honoriartist (honoriartist) wrote,

Class discussion - models or photos?

Student Question
I see weeks 5 and 6 both have a lot of self portrait assignments. Are they like the first self portrait one, where we can draw a model instead of ourselves? I kind of find it suprising that they have so many self drawings set up. You either have to draw from a picture or from a mirror. I think a picture is pointless for a life drawing course (because it does nothing to help you learn how to make a 2d drawing from a 3d object, the photo did all of the work). and a mirror really limits your pose options.
Honoria's Answer

You may draw from a model in all cases. Drawing from a model is the norm in life drawing classes. The curriculum developers, I think, assume students can't get to a model, however, there are models around you all the time. I encourage students to draw from life, not from photos.

I agree that drawing yourself in a mirror creates challenges for poses, however, artists through the ages have found self portraiture compelling so it is a viable option.

I believe drawing from photographs is the least useful option because it encourages simple copying rather than interpretation and storytelling.

I hope you watch some of the sketchbook videos to see how artists use their daily environment to create imaginative and exciting drawings. For instance, this sketchbook by Celia Grace Squire, a freelance Illustrator and Storyboard Artist, shows that the artist uses her time at the cafe to draw people.
Tags: life drawing, teaching

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