlessly.
Douglas E. Draper Jr. is an award-winning artist working out of Philadelphia. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Maryland Institute, College of Art and his work has been exhibited throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, Annapolis, Baltimore and various other cities and galleries. His fine art and illustrative work can be seen from such publishers as Moonstone Books, Top Shelf, Desperado, IDW, and many others.
© 2023 Douglas E. Draper Jr.