The dos and don'ts of references

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References can at times come across as something intimidating but they truly don’t need to be. They are meant to convey the parts of a commission that a client desires to have the most control over, translating thoughts and ideas into a language that the artist is able to more clearly understand. When selecting references for a commission the most important thing to remember is to look for images that are clear, well lit, and appropriate to the elements that will be shown in said commission. It is alright to allow artistic interpretation for areas that are less important, but keep in mind that by not conveying desires means that an artist will be left in the dark. 

When creating references for  a commission please try to stick with pictures of real items, use as little art as possible unless that art is an adopt, reference sheet, or a former commission of the same character. 

Try to pick images that are clear and descriptive, as well as cover the elements that will be found in the commission. A picture of the back of someone's head does no good when drawing the front. 

Remember to add in the colors desired as well, using HEX numbers is a good way to make sure to get the exact color desired. 

In the end, having clear references for what is most important in any given commission is important, communication is key and artists won’t know that things aren’t simply being left to artistic interpretation should a client not directly say what they want or that a piece of the puzzle is missing.