Wacky Reference Wednesdays, No. 106

Monday, May 10, 2010

Amazing Spider-Man: Extra! #2, Page 1, Panel 1. 2008.
Ink with digital color on Marvel board, 11 x 17.25".
Original Art

As I mentioned on Monday, Google Earth is an invaluable tool for both reference and perspective. Here is an example in which I used a screen shot as the basis for an establishing panorama of the city. Using the time slider tool, I set the time of day to yield the greatest contrast, thus making it easier to trace. While the gray block-buildings help considerably in visualizing the space, the program now features photorealistic models for most of Manhattan, a boon to anyone who dreads drawing windows. (For another example, check out my process post on the Baxter Building).

I supplemented the core reference with other photos, in this case taken from a 15th-floor apartment in the city. I was there to photograph the model for this painting, but when I saw the view, I knew I could utilize it at some point in the future (nearly 4 years later, as it turned out).

By the way, in my constant search for reference, I came across an interesting article that revealed why most water towers appear to be old and worn, as well as the people behind the constuction of these urban rooftop icons.


  1. Is the google earth you are using the free version or the 400 dollar one?

  2. Just the free one. And as I mentioned Monday, there is now a plug-in for your web browser so you don't even have to download the full program.

  3. getting the hang of it now...you're right!!!!this is going to be unbelievably useful.

  4. Whoa - this image of yours was a desktop of mine for some time.

    Thanks for deconstructing it and sharing more of the Google Earth knowledge.

  5. My pleasure, Michael. I sort of dread these kind of panoramas, but I'm usually happy when it's over. Glad to hear it graced your desktop!


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Design out of the FlyBird's Box.