Friday, June 10, 2011

Painting using another model as a reference

This is a question that many of us ask ourselves frequently. Is it okay to paint using another person's creation as a reference trying to copy the colour or the idea? Is it ethical to copy? What do we get out of doing that?

Recently, Manuel del Toro, also known as zwo, embarked on the adventure of painting an Ork Nob using mine as a reference (if you do not know what minaiture we are speaking of, you have a link in the gallery, click on the face of Ork). Manu told me openly about his ideas from the beginning and I have followed his creative process carefully. I am personally very proud that someone likes a work of mine so much as to try to achieve something similar. Therefore, he had my full support from the beginning. In fact, Manu used almost the same parts for the conversion and the colors that I used myself. In addition, Manu took the opportunity of coming to one of my painting courses and learn first hand how to get the Ork painted as the one I did back in the day. Well, here is the result of his work:

Manu has accepted my invitation to write a few words about his experience painting the Ork. Here you have it:

    Why did you decide to paint an Ork so similar?

    I started in the hobby not more than a year ago I loved Rafa's Ork from the beginning and thought to myself "someday I have to make a miniature like this one". I think it is a miniature with great strength using a great composition, both the pose and the colours.

    When I started painting the figure had not planned to enter competition in Golden Demon Spain 2011, however, because of lack of time, and seeing that I will not be able paint more entries, I'll present it there. Frankly I doubt that it will win something as it is my version but based on a figure of another, there is not much merit about that.

    Have you encountered any difficulties in the process?

    The truth is that the process was fun at first but eventually became a little tedious. I enjoyed working the yellow and the weathering, something I had never done before. However, both the base and the raised arm cost me a lot more than I thought they would.

    Something I've noticed in this case and It didn't happen to me in other miniatures is my lack of consistency. Because of me having exams I have been forced to delay the process very much. Most of the days I could just paint for about 30 minutes and it shows because it becomes something very long and hard. Therefore, I reccommend you guys that when you begin a figure finish it as soon as possible!

    What have you learned from this experience?

    I have encountered many things from working on this miniature, both good and bad. I am very happy with it because I learned a lot, mainly to better define the areas to be weathered or to perform small changes in the composition because little details may completely change the outcome of your work.

    However, I've noticed that before starting a miniature you should put a lot of time into it to make the most out of it. For example, I believe that the face I chose for the ork is not bad, in fact I like it, but it lacks a lot of strength. This choice has proven to be a mistake in the end.

    I think that having such a clear reference to paint is very good for learning because you save time and effort on avoiding many of the obstacles you find in the creation process. BUt anyway I'm sure I would have learned more if the work had been 100% mine, we must be aware that making a creative process can be tough but is very rewardful.

    In short, this is a miniature that has taught me a lot as a painter of I am very happy about it. I would like to conclude by thanking Rafa because in a situation like this many other people would have been angry, but he has helped me right from the beginning.

And I am grateful to Manu for accepting to write these words for Volomir's Blog and I congratulate him because I think he has managed to do a great job. I am convinced that the experience has proven very good for his learning and I will carefully follow his progress because without doubt he'll be one of the names to be followed in the future. Keep up the good work zwo!

I leave you his blog address if you want to know more about him.

Zwo ArtStudio


Ańa - the Painting Mum said...

"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" they say.

Some people are angry to see others try to copy their works. I am glad to see there are still people who consider it a compliment to their style and skills.

RIHARD said...


Dave Garbe said...

I would be honoured to hear that someone thought enough of one of my models that they wanted emulate it for either display purposes or to learn something from it.

Being willing to acknowledge that you can learn something from another's work says something about the character of a person.

The only thing I would have a problem with is if that person made a claim that it was an original work of art and refused to acknowledge their inspiration.