Saturday, December 29, 2012


I've been thinking about drawings that are done from photographs, and how easy it is for them to look stiff, and trying to determine what makes a drawing look like it was done from a photograph as opposed to from life, because often there IS a difference.  One can tell right away in some illustrations.

So what is it?  Most of my drawing do use photographs for reference, though they never look EXACTLY like the photo at all, or sometimes not even very close.  I just made a calendar all of pictures I've done over the past several years of my sweetie (and this is another one) to give to my sweetie's mother.  I was afraid she might be offended, because most of them don't look like him at all (click on the "Byron pictures" tag if you want to see what I mean).  It's more like "inspired by" or "based off of" instead of ....oh, I don't know....certainly not "copied", but I think that the danger of drawing from photographs is that you take the photograph to be some kind of authority that it really shouldn't be.  Yes use the photo to see where the light falls, and where the forms lay, but other than that, your drawing is more important than the photo, and once that gets going, the drawing itself contributes to your decision-making way more than the photo.


  1. Nice work...mesmerizing hatched background...Photo reference is OK if that's all it is...just a reference...Its pretty important to make art rather than copy a photo..the photo is already in the world...we are here to bring other things into the world...really interesting post and I agree with what you said...Happy new Year!!!!

  2. wow! this is amazing. all ur works were so beautiful. yea it's def a good idea to use them as a tool, I do that sometimes too but painting human faces are just too stressful for me haha
    happy 2013!

  3. I really like this portrait. I think the difference is when a person copies a photograph, it's a technical achievement. When you interpret the photograph, that's art. Photographs for reference are just tools, in the same way that, for me, a mirror is a necessary tool. Happy New Year!