In my present project the title character Minmei is in love with River Phoenix, or at least the idea of River Phoenix. It’s an unfulfilling relationship for her, dense with jealous suspicion and fantasy, particularly since the talented heart-throb has been dead for nearly twenty years.
It’s important to me that I can draw my characters without reliance on photographic reference, here’s why: I think the look of heavily rendered drawings/paintings transcribed faithfully from photos always looks terrible and redundant in a piece, bringing an unintentionally distracting collage-like pasted on quality to the work. So, in an attempt to avoid this kind of problem, I did hundreds of drawings of Phoenix from photos- filling this whole sketchbook
And a bunch of others, like these:
Until I could draw him from imagination.
My hope is that all this preparation will help the final etchings to end up looking like their own independent thing, not just translated photos.