View Full Version : using photos for reference?

11-11-2000, 09:57 PM
i have a question....since i can't afford to hire animals as models for my wildlife paintings, and they don't usually stop in the woods while i'm hiking to pose for pictures...how do people paint realistic, detailed pictures of wildlife if they don't use photos for reference? i can't believe most people can draw, say, a coyote portarit freehand. don't they use a photo (not their own) to copy and then, maybe, add a different background or different light or something? Is this artisitic license or downright plagarism? help...i'm in a quandry. and i'm dying to paint some wildlife. (and the same goes for my problem with painting famous musicians!)

thanks for any help!

Phyllis Franklin
11-11-2000, 10:23 PM
In the summer I like to go to the zoo. Most don't mind at all if you sketch or if the zoo is not crowded, you can actually set up an easel. I know that they don't just pose for you, but you sure can get a good idea about how they move. It is sorta fun trying to capture the likeness that way.

Also try to narrow your project down. Take for instance, one day just try drawing the lions eyes as opposed to a goat. It is amazing what you can learn about different animals this way.


Yep this is Phy...llis
Sounds like Lizz.
Join in the fun! Paint one of the painting projects today. (http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/WetChat/Projects/index.html)

11-12-2000, 07:57 PM
christian I get all my animal pictures and drawing at the zoo and hiking in the woods. If you want to work in great detail you either need an animal in front of you always or you use photo references for details. I do sketches and take many reference photos of animals at zoos and safari parks, using other peoples photos can be a mistake though. If you sell the work it may leave you open to plagarism. But you can practice all you want with other peoples photos. famous musicians are another deal...I don't really konw how that works. Certainly hard to paint famous people without it being recognizable as someone elses work, unless you took the pic yourself..and then you would need a release from that person...tough one.