Dinotopia Artist James Gurney, Photo References, and Maquette Magic

James Gurney has a great blog, Gurney Journey james-gurney-2with great resources for how he learns to paint imaginary characters with life-like weighting, color, and balance. He uses references photos extensively to help him figure out feel the emotions of the characters in his pictures.

From Riding a Pterosaur: James-Gurney-Reference

“The idea is to get into the spirit of the action, feel the wind in your face and hear the screech of the pterosaur.

I think that’s more important than getting a photographically real piece of reference to copy. If you can identify with the weight and balance of things, and especially the emotion, you’ve got 90% of the problem solved.”


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