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Reference Photo Examples

Choosing a good quality reference picture is the most important aspect of any pet portrait. After all, the drawing can only be as detailed as the original photo. If you're unsure about what the best type of photographs to choose as references when booking a portrait, check out my examples and tips below. 

Good Reference Photos

The best reference photos are taken in natural lighting, this allows for the true colours of your pet's fur to be visible. When zooming in on the photo, you want to see detail such as individual hairs, so the closer you can get the better. You don't need a DSLR camera in order to take a good picture, A smartphone with a decent camera can capture great results as long as the photo is in focus and there isn't a 'flash' visible in the pet's eyes. You also want the photo to be taken on level with your pet, rather than from above or below as this can skew the perspective.

Bad Reference Photos

Not all photos are suitable for a portrait, for example, if the photo was taken in low lighting, from too far a distance, or in motion. If you take a look at the photo below, it's too dark and a bit blurry - meaning you can't see the detail and the eyes are dull. The top of the head is also cropped out of the photo which makes drawing tricky. It's also worth noting that reference photos shouldn't have any colour altering filters and they should be kept in their original format (no cropping).

I understand that in some circumstances your pet may no longer be here, therefore you might only have a select few photographs to choose from. In instances like this I try my best to draw from the photographs you do have.

 If you have any questions or concerns about your photographs then please do get in touch as I can discuss the best options with you.

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