The art of imi­ta­tion

Copy right When is copying another artist okay? Pro artists de­bate the use of third-party im­agery that goes beyond ba­sic ref­er­ence

ImagineFX - - ImagineNation -

A huge, list­ing orc boat dwarfed by the Great Sea – waves barrelling, break­ing over saw-toothed rocks. It’s a paint­ing metic­u­lous in de­tail, right down to the pro­por­tion of the riv­ets. Craig Mullins cre­ated the World of War­craft piece as part of Bliz­zard’s Fine Art Project back in 2012, which he only re­cently up­loaded to his per­sonal web­site.

An an­i­ma­tion ( posted on shows two sec­tions of Craig’s waves closely re­sem­ble those in the 1907 paint­ing South­west­erly Gale, St Ives by Amer­i­can re­al­ist Fred­er­ick Judd Waugh. Much hand­wring­ing across mes­sage boards

fol­lowed. Craig re­sponded with a Face­book com­ment, say­ing the im­age was a work­ing comp for a phys­i­cal oil paint­ing: “I’ve used pho­tos, 3D mod­els (mine and oth­ers) paint­ings (mine and oth­ers) in ev­ery com­bi­na­tion you can think of. If I had to ask what method I use mostly, it would be a sim­ple block model (that I make) and paint­ing with that in a ref­er­ence layer. But 90 per cent of the work I’ve done is pretty much straight paint­ing.

“I’ve also talked at length about the dif­fer­ence be­tween art and com­mer­cial art. I’m an il­lus­tra­tor and paid to make an im­age that sat­is­fies a client. I would say ev­ery

New wave: Craig Mullins ref­er­enced a paint­ing by a long-dead Amer­i­can artist to cre­ate this World of War­craft im­age.

South­west­erly Gale, St Ives by Fred­er­ick Judd Waugh: the piece Craig Mullins used as close ref­er­ence in his paint­ing for Bliz­zard (main pic­ture).

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