Scrap File

Reference Photo Gathering By Ruining Books

I have been reading through the Famous Artist School, an art correspondence school that was started by prominent illustrators at the time (Norman Rockwell, Jon Whitcomb, and Al Parker to name a few).

A notable section in the intro talks about creating a scrap file, a bunch of pictures clipped from books, magazines, brochures, literally anywhere you can. The idea was by judiciously adding and organizing it, you can have a wealth of reference to be able to draw anything down the line.

Why do this instead of saving Pinterest or on your computer/phone?

  1. When searching for images, most artists will encounter the same images. If you draw from printed books and magazines, you’ll have a unique set of reference images no one else will be able to match.

  2. In my opinion it’s a lot easier to clip a bunch of photos to my board or desk to look at instead of a screen (even though I love PureRef)

  3. Printed material is everywhere and can be found cheap vintage or even slightly old

  4. It’s a lot of fun to clip stuff physically (minus paper cuts)

I’ve just started clipping and using the pictures, but as it grows and I go back to it more I’ll report back on it. For now I just have to disassemble a lot more magazines. I hope my scissors remain sharp.

I should stock up on bandages too.

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