Sketching From Photos Is Hard

I really don’t understand those who suggest that sketching from photos is easier than sketching on location.  They say that the photo has already flattened the image to two dimensions and thus it’s easier.  I wonder if that’s because those advocates aren’t concerned about that missing third dimension.

If you do want to add depth to your sketch, the lack of information in a photograph is frustrating.  There’s a reason we have two eyes and I always have difficulty drawing from photos.  Unfortunately, if I’m going to draw outdoor things during Quebec winters, I’m forced to draw from photos.  Here’s a sketch I did of an odd-shaped apartment building at the convergence of two streets merging to one.

2 Responses to “Sketching From Photos Is Hard”

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  1. The only time I have found it easier to use a photo is when drawing people. I blow the pic up to the right size, then trace the outlines and prominent features in prep for painting. Then I can focus on value and color instead of worrying that the person will look like the person intended. Takes a lot of pressure off.

    • Tracing can certainly make it easier to draw from photos 🙂 You know that some will see this as cheating. What I’ve never understood is why those who do don’t see it as cheating if they don’t fully render their people drawings, leaving them as contour sketchings. I’ll sometimes scan one of my ink drawings and make several copies of it so I can experiment with different painting approaches. I guess that’s cheating too (grin).

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