What to do!

OK, so the other day I was struck by an idea of a picture. It was going to be very art deco and I started to do a sketch but didn’t get very far.

First sketch
First sketch

Mainly one of the reasons is, I don’t like profiles that much, especially these sort of ‘straight on’ ones, so I started to try and map out the face from a different angle.

As you can see this also didn’t get very far.

As you can see, I get distracted easily
As you can see, I get distracted easily


I think it’s the jaw line. It’s a bugger to draw from this angle and get right. It comes out more than you’d think, but then there is a trick to not making the face look too fat. I was sitting there thinking how it could be solved so much quicker if I had a reference photo.

Now for me, I used to work pretty much straight out of my head. But over the last couple of years I’ve been finding, especially when drawing people, I more often like to get a reference picture. I hadn’t realised it, but I think I’ve been drawing people less often because of it. In the last couple of years, I’ve mainly only drawn pictures of people I know and then it’s because I’ve been inspired to do a picture that represents something they conjure up in my mind. So it’s probably only happened a couple of times.

The other times I’ve drawn something that includes a person, one that I’ve created from scratch so to speak, I’ve noticed it has a completely different style.

I’ve never really asked anyone to pose as reference for one of my pictures. Or at least a picture that isn’t going to be about them, but I’m considering doing it now. It feels a little weird. But basically, I’ll I need is a photo of a face and head with in a similar position to this. (Note, similar, not exact)

Can anyone even make this out?
Can anyone even make this out?

Also, I got to admit, as I’ve been thinking about whether to do a general ‘shout out’ or ask specific friends I’m finding the original idea in my head morphing to allow for the different shapes of faces of the people I know.

I’m not sure how happy I am about that. I’d have like to get the original picture as I imagined it down. So I’m stuck thinking what to do next. Do I keep trying on my own? Do I ask a couple of people? Do I do a big mass email to a whole stack of people?

I know that most of the people that read this blog are writers, so I’m also wondering if any of you have had a problem like this. Say have you ever found yourself writing a character that reminds you of a friend? Do you feel the need to talk to them about it? How different would you find it if you found yourself wanting to base a story you hadn’t started yet on a friend?

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2 thoughts on “What to do!”

  1. Every thing i have ever written is based on someone I have met somewhere. I don’t really discuss it with them every single time I write about them. People kind of get a blanket warning when they meet me that they might end up as a blog story.

  2. I sometimes feel the need to discuss a particular character or, more often, a story with someone that it’s based on. As you probably have worked out, a lot of what I write is based on some of the most horrific and traumatising experiences of people’s lives. And I do take a lot from real life stories. So I sometimes feel like I should ask permission. People usually give it.

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