So the photo shoot went better than I had hoped! The efforts to rent a costume were not wasted and worth every penny. I got a lot of great shots that will help me figure out this drawing.

One of the best things about taking really good photo reference using really good props are all the little details that pop up – things you would never think to add into a painting. Like this for example:

Never would I have thought to put a strap on the mandolin! And yet, it makes perfect sense. And I love the little tassel that this particular strap had. Great little detail AND it translates to the 18th century too.

The biggest deal in shooting reference even though this is going to be a bear is getting good hand reference. Often a hand will look awkward and unartistic, leading to a terrible drawing. Here’s a hand that would make for a bad outcome. And no matter how well you draw or paint it, it will still look weird. Boy, did I learned that the hard way in college once. I did a great portrait and the hand look like a stubby claw. Ruined the whole painting.

Turns out my model can play guitar, so she was able to do a variety of chords for me to shoot. Here’s an example of graceful hands that I will probably use (and even still, I’ll probably have to pull that pinky in a tad):

So now I’m equipped with lots of great information. Good photos of a model, a nice little maquette, and piles of pictures of birds and mice and dresses and hats and feathers and textiles and bears and bear noses and bear claws!!! Let the drawing commence!

See you next time!

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