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Submitted on
August 30, 2011
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The BASICS : Using References by Shattered-Earth The BASICS : Using References by Shattered-Earth
If you like this tutorial or do not like it, please take some time to tell me why so I will know how to make any future tutorials! Thanks :D:heart:


Disclaimer: Some will disagree with me on how to use references, which is totally normal. This is just how i believe is the best and more beneficial way to use them. If you disagree and have a better tutorial feel free to link in the comments with your (polite) argument, i won't delete them if they aren't flamey or antagonistic XD. Alternate viewpoints to consider: [link] [link]

This is just born out of seeing what a lot of beginner artists do, which is straight up copy a photo and re clothe it. Sure it's legal and like stuff to do this, especially if you credit the photo, but it's not IMO the best way to draw with references. This is not the same as studying from a photo or doing live modelling sessions. Studying is not passed as original art and the goal is to learn and get close to the original. Drawing from the mirror or a live model is also different because of the way your eyes work. You have to actively decide how to flatten the 3d image your eyes receive into one 2d flat image you draw and this exercises your brain in ways photos will never do.

Just copying a single photo for what you have problems with or the entire pose isn't going to be as helpful as examining many, this attempts to replicate what having a live model would do, that is give you dimensions and 3d form to learn from. I believe it's the best way to use references and I believe it'll be beneficial to many beginners.

Stock images are taken from *SenshiStock and ~Nemesis-19 as well as google to illustrate my point. If you have any issues with this please contact me via note :)

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Given 2014-07-14
The BASICS : Using References by Shattered-Earth  References are an invaluable tool, learning how to use them well can make all the difference to your artwork! ( Suggested by FlyQueen and Featured by Elandria )

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briannam1311 Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2014
so far this is the only thing thats helped me with this, and with knowing that i actually have to keep doing it. at first i didnt know how to start out but this is very helpful.
TakoOoyaki Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2014  New member Hobbyist
Thank you! It's really helpful!
stevoE26 Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
holy shit YES!!!
iv found myself copying poses from photos etc so much lately and i feel so helpless when i want to change it drasticaly
this has changed my whole outlook on art! 
thank you so much :D
Shattered-Earth Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2014   Digital Artist
woah i'm glad i could help you break through and hopeuflly produce even more steller work!
stevoE26 Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
your tutorials are great!
i found this and the fold/wrinkles one really useful :)
Lily-Misses Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2014  Student Digital Artist
This is really helpful! I've only just started with drawing digitally, and I copied exactly what I saw when I was younger. I was doing the exact thing you said not to do because of the exact reasons you said, and this made me feel a lot better! 
lAmayal Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I very much enjoyed this tutorial because it doesn't just bark orders at someone to do something, it explains and gives good reasons as to why this would be more beneficial to someone. I honestly hadn't thought of this before and I think it's absolutely brilliant. I'm definitely gonna try this out at some point. Thanks a bunch! :D
Shattered-Earth Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2014   Digital Artist
Thanks! I'm a big fan of trying to explain why something is the way it is instead of telling someone something is right XD. I'm glad that came through, good luck in your art endeavors!
lAmayal Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
It very much did and I'm glad to finally see someone using this method! Keep it up, I really appreciate all the work you do :)
Ambsi Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2014
Oh wow, this is great. I was trying to teach myself how to draw by copying from photos, but that always made me feel so limited in what I could do... This is just what I needed, thank you so much!
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