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Postby Exp. » Sat Jul 29, 2017 9:14 pm

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Subject title: Effective studying w/out life references?

I keep asking myself this question again and again. Should I even try drawing from pictures/imagination wothout proper skill?
At this moment I've got a laughable mileage of about 1 year studying art and not much free time in the observing future. I've been taking classes where I drew plaster heads, skeleton, anatomical sculptures and living models too. Yet I'm having lots of struggle estabilishing fairly correct wireframe for anything I would attempt to draw. Unfortunately, I am subconsciously trying to find an excuse not to ask my dad or a friend to pose for me and my brain is rioting against drawing fruits/vases/etc.
I do believe that's a problem not only for me so I thought I might ask someone with a strong grasp of the subject.

The question is:
Is there a way to study faces and body anatomy without a living reference in an effective way?

Perhaps it's okay to draw from a picture simultaneously thinking about major masses, their rotation and planes, I dunno, really.
Another thing to mention is that perhaps not so effective ways might be more exciting and catchy and there is a way to study in some ways wrong but 6-8 hours a day rather than totally right but with frustration and lack of involvement in the process.


Postby azarga » Sat Jul 29, 2017 11:47 pm

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Location: putinland

If you can't use life reference, use what reference you can use.

Personally I never ask family members/people to pose, but having some reference > not having reference, so, google images/magazines/etc.

Life drawing is probably the best source there is. But when u cant use best, it makes sense to use second best, then third best, etc, amirite?
Please check my stuff here:
My dA, it is pretty bad.


Postby silverblaize » Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:30 am

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It helps if you use a mirror. A small mirror on your desk can help you to look at your face, and that way you can try out different expressions. And then you can also get a big mirror for you to try out poses and things like that. Good luck!


Postby Josephcow » Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:26 am

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Silver's idea is good.

But I'm a bit confused. If you feel like there's something about drawing from life you aren't getting, doesn't that mean you need more practice from life?
Like you said, drawing from photo reference while considering the 3d form is fine. But that doesn't mean you should just give up on drawing from life. It seems clear that there is something about the method you have been using that doesn't work, no matter how many plaster heads you've drawn. I can't say without more information though. But what I do know is that 1 year is not that long to learn this stuff.

it's totally fine to do studies from photos though. Pros:
You can do more studies faster, practice going through the stages of drawing without needing any set up, and look at a more diverse subject matter (no more fruit). Model will not move or decay. You can look at hundreds of different faces of every type and not just your dad's.

cons: image is already 2D so if what you need to work on is figuring out how to flatten 3D space onto the picture plane, you aren't going to learn that because there is no 3D space. Photographs are often bad quality, values color and perspective may be distorted. No real life object to study; if you were drawing a real skull you could walk around it and look at different anatomical pieces, but a photo of a skull will just be whatever angle the photo was taken from.

So yes you can effectively study faces and anatomy any way you like, but Ideally you should do some of both, and probably reference an anatomy book like Bridgman.

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