Should I Draw from Life or Photographs?

I believe and I am sure most art teachers will tell you that drawing from life is always better than drawing and painting from photographs.  I think particularly if you are learning to draw then drawing from life is essential.

Of course there is nothing wrong with drawing and painting from photographs and while working on illustration commissions I have in the past used many references from photographs an images.  Sometimes it isn’t possible to observe the subject in life.

Sometimes using photographs is necessary

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Can I Paint Before I can Draw?

This question isn’t particularly easy to answer with a yes or no.  Of course you can paint before you can draw.  I think the question should be whether or not you want to and not to see drawing and painting as separate activities.

Regardless of if you are drawing or painting you will still be facing similar challenges in creating artwork.  Perspective, tone, line, capturing movement, gesture, proportion and composition are all key skills that are going to be challenges in drawing and painting.

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