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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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angelfabeth Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist Writer
Wow, this was really useful! Thanks :D
thepinkiest Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
you're really understand my feeling ;A;
NonieR Featured By Owner 5 days ago
YES! ***THIS!***

Solanapple Featured By Owner 5 days ago
You have understand the life.
Yorgisen Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
thank you so much, this is really helpful.
KiwiCocktail Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Great tutorial, thanks for sharing! :)
Petrotasia Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2014
I admire you for doing this, I see my friends using references the "wrong" way and I would face-palm, but I got no guts or good explanation to say that they're just kinda coping the image

I still don't learn after seeing these images a gazillion times though, I had to use the images again the next time I draw the angle XD
Saaally Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2014
This says it all! To sum it up: use references to STUDY anatomy, not as a way to avoid having to figure it out/to avoid having to figure out poses by yourself <3
ikaika-puuwai Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2014
Oooh, so helpful, Thanks! I was one of those people who always copy ... Blush 
XxAmuFujibioshixX Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2014  Student
This is explained excellently! A lot of aspiring artists fail to realize this XD (I've only recently realized, and so I'm reteaching myself what I know of drawing)
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