Can you become Dependant on References?

Home Forums Practice & Advice Can you become Dependant on References?

This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by ArtsyNinja 9 years ago.

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  • #211

    i saw this guys video tutorial awhile ago and he was saying that if you use references too much you will become Dependant on them, and when you try to draw from your imagination you would not do as well. is this true? since i barely use references because of that because im afraid i will become too dependant, Will this hinder me in any way?

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    In my own experience I would strongly disagree. I use reference all the time as practice and if anything it allows me to understand the figure better so that when I draw from imagination I have real structure to draw upon.


    I believe you misunderstood what he meant. I believe what he was trying to say is to practice with reference to understand what your drawing so you don't have to constantly look back, or be dependent, of refernce. Everything in our imagination is taken from reality in some way're already referencing. So, there's no need to be afraid. :P


    It depends on how you use them. If you need a reference for Everything or only draw from photos, then yes, it is possible to become dependent. (I know, because it's something that happened to me when I first started) But really, it can be difficult to get to that point. Depending on your goals, you definitely want to draw from imagination often, but don't be scared to use references; especially when working on a piece you want to finish.

    If you're really concerned this might be a problem, then you can do some photo studies, then go back and draw them from memory or use what you learned while you sketch from imagination. There's also the option of using a ref to help you sketch out a rough outline and going solo from there, or using a ref after the initial sketch to help correct mistakes.

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