Fantasy Art

Thursday, September 15, 2016

How to Use Photo References in Fantasy Art

Somebody sent me this photo of a horse (I'd be happy to credit the source if you know it) and suggested that I could make a cool fantasy piece from it.  Normally I politely sidestep suggestions like that, I have entirely too many ideas of my own and not enough time to do them all.  But on this occasion I was inspired.  It's a wonderful photo full of energy and power.

So then I took a very classy photo of myself running at the camera in my back yard.  I cropped it of course, the original full frontal photographery is not for the faint-hearted.

Then I fused the two into one seamless image of a raging centaur.  You'll notice that I endowed the centaur with more muscle and less fat than the model posses.  Bright sunlight makes for strong shadows which highlight muscle structure.  I like to shoot my reference photos outdoors whenever possible but that has its risks so be careful if you follow my example.  Also it was important to make sure that the angle of the sun was the same in both photos.  I had to keep moving my tripod until the shadows were in the right spot.
Centaurs rage a lot which makes them very poor models.  This method is probably the safest approach to drawing them.

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