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Create Artwork Based On Your Photography
One thing that I have found helpful to do over the years is to use my pictures as reference photographs for my artwork. By using my own photographs as as reference tools for my art projects, I am able to give my illustrations a personal touch that is all mine. The more I draw and paint, the more I see I have a certain kind of style that is the J Hanna style, and no one else can produce my unique kind of work. Today it is easy to create your own reference photographs because digital cameras are affordable, and these are easy enough for most everyone to use. Rather than buy an expensive digital camera that the professionals use, a basic one for around a hundred dollars or so will probably meet the needs of most people who are just taking pictures for themselves, as reference photographs for artwork, and who are more interested in creating simple, yet beautiful photographs. Now if you are looking to start a professional photography business, you probably want to think of purchasing more expensive equipment, but for most of us a basic digital camera will do. I have been using my Aiptek HD camera since 2008, which takes both high definition video and 8 megapixels pictures. This little camera has meet all my needs in the last three years, and it continues to work, even after I dropped it a few times and let my niece and nephew play with it.
Creating The Reference Photograph
I took a picture of an organic pumpkin on my counter as a reference photograph for my sketch.
Sketch Out The Pumpkin
For my drawing I just made a quick study of the actual pumpkin right in front of me, but I have included the reference photograph that I could have used if I were not near a pumpkin when I wanted to draw it. The useful thing about a reference photograph is that it enables you to draw a person, place, or thing when you cannot be there at the moment. For instance, many of the landscapes I have drawn of the San Bernardino Mountains have been based on photographs I took since I was not able to go up there when I wanting to create an illustration.
In this part of the sketch I am adding the ribbing to the pumpkin, but keeping the drawing relatively simplistic.
I used a dark orange colored pencil to fill in the ridges of the pumpkin's ribbing. The dark pencil will fill in the ribbed sections of the pumpkin first, and then I will color the inner portions between the ribbing with a lighter orange colored pencils.
With the light orange colored pencil I colored in the lighter portions of the pumpkin in between the ribbing. I enjoy blending the light portions of the orange colored pencil into the darker portion of the orange colored pencil on the pumpkin drawing.
In this picture the pumpkin is not completely colored in, except for the stem.
I used a light brown colored pencil to shade in the stem on the pumpkin.
For my pumpkin illustration I decided to create a blue sky behind the pumpkin with a colored pencil. I traced over the cursive text "Happy Thanksgiving" with a black marker.
I have created a green grass for the pumpkin to sit on with a colored pencil. As I am coloring in my drawing, I envision this to be a scene at a pumpkin patch rather than on my counter. Artistic license allows you to change details in your drawings, which is why you use your photographs as references, not absolutes guidelines.
The completed drawing of the Thanksgiving pumpkin is propped against the actual pumpkin to display the illustration. Even the pictures I took of the pumpkin would make fun Thanksgiving Day cards, but I am primarily focused on using the scanned version of my pumpkin drawing for my cards. Usually, I print out my own cards, but you can also use print on demand websites like Zazzle and RedBubble to turn your photograph and artwork into cards.
Below I created a video that documents what my Thanksgiving Day pumpkin drawing looked like after I finished it.
My Other Artwork That Is Inspired By My Photographs
My photos have also inspired many of my other drawings, and here are a few that I have created over the years.
My Self-Portrait Sketch
My colored pencil self-portrait was based on a photograph I took of myself recently.
The pencil sketch I created of Lady dog is based on several photos I took of my pet, and my memories of her sitting next to her favorite window.
My Tree Sketch
My Forest Sunset Sketch Drawing
I created the forest sunset sketch with several photographs I took up in the San Bernardino Mountains. The mountains have been an inspiration for many of my landscape art projects. This drawing has been used to design a t-shirts that I have bought for myself, and is one of my favorite and most vibrant illustrations.
My Buster Dog Sketch
Using your photographs is a very creative and inspirational way to find ideas for new art projects. Try it today!
Have you ever used your photographs as reference for an art project
All photos and content of this hub are the copyright and intellectual property of J Hanna, and may not be copied without permission. You are welcome to embed my YouTube videos into your website, hubs, and blogs, and to link back to my hubs.