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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 :)

Other basic tuts:
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this is SUPER helpful! answers the question i've been asking for years on how to learn effectively...
thank you for making this amazing tutorial OuO
Ok, so I guess I figured the first half of this tutorial before I got here,
and the second is a revelation of sorts. And I get nauseated on regular basis
when trying to figure out this or that part of body in that angle etc but I agree
wholeheartedly that it works - so far I've been able to learn a bit about perspective
of human's face using this method and somehow you don't forget this once it get's to your head - 
it's like riding a bicycle - it stays with you and when you need it it there - a drawer opens up 
somewhere inside of your head and your hands know what to do next.

Great tutorial really, finally found a DRAWING tutorial (because there're a lot of COPYING
or TRACING ones and as you mentioned above - that methodes don't teach anything).
Shattered-Earth Mar 6, 2014   Digital Artist
Beautiful, I'm so glad this could help you advance your art in a new way to you. Thanks for taking the time to tell me, i apologize for taking so long to respond!
It's ok, happy you wrote back at all :))
I'll admit, when I think of reference pictures, usually I'm just thinking of essentially copying the pose. I haven't used them much (because typically when I'm drawing, it's at a time/place where I can't be getting references. Like in class. I am only a doodler. :P ) But I have been noticing that there are particular poses or positions that keep coming up when I'm doodling. I must keep this in mind.
Shattered-Earth Feb 2, 2014   Digital Artist
Well if you ever move beyond doodling, trying to think of your own poses first then finding refs will probably give you a jump start in processing bodies :)
plus there is a cat wondering around in the background of the reference picture... XD
Shattered-Earth Jan 17, 2014   Digital Artist
LOL, hey that just makes it awesome actually XD
minkiososa Dec 30, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I liked the irony in it, and yeah it all makes sense...
then there is me...the one that isn't able to get the basic shapes neither
whatever at least this confirmed the fact i need many references to get one right, and also that since i suck balls i should stick to the image in my head because references make my drawings look like the first one..people in awkward positions and me all sulking and being "why if i copied it perfectly it isn't working" ;^;
 thanks :)
Shattered-Earth Jan 17, 2014   Digital Artist
You're welcome!! I hope this will really take you places where you wanna go with your art :D
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