Depends on the character for me, but I prefer detailed-especially when making fursuits. It always figures that someone tosses a ref to me, I follow it to a T, and that spot or stripe or whatever is incorrect.
It really depends on what the character is being used for. If it's just to have something fun to draw, then by all means, just do a simple reference. If, however, you want to put a lot of backstory into the character for one reason or another (say you're using said character in a story of some sort and you mainly want the reference for yourself, but other people can make use of it), then I would say to go with one that's more detailed. It helps to flesh out the character and you get a better feel for them. It would also help you maintain a level of consistency.
...I suppose deciding which of the two is better is also dependent on personal preference.
I love detailed ones I don't have any of my own currently, but I love detailed ones with info on everything about the character Mostly because I don't want to mess something up if someone asks me to draw something, or I don't want them to mess up on my chars either,lol, but then I also like learning about the char and their design Idk, I guess it's just me lol
I feel like one full-body and then some pics of any details that aren't on the front of the char is better than a cluttered mess. At least better for viewing. If I were ever to make a reference sheet for myself, I'd want the cluttered mess, but as far as looking at other peoples', simple has a higher chance of me liking it. Though I suppose reference sheets aren't meant for liking, they're meant for... referencing...
Personally I prefer the detailed, especially for a newly created species or something similar to that. However, I don't mind a simple reference sheet, especially if they are fairly simple designs that don't need much explanation.
If it's just an OC then a simple one will do. A good design should be able to come across in a 3/4 perspective really. (I really don't need to know if your character's pansexual and has 7 lovers while their favourite drink is coffee and rain makes them happy or some shit)
However if it's a species then a detailed one is fine to explain it all in one go without dragging it out over heaps of images.
I kinda like in between. Simple parts (sides, front, possible stomach if they have weird markings on it) so that you get a clear visual design, but I also like it if they have detailed mouth shots and things like that so you can see what color their tongue is and what their teeth look like if they have them. An artists worst enemy has got to be getting a request or commission and having to do something overly simple because they couldn't do the paws up shot or open mouth laughter since the person didn't provide a good ref. Detailed refs are pretty nice, text to explain basic things, but I hate the gigantic ones that have 500 paragraphs. I see it when people attempt to make 'original species' (aka either a pile of slop thrown together or something they saw before and tried to claim unfortunately Dx) and the sheets have to be downloaded to see a few words. Basically, I think the sheets are fine so long as it shows off all the main points of the character and information is good to have to really emphasize things or give a snippet of information that could be really useful.
detailed, because it's a pet peave when the person draws you char and then forgets and important deatail in the design, or they're not good with perspectives and a side view might help them plan out the drawing better or anything that falls under those lines............meep
Eh, as long as it gets the point across. If the chraracter has a simple design, it doesn't need to be complicated. If the character is really complicated (design-wise) then lots of views and stuff is good. And most of the text can go in an artists comment to let the picture have more room.
I really only don't like it when theres like... a little puppy dog hidden somewhere inside the swirly cursive font forest XD
TikaNyaFeatured By OwnerJan 8, 2013Student General Artist
As many drawings as necessary to get the character across. Some more complex designs need more views than simpler designs, so it depends u v u Walls of text are annoying though, especially when you can't read the writing.
I like ones that have one main drawing of the character in the middle, with simplified images of it on the side showing markings and stuff. I guess I'm sort of 50/50 because I'm not a fan of walls of text explaining who/what the character is and their personality and blah blah blah. In my opinion detailed descriptions of the character should be in the description, not crowding up the actual reference sheet.
Eh, I really prefer somewhere in between, but I have to lean more towards detailed. I mean what you described with the "simple" option isn't a ref sheet, it's a drawing with a few sketches around it! That's said, you don't need 50 different angles, an expression chart, a color palate, and walls of text detailing everything from what you can clearly see in the pictures anyway to the customs and politics of their native land, either (cause that's just silly!). Maybe a front and back drawing, being sure to include other forms or outfits if applicable, shots focusing on small but really important details if really necessary (like a tattoo that's hard to see in the fullbody pic, but needs to be detailed in a portrait), and a few short remarks about personality, relationships with other characters, or other notes like that. Basically be clear and detailed, but keep it concise and relevant.
Detailed but well organised, i think if perfectly fine to add descriptive text when its uploaded rather then a whole bunch on the sheet itself, unless its a big sheet and its brief and easy to follow..... i think it also depends on the character, if its a character that is coloured symetrically then only one side view is needed, along with a full face view and maybe a back and stomache view.... i personally think paw pads can be a written description or just a colour sample labelled.. unless the creature has fancy or unusual feet/paws...