The dangers of drawing from reference

Drawing from reference is incredibly useful in achieving a ‘likeness’. However it is a double-edged sword. I think I’ve been drawing exclusively from reference for far too long and it shows when I struggle to draw even the most basic objects from memory.

Ironically, the solution to this is to draw from more reference(or even better: life) in order to learn art fundamentals like anatomy, but then to use the knowledge gained by applying it to new drawings (not directly copying).

I’m going to aim to do daily anatomy studies/still lifes, starting small and then building on my knowledge and eventually start working on some personal paintings that I’ve had in my head for years but haven’t had the skill to complete.

I think confidence may also be an issue, but I think it’s finally time to take the plunge and stop relying so heavily on references. This is way out of my comfort zone, but it’s essential if I want to improve and make anything original.

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