so i went to life drawing last night, i currently suffer from a social phobia ( kinda pretty much acute shyness ) so it was very hard for me to be in the room with lots of ppl, i had to leave half way through cuase i could take it, what i was wondering was is it ok to draw from an image? cuase i was having a look at the wiki and they have some good links to images of models, could i get away with learn that way? hey who knows, i may try life drawing again sometime, but at the moment wont be happening.
Sure, you can draw from photographs. The two problems facing this though, is that:
1. Photographs are flattened 2D images.
2. Photographs are the photographers interpretation of the 3D object.
What this means is that firstly you need to remember to treat what you are drawing as a true 3D object, don't just copy! Draw through the form, work from the "stick figure", et cetera.
And secondly, the composition and angle are already chosen for you by the photographer and if you continually rely upon photographs to do that for you, your compositional skills will suffer. So perhaps you should test those skills by occasionally drawing cropped versions of the photograph or, if you feel more adventurous, exercise your imaginative skills by drawing that subject from a different angle.
Also it may help if you're able to take the pictures yourself, that way you're still working your compositional skills through photography.
As long as you keep that stuff in mind though, you should be fine working from photographs.
And finally, I dunno how acute your social phobia is or where you live, but if you happen to live in a city I've learnt that it is quite easy to be "alone in a sea of people". Try seating yourself outside and draw people as they pass by, or sit waiting for the bus, or something. Hardly anybody notices some guy with a sketchbook in the city.
I agree with above,
I kbow the painter Francis Bacon used to paint portraits from photographs He would use that flat 2d quality in his paintings but that is a style thing.
Why not draw yourself,
you want to practise hands then draw your own, get a mirror to practise drawing self portraits
I also recommend www.fineart.sk and www.3d.sk my fav source of anatomy the photo sets in 3d.sk are pretty cool they take pics of people from all the profiles so get an almost 3d image of them.
I think sketching from real life is better.
As for shyness maybe try outings with small groups took me ages to get over my shyness I still large hate crowds, I used to get panic attacks in large crowds. I spent 6 months doing sells, that kind of cured my shyness- though maybe a bit of a radical solution.
Hope the links help