Drawing Unknown Faces, part 178

9 Jun

Here is a rough sketch of a woman in a photo I found on Flickr.

Drawing Unknown Faces, part 178

Sorry for not having posted for a few days. I was busy trying to draw from reference instead of copying photos. The basic problem with a photo is that it has both fixed the angle of viewing and the perspective effect of the standpoint of the viewer, relative to the model. You can’t walk around and get closer or further away from your model. This is essential if you want to learn how to draw a 3D object, like human beings (objects in an artistic sense).

A note/rantlet on books about drawing cartoon characters. I’ve bought some cheap books from the bargain bin in the distant past, and I now know why those where there to begin with. There are a lot of “not so good” books out there, that show you how to set up a basic character, and what the finished artwork looks like, but none of the intermediate steps, nor what the artist has used as a visual reference (e.g. figure drawing) to create such refined imagery. They make it seem so simple —because that seals the initial sale of the book— but they don’t tell you how many years of practice is needed to get to the level of excellence of the artist. As a newcomer you may think that you’re not cut out to become a draftsman and give up, because your art doesn’t look anything like what’s in the book. They also don’t tell you that two equally excellent artists may produce completely different finished drawings, because each artists has developed his or her own set of drawing shortcuts and iconographic repertoire These drawing-made-easy books do more harm than good in my opinion.

That is all.

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One Response to “Drawing Unknown Faces, part 178”

  1. Andrew June 9, 2009 at 8:19 pm #

    This is a good analysis on why drawing from life is better than drawing from photos, especially when learning to draw. I think reference photos can serve a purpose, but in that case an artist is limited to some decisions made by the photographer. Drawing from life leaves all those decisions with the artist: angle (from left, right, front, back, above, below), composition, etc.

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