Friday, May 29, 2009

Artistic Borrowing

When I have a commission, or in this instance, an assignment, I often begin the process by looking through my vast file of other artist's work, as well as perusing the web for other images that inspire me. Often, I take an idea here and there and meld it into my own. I have felt this is due to my inexperience as an artist until I discovered that others who have been in the industry a long time do this as well. Many also search through Classic paintings to help with the creative process. Even the greats are guilty of borrowing themes and poses from each other, particularly when certain art movements were influencing the art world, such as the Pre-Raphaelites brotherhood.
I've been preparing for my assignments for IMC (in two weeks...gulp!) and came upon these two paintings. Do you see any similarities? The top one is by John W. Waterhouse, one of my favorites. The second is by Cory and Catska Ench, another fav. The Ench's have certainly made it their own, but their book cover was undoubtedly influenced by Waterhouse. Of course the way to avoid this problem is to take your own photo references and poses.
The rules change when using copyrighted photos. In my previous post (Revised Dazed and Confused), I showed a piece of fan art I did for Twilight using a photo of a model I found somewhere on the web. (This was prior to my computer crash so I can't find the source). Though I changed the face, the eyes, the clothes, I was still worried that I would run into copyright problems. The drawing below is my attempt at revising the drawing with my own photo reference. My thanks to Jeff, doctor-son-in-law for posing... and no, his eyes are not golden.


Anonymous said...

Oops, I see here that you said that you looked for photo references and use people as subjects. I have a few questions about that, too! Do you look for pictures that match your imagination, or just look for pictures that will 'fit?' Do you change the faces of what you draw at all? Does that make it easier, or more difficult?

Sorry about all the questions, I'm just so curious about how you can create such precise and life-like drawings, particularly with human faces.

I see nothing wrong with artistic borrowing, as long as (like you said) enough has been changed. Especially with something like poses. It's good to see through fresh eyes sometimes so you don't keep recycling or get stuck thinking about things the same way. (Part of the reason I love to see original fanart)


The Art of Kim Kincaid said...

Hi Reina, I appreciate the questions and because I've received emails in the past asking me to describe the process, I will post an explanation in the next few days. Thank you for your comments.
(Once again, I tried to post on your LJ but I don't know where to go to comment. I'm dense, I know).

Anonymous said...

It's probably because I changed the names of everything, so unless you already know where to go, it doesn't make sense. Sorry!

To post a comment on my LJ, click on "Enter the fortress" under any post.