Page 3 of 10 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 LastLast
Results 27 to 39 of 130

Thread: Drawing from life or photography

  1. #27
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    5,234
    Thanks
    3,512
    Thanked 4,906 Times in 2,547 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by papageo View Post
    I have a related question: If drawing from photos is a waste of time, why is drawing from master copies good?
    I think because it puts one in a place where you are both processing and understanding technique, while also seeing how the master solved particular problems of form, light, composition, color, emphasis, etc. They really only provide much benefit if you really try to pull off a true copy...or as close as you can. Far too often you see people just doing a half-ass attempt which really bears little resemblance to the original in execution.

    At least that is what I have come away with on the few I've done.

    Armando, debate is not just you asking further questions without backing up your point. To me making a statement is a given...it is an axiom of creation...therefor it goes without saying that the first fundamental is making a statement. I don't know what it means to be a naturalist plain and simple? But you say it like it's a bad thing? Not to mention you've never seen my non-objective, abstract work to my knowldedge.

    In the end you're getting all wrapped up in some high-faluttin discourse when all the OP was asking was, for a beginner, is it better to work from life than photos (to learn how to see and draw I presume). Your answer was they are both good. Prove it.

    Just respond with a list of artists who back up your argument or stfu.
    What would Caravaggio do?
    _________________________

    Portfolio
    Plein Air
    Digital
    Still Life
    Sight Measuring
    Fundamentals
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote


  2. Hide this ad by registering as a member
  3. #28
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Hudson River valley, NY
    Posts
    16,211
    Thanks
    4,879
    Thanked 16,685 Times in 5,022 Posts
    Work from everything, and whatever you want. You're not going to "break" yourself. Worst case scenario, you make some pictures that aren't as good as you think they are, but you'll figure that out eventually.
    Learning about photography will teach you more about composition than working from life ever will.

    Tristan Elwell
    **Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial

    "Work is more fun than fun."
    -John Cale

    "Art is supposed to punch you in the brain, and it's supposed to stay punched."
    -Marc Maron
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  4. The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to Elwell For This Useful Post:


  5. #29
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    5,234
    Thanks
    3,512
    Thanked 4,906 Times in 2,547 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    Learning about photography will teach you more about composition than working from life ever will.
    How, pray tell?
    What would Caravaggio do?
    _________________________

    Portfolio
    Plein Air
    Digital
    Still Life
    Sight Measuring
    Fundamentals
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  6. #30
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    2,004
    Thanks
    891
    Thanked 1,009 Times in 538 Posts
    Because composition is one of the most important elements in photography.


    As to the whole silly debate there's merits in both. Hence why you'll see some of the best sketchbooks on here have people taking interesting still frames from movies and drawing them, try telling them they aren't learning anything by doing that. For a very beginner probably best to draw from life but the most important thing is just to draw plain and simple. I don't see the point in limiting yourself. In my opinion there are some photos that capture angles and perspective you could never do with a real life setting unless your in some crazy position which would be impossible to draw in and you can learn quite a bit from them.
    Last edited by JFierce; November 19th, 2011 at 02:45 AM.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  7. #31
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    2,028
    Thanks
    1,349
    Thanked 1,950 Times in 776 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    Learning about photography will teach you more about composition than working from life ever will.
    Gotta disagree with half that statement very strongly there Tristan.

    Getting the knack of compostion by drawing from photos teaches you a great deal... about making compositions redolent of photographic compositional serendipity.
    I don't knock it - I use it myself a great deal.

    But it doesn't teach you about composition.
    And neither does drawing from life.
    Learning the principles of composition teaches you about composition.

    Just as learning the to play a musical instrument doesn't teach you about composing music.
    From Gegarin's point of view
    http://www.chrisbennettartist.co.uk/
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  8. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Chris Bennett For This Useful Post:


  9. #32
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Hudson River valley, NY
    Posts
    16,211
    Thanks
    4,879
    Thanked 16,685 Times in 5,022 Posts
    Notice, I said learning about photography, not drawing from photographs. And the best way to learn about something is to do it. Looking at the world through a viewfinder is a totally different experience than just looking through your eyes, and forces you to be aware of the relationship of elements not only to each other, but to the boundaries of the picture as well. It also teaches you the deficiencies of received observation, and how much you often have to manipulate an image to produce something artistic. I agree with Chris that the only way to really learn composition is to learn the principles of composition. But, it's much easier for many beginners to put those principles into action in photography, where composition is one of the only controllable variables, and there aren't the additional technical issues specific to drawing (like making this look like they actually look). I think every foundation program should include photography, along with drawing, painting, design, and sculpture.

    Tristan Elwell
    **Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial

    "Work is more fun than fun."
    -John Cale

    "Art is supposed to punch you in the brain, and it's supposed to stay punched."
    -Marc Maron
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  10. The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to Elwell For This Useful Post:


  11. #33
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    5,234
    Thanks
    3,512
    Thanked 4,906 Times in 2,547 Posts
    Chris is right on the money about learning composition by studying and practicing composition. You can do it quite nicely with cut up bits of paper, rocks and sticks, etc. And you're right Tristan, learning "about" photography, or composing with a camera is one valid method. But were far afield from

    Quote Originally Posted by Dahlium View Post
    What is best to start out with for a beginner? Drawing from photographs or still life?
    When you draw or paint from photos, you're limited and bound to an already
    2D image, with borders and set spatial relationships, not to mention reduced value, color and distortions caused by depth of field. When working from life you have depth perception, ability to move either the subject, the light or yourself to shift composition in subtle but often important ways. You become far more attuned, more quickly, to fundamental concepts.

    One is better than the other, especially when learning to see and translate.

    Again I would recommend to the OP, and anyone else confused or uncertain, do your homework. Make a list of the artists you admire and read about their methods and background. Discover who inspired them, where they were trained, what media they use, what do they have in common? After all they are the ones who inspire you...their working methods and advice is what you should pay attention to.
    What would Caravaggio do?
    _________________________

    Portfolio
    Plein Air
    Digital
    Still Life
    Sight Measuring
    Fundamentals
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  12. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to JeffX99 For This Useful Post:


  13. #34
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    2,004
    Thanks
    891
    Thanked 1,009 Times in 538 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    Drawing from photos will teach you virtually nothing about drawing, seeing and composing...drawing from life will teach you virtually everything about it.

    See this is the attitude I don't like. You can say which is "better" yes. Drawing from life is overall better. But when you make statements like you learn nothing from drawing a photo that is just wrong.

    For instance one of the beginners biggest issues is anatomy. How often are you going to find a live subject that is bulging with muscles who will stand still for you whenever you feel like drawing. You won't. But yet observing pictures, learning how the muscles of the body layout at various angles WILL teach you things and with the internet you can find boundless sources to take from. I see people's sketchbooks they're copying/studying the books illustrations to learn, they take still frames of athlete's, body builders, various subjects they could never find in real life to pose for them. Whether it's extremely old individuals or little babies, malnourished people or fat sumo's.

    Saying drawing from a photo has no merits at all is wrong. It doesn't have all the benefits of from life but there is plenty one can learn.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  14. #35
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    5,234
    Thanks
    3,512
    Thanked 4,906 Times in 2,547 Posts
    OK. I'm wrong. Just show me a list of all the great artists that have developed their drawing ability working from photos. Or that recommend learning to draw from them. Photos are great resources for all kinds of reasons...they just aren't very good for learning how to draw and paint. I can't help it if you don't like it.

    And in your examples that sounds more like learning anatomy rather than how to see and draw...those are different things.
    What would Caravaggio do?
    _________________________

    Portfolio
    Plein Air
    Digital
    Still Life
    Sight Measuring
    Fundamentals
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  15. The Following User Says Thank You to JeffX99 For This Useful Post:


  16. #36
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Santa Barbara, California, United States
    Posts
    475
    Thanks
    332
    Thanked 266 Times in 137 Posts
    IMHO, each has their own benefits.

    Drawing or painting from life will help you with realism. It gives you a virtually unlimited amount of detail, and allows you to understand a subject from multiple angles. Studying from life helps you develop your own style, and potentially helps you stumble across new ideas that no one has ever come up with before. (assuming any are left, amirite?)

    Drawing or from (good) photography, and doing master studies, can help you learn ways to effectively use color, composition, and storytelling elements. Overall studying good art should give you an understanding of what makes good art effective.
    ~ ~ { My sketchbooK } ~ ~
    Santa Barbara Drawing Group, On Meetup.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    2,004
    Thanks
    891
    Thanked 1,009 Times in 538 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post

    And in your examples that sounds more like learning anatomy rather than how to see and draw...those are different things.
    Your acting like learning anatomy isn't important when learning how to draw. Look around the sketchbook threads one of the most frequented comments given to them is work on your anatomy.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Dover, NJ
    Posts
    1,133
    Thanks
    472
    Thanked 335 Times in 171 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    OK. I'm wrong. Just show me a list of all the great artists that have developed their drawing ability working from photos. Or that recommend learning to draw from them. Photos are great resources for all kinds of reasons...they just aren't very good for learning how to draw and paint. I can't help it if you don't like it.

    And in your examples that sounds more like learning anatomy rather than how to see and draw...those are different things.
    Well to be fair I'm far from great.. but I use both. I draw from real objects, observe the world and draw nude models for a few hours once a week. I use my mirror a lot. But I also use a heavy amount of photo reference.

    You are correct to say that drawing from photos does not nearly help your perception of 3D space as well as just looking at 3D space. I feel like most of this is observance and less about the motor skills of drawing though? Like if I just stare at something long enough and try to apply the principles of it to a painting it starts to click even though I'm looking at a beer glass and applying it to an alchemist's glass flask.

    I think overall for a very VERY beginner it's important to JUST draw and make it interesting. As long as you have the mindset to expand your knowledge and learn (instead of trying to gain endless praise) you will learn. I think drawing from life at first might bore and frustrate many beginners? To others I try to break it down into "Look at this object and try to see the shapes that build it."

    Sorry sort of rambling. These are all valid points.
    "Twisted by the dark side, young Artist has become. The boy you trained, gone he is... consumed by Deviantart."
    Please, visit my SB ~ N E C R O S K E T C H I K O N ! [Updated :: November 2011]
    My DeviantArt Profile: http://dyspezzia.deviantart.com/
    My Portfolio:
    http://www.pezzworks.com
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    2,794
    Thanks
    372
    Thanked 757 Times in 489 Posts
    The thing I like the most about reading about different artists is how much they contradict each other. Compare Washington Allston's Lectures on Art to Belcaro(a book that represented a certain popular artist's ideas).Yet, for the most part, the core ideas remain the same. It's usually agreed that art is derived from observation of life. Observing life doesn't require a pencil.
    Beginner's questions tend to superficiality. "Draw from life or photos?" What a loaded question, and a limited one. Only a fool would want to dumb it down to the lowest common denominator.
    Facts are facts. They aren't justified by authorities. But according to Neal Adams: "You will learn more by tracing than anything else." http://www.nealadams.com/recommend.html

    This argument is tedious. I think Elwell alredy shut it down with "I think every foundation program should include photography, along with drawing, painting, design, and sculpture." That's the real answer. A student should learn as much as they can about art.
    Sketchbook

    "Beliefs are rules for action"
    "Knowledge is proven in action."
    "It's use is it's meaning."
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  20. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to armando For This Useful Post:


Page 3 of 10 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 3
    Last Post: October 28th, 2005, 09:03 AM
  2. Art: I hope to use color to bring life my photography
    By squagle in forum ART: PHOTOGRAPHY
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: October 5th, 2004, 04:05 AM
  3. Replies: 19
    Last Post: September 11th, 2004, 10:16 PM
  4. Art: Live life drawing versus corespondance life drawing
    By Idiot in forum FINE ART
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: February 12th, 2004, 07:50 PM
  5. Art: finished life drawings from carl dobsky...in the life drawing forum..link here
    By Jason Manley in forum FINISHED ART & ARTWORK
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: March 12th, 2003, 03:13 AM

Members who have read this thread: 0

There are no members to list at the moment.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • 424,149 Artists
  • 3,599,276 Artist Posts
  • 32,941 Sketchbooks
  • 54 New Art Jobs
Art Workshop Discount Inside

Developed Actively by vBSocial.com
SpringOfSea's Sketchbook