Friday, June 01, 2007

BB roughs

Some linework design sketches, from Batman Beyond.


Blogger J Gilpin said...

Hi Paul,

Nice work! I've been an admirer since reading your articles in Draw magazine. Are these architectural drawings done without reference? There is quite debate going on now about the use of photo ref and 3d models to cheat - not my words ;-)

I'm still trying to improve my hand drawn perspective grids - as I think that skill will always help my art. What are your thoughts?

Best regards,


8:38 PM  
Blogger Paul Rivoche said...

Thanks Jonathan. These are done straight ahead--no direct tracing or reference. I use perspective, play with forms and architectural ideas, add imagination and lots of tries and variations and so on---and end up with what I end up with.

About your question, it's difficult to give a succinct answer in the space available here, but in my opinion it's only the end result that matters. You can find examples on either side of the argument: on one side, there are people who use no photo ref or aids; some of these get good results, some poor. On the other side, there are those who employ all kinds of aids; and in this group, some get great results, some terrible. So using drawing aids is no guarantee of great results, but not using them also does not guarantee anything.

What matters is knowledge and skill and experience and judgement and application and so on. Often drawing aids can be a crutch, if used by someone who has not taken the time to learn form, line, perspective, anatomy, etc etc etc…ie, all the traditional art skills. You can spot photo-crutchers a mile away. It makes the work weak and lifeless: there is no human personality there, just a bunch of poorly traced shapes. It has a distinctive kind of look, yes, all too common nowadays. In the figure, it shows in grievous anatomy mistakes and distortions resulting from too literally tracing a photo’s shapes; in perspective drawing, it shows when someone is unable to make the necessary design adjustments to make a perspective drawing look convincing to the eye in terms of depth, balance/composition, etc.

Yet, in the hands of someone skilled in traditional art knowledge---photos can be another great tool, not at all a crutch. Look at the unbelievable art of Norman Rockwell as one example: he used photos to beautiful effect, but was not slavishly dependant on them. HE used THEM, not the other way around. Many of Rockwell’s subsequent imitators thought his “secret” was in the use of photos, so they tried to use photos too; the result was predictably bad, because they lacked his art knowledge.

There is no shortcut to true art knowledge, just blood, sweat, and tears.

PS: Where exactly is this debate going on? You mean an online debate?

12:55 AM  
Blogger CCG Coordinator said...

Hi Paul,
I sent you an email response since there is a bit a of a disconnect with using comments to discuss this. I missed your reply up until just last Friday. So look for an email from -
-Jonathan Gilpin

2:34 PM  

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