Of course the best way to learn to draw and to train
your eye is to draw from observation. But it is not always
realistic to have a stuffed eagle available. I try to balance
the sources we draw from, set up, models, self-portraits,
photos I take, magazines, etc. It's also important to share
with the students the rationale for using observation, photos,
etc, including the fact that those images belong to other artists.
When they change the original image and use it as just a point
of departure it becomes more of their own. This argument is
endless and has no single correct answer. I work often from
my own photos but last year I used a magazine reference, I was
never happy with the result. Not because I cheated, it just lacked
that spark my other paintings had.
I had a college professor who said there was nothing wrong with
projecting an image and tracing it. That really feels like cheating.
These are all aesthetic questions that students and artists struggle
Woody in KC
Kyle Hoyt wrote:
> I am a college student who is about to graduate
> with my endorsement in art education. I have recently
> been to a school doing some observation and got into a
> heated discussion over whether or not it is acceptable
> for junior high and high school students to use
> sources in their own work.