References are hindering me...I think

Home Forums Shop talk References are hindering me...I think

This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Drunkenelf 5 months ago.

  • Subscribe Favorite
  • #29827

    Has anyone ever felt like using references hinders them. I'm not talking about needing references when you draw but I've collected/saved/downloaded things off of the internet some concept art from animated shows or movies but recently I've felt like it's a weird "safety net" of some sort (I liked the idea that I had an art style to shoot for someday I guess - this was before, like, I was younger). I've been thinking of deleting them but I'm worried/scared that I might never see them again; they look really good (plus, I'm clearing out some old stuff from my hard drive and I don't really feel like I've needed them or need them now but my worries feel real). Most of those concept art were from Disney stuff and I'm trying to get rid of anything that doesn't look too realistic and I really feel like I really want to find my own art style and keeping old art concepts/references are what's probably hindering me mentally.

    tldr; I really want to grow as an artist (do more realistic style or find my own style of doing things) but my old references/concept art stock photos (most are from disney) are what's probably hindering me from growing up mentally (as an artist), so I really want to delete them (or planning to) but I worry that I might never see some of them again, even on the internet.

    Has anyone ever felt this way?

    Please support Line of Action

    Support us to remove this


    Well, Lanky Doodle2003, you've came to the right place on this little tough but loaded question, which I can try the best I can to answer you in the most satisfying way possible, but I think that you couldn't or shoudn't need to delete all of your references in general, including your cartoon-stylized references,if you don't want or need to; but I feel that you can and shall work on studying, warming up, and practicing your references in the way that works for you the best. In other words you can and will look at them for half the time, and then put them away, and then sketch them all out quickly to the best of your photographic memory.

    When it comes to studying your references, if I had some references show from you with your copies you're trying bester to study off of, I'd get the better idea on where you're going off to. All aside, I think and therefore feel like you're getting to be on the right track. Would you please care to show us some samples of your studies all paired up to your references you're trying to practice from? The reason is because we can and shall and will want and need to get the roughest idea on the direction of where you're going off to. So, in order to study drawing fundamentals applied to gesture drawing, shall we suggest you try out our interactive drawing tutorial?

    The argument?

    -To get the best idea on how to go with the flow with your basic drawing talents.

    -to get the most concrete idea on how to solidify your shapes, spaces, and masses, and forms of your subjects, including your concept sketches.

    And that's all she wrote...

    So, anyway, let's all hope they've been completely and totally helpful, useful, and educational to you and your greatest progress to be. Kindly take these things with the smallest grain of salt.


    No reason to get rid of those references, dude. Solid references that you want to emulate can be hard to find and if their style is something you want to emulate, it is artistic gold.

    It does sound like you need different references though, especially if you want a more realistic artsyle.

    Are you constantly looking back at those references when you draw? Only look at the model and your paper. Don't use the mental shortcuts that you have practiced all this time. If you draw a figure, don't be afraid to stop and look at what you've drawn. Note what parts you feel are more cartoony and then focus on not drawing that way for your next piece. This is going to be hard, but this is what daily drawings are for, practicing out our bad built up habits. Its not going to look pretty until it does.

    Look up other references too! Especially stuff that has been drawn in similar time frames. Youtube is great for this. Heck, go through some of the galleries here is Line Of Action, you can also try and copy other students. You've practriced working from memory, you might be surprised at how much you can remember how others draw.

    Don't be ashamed of you cartoony roots. You'll miss being able to draw that way if you force forget your original style.

Login or create an account to participate on the forums.