Reference pictures are crucial for me when drawing, especially for action shots or panels that involve a number of characters interacting. It’s the best way to get a proper feel for how figures interact.
For example, here’s the Flash Gordon page I did for March 1, 1998.
Click on images to see larger.
Now this page would have been done a couple months in advance – around Christmas/New Years. So luckily I had a number of models (in the form of in-laws at holiday get-togethers) to chose from.
Here we have my wife’s cousin Louie as Durok (the blue ape-man),
trying to blow off Thun the Lion-man’s head – played by my wife’s nephew, Chris.
And for this shot we change it up a little with Louie as Flash Gordon, Chris reprising his role as Thun, and yours truly as Durok.
As you’ll notice, I don’t just copy the reference, but use it as a jumping off point.
This is CRUCIAL, as otherwise you get a stiff and lifeless drawing.
Speaking of which… Back when these pics were shot (late 1990s) I didn’t have access to any fancy pants digital camera that you could just take a picture then access it immediately. I took the pictures, then had to wait until the film got developed to see if my reference shots were even in the ballpark (much less in focus).
I still have that old album of Flash Gordon reference pics I took.
Lots of family got roped in to doing these over the years.
Some of the ones on the right hand side of the image shown above can be seen on a previous post: Flash Gordon 1/26/2003 – Photo Reference.
I’ll try to post more of these from time to time.
For me they’re a fun trip down memory lane…
For more of my work on Flash Gordon, just check out FlashGordon.com
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