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[teacherartexchange] copying from photographs

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From: Ellen Burnside (ellenburnside_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Mar 05 2008 - 11:59:46 PST


I have recently encountered a disagreement with my fellow art teacher (also department head). She liberally employs the practice of copying photographs in her classes, from using reference photos for a 1 pt perspective drawing to making an exact drawing of a photograph using the grid method. I believe that there are copyright issues involved here. Even if this type of copying is allowed for student work I don't think it is advisable to promote a habit that is not accepted later in life when these students are out of school. I also think that using a photograph constricts originality and creativity. Furthermore, I feel the decisions of composition, value range and how to effectively represent 3D space have already been decided by the photographer who took the original picture. I believe that it is more helpful to students to learn to draw from life. I am wondering what the views of other art teachers are on this matter. I'm also wondering if anyone knows of any research or published arguements on the subject
that represent either side.

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