A Tip to do Fantasy Art - REFERENCES


Hello!! I’m Ricky and today’s tip is about Fantasy Art. You can apply it to make Backgrounds and Characters. Last time, we talked about the power of shapes and how different tones can help you build your artwork. This time, we are going to focus more on the drawing itself.

Fantasy art, usually, works with exaggeration of objects or situations (sometimes both). So, it is going to be easier if you understand the main shapes of the subject that you’re trying to do. And that’s the tip for today: References!!

You don’t need to master one subject to draw it with a nice level of resemblance. So, if you are drawing a tree, focus on its shape, as a contour. Then you will be able to fill the inner space with all the details that you need. The more you draw, more you get used to it.

It can also be done with lines, if you prefer. I like to use both ways to draw. As you get familiar with the subject, you’ll be able to make all modifications to fit better in your art piece.

I did this quick video mixing time lapse and real time drawing, so you can see how these leaves were done.


Now that we have our drawing, we can rebuild it, making it looks more adapted to the context that we want. It can be medieval, sci-fi or any other genre that you need. Here some examples:

Based on a picture of buildings, i did this sketch and as you can see, the mood of both pictures are completely different. This is something that you can do to create your drawings.

You can also adapt the composition of your reference to do something else. Here, we took the image of some pans and transformed them into bottles of an Laboratory.

We can also apply it on vehicles, in this one we added a cart to the reference. Just watch out to put it on the right side, so the driver won't have more problems leaving the car!!

Thank you, Flip Horizontal :)

Oh, by the way, the small image on the screen of the cart was done with simple shapes, like rectangles and circles. Then we used the transformation tool (crtl+T) holding the control key on each corner, as you can see on this video:


Sometimes, things can get a little out of control. The power to add and subtract elements to the subject that we are drawing can be dangerous!! Don't overdo it!!

The image above is an example of too much things on the same drawing. It can generate a loss of focus and in some cases, the more we add, the more we lose. I changed the color of each flower with hue saturation (crtl + U), you can check it out in this video:


So, as you can see, by making some drawings based on references, you will be able to make an exaggerated version of the subject. And by doing so, your sketches and final pieces are going to be more richer in details, just by following the main silhouette. I did a quick video adding tones to this piece. You can check it out here:


If you read it till here, thank you! I’ll leave a final suggestion to you: Chose an object, it can be an eraser or a door. Look for some images as reference and focus on its shape. Now, make a drawing of this object and do the same as we did on this tip. Try to make it on a different situation (a 21th century door modified to a sci-fi environment. Maybe the ruins of another civilization, etc).

Hope this tip can help you improve your art. Every day is an opportunity to draw something, even if you don’t have too much time to do it. 20 minutes a day, for a month can be more effective than 4 hours in one day, but without frequency. Walk your road, at your pace and enjoy the ride. Have a nice day.


Related articles


New Official Articles