Is it good to sketch from an artist anatomy book?
Question from Josh, Anatomy Master Class student
In addition to watching Anatomy Master Class video lessons, I also copy sketches out of an artist anatomy book or the Old Master drawings. But, I wonder if I’m getting to the point where I’m mindlessly copying.
Your advice is always appreciated.
Answer from Vladimir London, Anatomy Master Class tutor
Many thanks for your question.
Copying is a good way to aid your learning process, however do not replace learning with copying.
By drawing from the Old Masters, you will develop your taste in classical art and by drawing from anatomy books, you learn more about human anatomy.
At the same time, copying cannot replace life drawing and drawing from memory and imagination.
Once you learned major proportions of a human body, do multiple figure sketches both life and from memory. This way, you will get your confidence in sketching and far greater freedom to express your own creative ideas.
Do self-portraits as well. Drawing self portraits using a mirror is much better than copying your head-shot photographs.
Nevertheless, you have so many people around you; just ask your friends and peers if they want their life portrait done free of charge. I’m sure you will get mostly the “yes, please” response.
You see, having an original artwork has much greater perceived value than a copy of a photo. It is as looking on a person via eyes of an artist. Such an artwork will be totally unique and more valuable to the sitter because it was done life (even though, it might be far from perfect).
Look for solutions in your art education; don’t hang up on challenges.
To your creative success,
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