Saturday, April 9, 2016

Cardboard Cutout for Reference

James Warhola posing for an Etruscan musician
Here's a tip when you need a quick prop for your model to interact with, but you don't have time to build an elaborate replica. Just draw the shape of it on the surface of a piece of cardboard and cut out what you need. At least that gives the model something three dimensional to hold, and you don't have to make up the whole thing.

It works for a lot of things—instruments, guns, shields, furniture, windows. It only takes a couple of minutes to build, and it's recyclable when you're done.

The full illustration appears in the June, 1988 issue of National Geographic, in the story "The Eternal Etruscans" or on the History and Science section of my website.
It also appears in my book Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn't Exist


A Colonel of Truth said...


Tom Hart said...

Great tip. And as an aside, I'm always fascinated and informed to see the changes - subtle and not so subtle - that you make in the the pose from the reference to the final stage. (For one example, the angle of the head here .) I'm reminded of the book Rockwell Behind the Camera, which points out the same sorts of adaptations he made in his work.

Unknown said...

This is a really simple yet powerful idea, thanks for sharing it.

Steph said...

Thanks for this idea!! Very useful.