Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday Tip

With your photos and magazine clippings organized, you are all set and ready to flip to whatever page you need! There are several ways to display references, and depending on your painting area some will work better than others. I have a desk that is large enough to accommodate an entire binder, so I simply open the notebook up to the page I want and get to work. Marking a page to come back to later makes this system very simple! If you can find them there are also notebooks that open up like an easel. These are even more sturdy, but not completely necessary.

If you lack the space or just don't like that behemoth on your desk, you can take notebook pages out to display some other way. I strongly recommend you keep the paper inside of the protective sleeve; good references are worth their weight in gold! Make sure to somehow mark where the sheet was taken from so that it can be put back in the right place. Options for displaying sheets are pinning to a cork board (I used to do this when my space was situated for it, and it worked very well), propping them up on a typing easel or whatever is handy, or simply laying them on your desk.

For projects that are going to take a long time, like sculptures, it is helpful to take the needed references and put them into a small binder dedicated to that horse. Remember last week, I recommended using two sheets of paper (one for each side) in each plastic cover, and this is why. In cases like this, I always take out the one sheet of paper I need, and put it in a new sleeve in the small notebook. This keeps valuable references that might otherwise be removed in their place, and it also allows for a good bookmarking solution. When a page is removed, leave a note in its place - the notebook it was moved to and possibly a description of what was on the sheet should suffice. In the new notebook it is also a good idea to insert notes so that it is easy to put the pages back in the right places when the project is done.

Your references are valuable - keep them safe and organized and they will serve you well! Next week we'll talk about some cool high tech ways to display your references!


Sarah Rose said...

I love your tips Mel :) Now if only there was a way for me to stop procrastinating and get my reference materials organized. Ha!

Mel Miller said...

Ha ha! Well, winter is coming now so you'll have fewer outdoor procrastinating excuses anyway. I've always thought it would be fun to have a sort of "reference party" where a bunch of us crazy artists get together and trade refs and organize.