T O P

It just occurred to me that using references is actually overpowered. I generally don't use references since I think it's "cheating" but now I'll be using more when I'm practicing anatomy and poses (I took a picture of myself like 20mins ago)

It just occurred to me that using references is actually overpowered. I generally don't use references since I think it's "cheating" but now I'll be using more when I'm practicing anatomy and poses (I took a picture of myself like 20mins ago)

luvmaila

Idky anyone thinks using references is cheating. It’s literally industry standard to use references.


Belethorsbro

Right? Like is a still life cheating? Some of the most famous paintings in history are cheating then...


zzombiedragons

Right? It's literally how you learn... By observing and trying it out.


awhippoorwill

I've never understood how using references is cheating. Why would I trust my dumb brain to know the proportions of a human body when I could look at an actual human?


savagepoodles

I know! If someone requested that I draw a platypus, without a reference picture, it would be pretty f'd up looking. Well, more f'd up looking than they already look.


RogueDeku

I knoww but Idk why I just thought it was like being "cheap". Every tutorial I watched was like "use references, everyone uses them" but my past self was like "nah fuck it, eyeball everything"


TheOtherPenguin

I thought this for a long ass time then I tried to learn how to draw hands. Yeah, references are clutch


RogueDeku

Exactly that's what I'm doing right now. I'm constantly looking at my hand and trying out different positions


gesasage88

I literally paint directly over photos, it’s just a different way of expressing creativity. As a photographer I think we are so fortunate to have photography these days to aid us in art! Do what you need to express your art!


RogueDeku

Will do!


gesasage88

Also, so sorry you got heavily down voted above. People need to chill, it seems you were just expressing your past views and that is totally reasonable!


RogueDeku

Ah don't worry about it. Those are just some numbers to me, but if I would care I'd still have 2k+ upvotes on the post so it evens it out I guess.


TetraTerantula

Bro why is this being downvoted


slayyou2

Because that toxic attitude of "it's cheating" needs to die. It's holding people back.


lasttime89

Try reading the actual post. They are talking about their old mindset and how they've changed. You're down voting them for expressing growth toward the direction you think they should grow in. That's the idiocy of the reddit hive mind at action. A handful of early people failed reading comprehension, more followed and got down votes to the point where instinctively you now misread the comment because it has such negative responses it must be wrong.


slayyou2

I didn't down vote anything, I'm am simply. offering an explanation for the down-votes others gave. I understand why you might have assumed that though.


RogueDeku

No worries guys. Those are just some numbers. With all the kind words and encouragement to use references some down votes don't do shit to me. If people can't read it ain't my problem so thanks for knowing how to read haha


RogueDeku

I just realized. But oh well not like I care. Got up votes elsewhere so who cares


madamz

This place would be so much better if everyone shared your attitude toward downvotes


RogueDeku

Hmm maybe idk. I am a man of art but also of numbers and math. And simple math told me 2.1k upvotes is more than 69 (nice) down votes lol. I hope it stays at 69 tho


Odalrikk

Braindead reddit hivemind


dotbetweenlines

There is no cheating in art bro


RogueDeku

Well I mean technically tracing other peoples work but for practicing I get what you mean


mnl_cntn

I don’t know if that’s fully true. A lot of painting courses in college had us doing studies of famous painting by focusing of different parts of those paintings. Things like color choice, composition and lighting. It wasn’t tracing but it was intense studies to try to deconstruct how the greatest minds thought and saw the world. Plus there’s a series of photographs that were literally photos of other photographers’ prints. Which if, I remember correctly, the whole point was to address the new age of everyone having access to a camera. Plus there are found art installations which are literally just objects that an artist finds and then puts them in a gallery. Most famous of that work is the Fountain. There’s also other works that I’ve seen where an artist gathered all the toys and junk that his kids use and play with and put it in a gallery for some artistic intent that escapes me. The point is, anything is and can be art given that art has no globally accepted definition. As long as you’re not willfully stealing someone’s art, without consent or trying to misrepresent, then anything can be acceptable.


r_mutt17

Ah yes, The Fountain.


mnl_cntn

Love it, thank you for the laugh man


RogueDeku

Oh hey. Happy cake day


dotbetweenlines

Sure, that’s stealing somebody’s work :)


RogueDeku

Yup :) And that's how I usually felt. But since I basically just took a picture of myself it didn't feel that bad. Just awkward lol


SquirrelKing12

That's the best kind of reference tbh. Using reference is definitely a habit to get into and I would def recommend continuing to make your own too! You feel less bad because you're not using something you found online but a photo you took yourself


RogueDeku

I will do that going forward


ThirdMover

That's still not "cheating" as long as you don't publish it and claim you didn't trace it. It can be a legitimate learning method for beginners.


RogueDeku

That's true


Dill_Pickle_

Tracing is a great tool when you want to learn someone’s style, you just have to have the right mindset and understand what you’re tracing


RogueDeku

I agree


DIOBAMA6969

There’s a huge difference between tracing and using references. References are almost necessary to accurately portray what you’re drawing.


RogueDeku

Yup


commonjane

Tracing means you put your paper over someone else’s art and just drew lines over their lines. Is that what you did?


RogueDeku

No no absolutely not. I used to do that when I was younger but I stopped doing that in like 3rd grade cuz I hated it. If I did it now I'd deconstruct whatever I'm "tracing"


commonjane

Using a reference is called “sketching”.


[deleted]

To me that’s like thinking sheet music is cheating in order to learn a song.


RogueDeku

Like looking at the notes? Well I forgot how to read them but you're totally right. I just realized haha


Not_Jimmy_Carr

Definitely not cheating.


RogueDeku

Yes. I should've realized that sooner ngl


Not_Jimmy_Carr

A lot of people think like that, so it’s normal. It’s nice to realize that there’s no real stigma attached, and reduces the pressure in learning this wonderful and fun skill!


RogueDeku

I can only agree to what you've said


ghoulive

Can’t cheat if the answer is in front of you. By that, I mean the drawing we all do is based off life all around and in front of us. There’s a reference you have to draw back on, all of that beginning with figure drawing and posing. And the purpose of that is to understand the angles in which the joints and muscles work together. So keep at it.


RogueDeku

Yup! That's what I finally wrapped my head around haha


nebulasoupp

Where did the whole references is cheating thing come from anyway— by that logic many works from the greats would be considered cheating because they used live study. Anything is a reference, whether you’re drawing a person or a fruit bowl or a gurgling stream. What makes it your art is the way you take what your senses give you and transform it into your unique interpretation of how you perceive the world. Awesome work by the way. I love how you drew the legs— they’re very stylized and fit the subject well.


wormsisworms

It’s an early stage of artist self doubt. the self doubt never goes away, it just changes shape. Get over a fear of reference, then you’re scared of perspective. Learn perspective, then you freak out about color theory. You learn a bunch of stuff and at some point you decide that you really don’t know anything and it’s back to being a white belt. The kid is just going through the steps a lot of artists go thru, like the stations of the cross, dragging his burden behind him.


RogueDeku

Tbh I personally never get scared. When I see artists younger than me I get what I like to call "artist depression" where I'm like down for like 3 days (just came back from that) but after that I'm more excited than before to work on my art and improve so as to reach a certain point I want to be at


RogueDeku

Thank you very much, although the legs weren't showing in mu reference and I was wearing slippers I had to add legs so I eyeballed it. So this drawing is 50%reference haha


Mytur_Benesderti

If the paper is blank and you draw something, it's not cheating.


RogueDeku

Yes


Puzzled_Fee_9578

Neat


RogueDeku

Noice


URSA_RAGER

references 👏 aren’t 👏 cheating 👏


Raehraehraeh

All the greats used references. All of them.


RogueDeku

I 👏 totally 👏 agree 👏


KNB-f

Well how that you’re getting comfortable with references: [here’s an app](https://justsketch.me) you can use to help in that regard too.


RogueDeku

Hey that actually looks hella useful. Thanks alot :)


KNB-f

No problem. Also if you own windows (I believe 8-10), you can try out [Design Doll](https://terawell.net/terawell/?lang=en). I’ve never used it, but it looks very good and is pretty powerful from general observations.


RogueDeku

My pc is probably not usable for the next 2-3 weeks but I'll be sure to try it out if I don't forget about it. Thanks man


Jayeky

One thing you can do is use multiple or two references at the same time if you want to make it more idk ''authentic''?


RogueDeku

Well that's what I somewhat did. I usually come up with everything without a reference but when I needed a specific pose or hand position I just took a picture. But when "practicing" I never used references except for things I rarely practiced or for the fiest time (like idk feet or clothing and stuff like that)


Sadly232

You're not going to build your visual library efficiently or improve your ability to draw from life with an attitude like that. How are you going to do gesture drawing? Studies? This post makes me irrationally angry for some reason.


printerparty

I think as artists we are often plagued with either perfectionist tendencies or simply have an inner critic in our heads who tells us "not good enough!" at every opportunity to sabotage progress and improvement, but with any luck we are able to fight off the critical liar and develop a self-employed "motivator" who shuts those poisoning quips down just before the critic makes a peep...It's anger-inducing hearing our critic spouting bullshit, and it should be! Shutting that noise down is literally the only way to consistently produce good, original and interesting art. Allowing the critical messages to flow will always end in being blocked like the Hoover Dam, afraid to call yourself an artist as months turn into years since you have made anything worth completion. I think OP is being really cool in all their replies to comments in the post, because they made an honest breakthrough, which is important for them to keep on drawing and a key to keep on *improving* long-term. They agree that the old law was simply wrong, it's refreshingly humble. I identify with your anger but think it is rational in this light, any and all bullshit critics deserve to be castigated and shut the F up.


RogueDeku

I am sorry that I evoke your anger. In all seriousness I build my visual library by looking at things for like 10-20mins then I stop and try to remember what I saw and draw it from my head


PleasantWolverine0

Drawing from life or imitating another artist is part of the process. If you trace or use some kind of digital reproduction of another image that's something else. It's like playing an instrument. The world should be your reference. As long as you produced the image.


RogueDeku

That's a really poetic way of saying "I use references to practice". Sounds way cooler haha


PastelPeaches

References are a god send when I get art block. Just drawing random poses helps clear the mind.


RogueDeku

I'll do that too


nameOFwizard

YOURE ONLY AS GOOD AS YOUR REFERENCE! what’s your favorite artist or art piece ??? Do you know or care if they used references? The end is what matters. The masters traced.


nameOFwizard

Without reference it’s like poking an eye out.. like why stifle yourself?


F0R3S7c0y073

The top professionals in the field who are paid to draw good use references always. I've been drawing for almost 20 years and I always use references. It's fun to just go at a drawing quickly sometimes, use the knowledge of the subject in your head. I also used for honk using references was cheating though so I get it hahahaha


RogueDeku

Haha well I'm basically at the same page as you were years ago huh? But I never tell anyone references are cheating. I just "told" that myself


F0R3S7c0y073

Same!! Convinced myself it wouldn't be allowed later on when I was better. Everytime I said I used reference the majority of people didn't even bat and eye, so I figured, it must be okay!


RogueDeku

I mean there isn't really anyone around me that draws or draws as much as I do. My younger siblings draw because of me but not nearly as often as I do and friends who I kept nagging to draw never did. So there's virtually no one around me that critizes anything I draw, except for like ones or twice from teachers or people that are older than me


Sapphire-Kitty-Witch

Using and drawing from reference expands your internal visual library which can aid in drawing from your head without reference later on. Think of it as adding new content to that library in your head or even reinforcing it. There’s no cheating in that whatsoever.


printerparty

Julia Cameron calls this "filling the well"


RogueDeku

I 100% agree


Gibsonator3000

Art student here. In my drawing and illustration classes we always have references. Not cheating, just setting up a great composition after putting several references together. This looks great!


RogueDeku

So I'm getting top tier advice....thanks I'll make sure to use them more now


Frankie52480

It’s not cheating. Manifesting a visual in your mind and putting that on paper is no better than looking at still life and putting that on paper. The art comes from the page- a result of your talent, creativity and knowledge. It’s not like You’re tracing. Hell sometimes that’s perfectly acceptable too (IMO) depending on the project.


RogueDeku

I can only agree


Familiar_Actuary7207

Using reference isn’t cheating, it’s called learning. Having the confidence to not care and use a reference while your practicing in the long run will give you more skill and knowledge when you come to draw from imagination. Kim Jung GI and others alike that beautiful bauld headed illustrator, used references at first then only in recent years of drawing for like 30 years can they draw without reference. Looks good still no shame in using the references tho.


RogueDeku

Yeah Kim Jung Gi is a major inspiration for me and I try to follow his way of thinking "don't deaw what you see. Draw what you have seen" Which basically means study what's around you aka. reference everything and memorze it. Good thing I have good visual memory


Familiar_Actuary7207

Just keep practicing but there’s nothing wrong with references they help you make sure things are correct in measurements and stuff.


RogueDeku

Yup!


michicharrones

that thought process is what made me give up as a kid and not draw for years and years because i thought it was cheating and that i was an imposter for wanting to redraw something or use someone else's artwork as a reference. literally couldn't even call myself an artist even though i loved it and always wanted to be an artist. but at the end its all just learning, some people gotta learn how to do something first before being able to work with it and be creative if that makes any sense.


RogueDeku

Hmm I get why you stopped back than but personally I never thought of giving up tbh. At the moment I want to inspire people just the way I was inspired to pick up a pen and draw every day. I think that was my motivation not to give up even if I didn't use references


Rowmawn

Good job on that hands perspective man


RogueDeku

Thanks :)


FermentedHops

Using references is op, pls nerf


RogueDeku

That's what I'm saying


adapt_improvise

If that's how you look then you remind me of kei or tsukkiyama from haikyu!!


RogueDeku

Haha thanks (I love haikyuu). My hair is waaaay longer than his but height and body type wise I get what you mean


adapt_improvise

Yup maybe it's the hand position but instant kei vibes


RogueDeku

Haha thanks


wouldarobotdothis

Would hate to see this without the reverence tbh


RogueDeku

Thanks. Tbh the only thing that would look different is the hand and the face as I'm practicing hands atm and I usually draw faces differently. But all in all it would basically look like this, maybe a little slimmer


aDogWithAComputer

anyone who tells you that using reference is cheating doesnt know what they're talking about


RogueDeku

Then I had no idea what I was talking about, cuz no one told me that but myself haha


ChaotazArt

I can't agree more, at the beginning I felt this way as well, then I realized that you need to use references if you want to improve


RogueDeku

Exactly. Amd I'll continue with that


berobadran

Basically when we draw we're trying to express real life on a piece of paper (be it digital or otherwise). So by that logic references are not only valid, but a necessity. So good work and keep practicing, I can see that you're getting the hang of it.


RogueDeku

Thanks and yup I realized that refers are really important haha


MegaMeteorite

Even JOJO's creator Araki Hirohiko uses references (he used Michelangelo's sculptures as references in a video).


RogueDeku

Yup. Saw that too. But I personally didn't care at that time. But now I do


SometimesISuckBees

How could you think it's cheating? Even as a creative yourself, you might be able to tell that you can't learn if you don't study. If you don't reference the real world, how are you gonna be able to know what things look like?


RogueDeku

I mean I do reference the real world but what I meant was like using references for like actual artworks. But I realized how much it speeds up the process


SometimesISuckBees

Even in that situation, the case would be the same. If you want, for example, the subject of an artwork to a massive hand, it might keep looking wierd until you just use a reference, even your own hand. If you don't look at what it *should*be, then you might not always know what it *shouldn't*.


quasi_aesthetic

It's really interesting where different artists draw the line for "cheating." I guess the most important thing is being true to your convictions. Personally, I just want to make the best art possible and find very few techniques taboo.


RogueDeku

Hmm that's true. Tbh I haven't heard anyone calling references cheating, I just personally felt that way for some reason but I also see the merits of it


r_renfield

How is using references cheating? How are you gonna draw something you never saw? It's like writing a book about something with no research.


RogueDeku

Well when I want to draw something new I usually either have seen it once or I look up a few images, close them and try to draw what I recall


Zetro

Franrekk and his comment section on this post were the last one I remember to put it nicely https://twitter.com/Franrekk/status/1413208176258846720


andallthatjasper

As the first reply points out... yeah, I've seen plenty of people accuse people of cheating for using references. And I also haven't heard anybody say that using references is not cheating without any context. Not sure what he's on about.


wonteatfish

Nice work


RogueDeku

Thanks :3


Tenzilo

Idk if using reference is cheating, but not using it and flexing those creative muscle is also good, while using reference can inspired you or just make you want to recreate sth


RogueDeku

I personally hate bragging or flexing what I can do without references but I'm very happy with what I can do. But I realized thete are faster ways to improve


While_Spaghetti

It's not cheating, reference is really important in a lot of different ways, throughout all mediums


[deleted]

Great job!


RogueDeku

Ayy thanks


[deleted]

you're welcome


Correct_Assumption90

How on earth would using a reference be cheating? So tired of this bs.


RogueDeku

Same man. To me it felt like a shortcut which I didn't want to take even though anyone with more than 2 braincells would take


Correct_Assumption90

I'm really happy you're no longer worried and are using resources that help you. I get so tired of hearing all the made up rules about art.


RogueDeku

Yea but tbh this was something I kinda told myself eventhough it makes mo sense. But when I used references I always kinda stuck with it too much and I personally dislike looking up from my paper when I'm drawing. For anything. Be it references or videos or anything. But I see what makes it useful


Correct_Assumption90

Also, great sketch, forshortening is soooooo hard and that hand look great!


RogueDeku

I will use a lot more foreshortening and will integrate a lot of extreme angles cuz I wanna be able to make those


Suyashori

I thought same for a long time dw, only recently started using references xd grats on ur discovery, good pic


RogueDeku

Thanks man :) I'll use them more going forward


KozKatma

Op everyone’s attacking you even though you clarified you used to think that 😭 even just looking at these comments is frustrating me. Tbh I used to think the exact same thing although I still used them, although I just felt a bit guilty. Now I done rlly consider it ‘cheating’ per se, but it’s a point of pride if I can make it as original as possible since it shows I’m improving


RogueDeku

I mean everyone is kinda saying it's not cheating, cuz it isn't but I don't see it as them attacking me. Don't worry haha


KOLLtofu

Using references definitely not cheating. Observing is one of the biggest part of art and it’s about how well you understand of the object you observed. Even experienced artists still always use references, so never feel shame about it unless you’re tracing it.


RogueDeku

Will do! Observing is what I always do but just don't while drawing. I look at things and try to recall it while drawing


Salt-Opportunity-231

All good artists use reference on a regular basis. It’s not cheating. It’s part of any process. Builder use a plan, electricians use a wiring diagram, programmers use a code, and artist use a reference.


RogueDeku

Totally agree


curiouspurple100

Why is it "cheating " ? I didn't use it before. Not for people but for animals because i "knew" what animals looks like so i didn't need it. I could use my mind and imagination and Memory. Turns out i was way wrong. Since i started using references I've improved. Well that and trying to use observation and trying to notice where are the shapes.


RogueDeku

I've stopped thinking that but I have pretty good memory when it comes to visual stuff and that's why U rarely used references for people. But I realized how much faster I can improve by using references


curiouspurple100

High five. Yes. Waht do you like to draw ? Do you have discord ?


RogueDeku

Well as you might have seen I draw manga and anime, but I wanna work towards telling stories as well. I do have a discord but I don't use it that much


porcelainsuckers

Something about the way you draw your legs is so eye-catching to me.


RogueDeku

Thank you! I used myself as a reference for the and but the legs weren't in my reference so I just drew them from my mind


ErenBlacklite

Ya know... I dont really use reference much. Its not because i consider it "cheating " or whatever. It's because finding the right stuff is always just so difficult.


RogueDeku

I mean I had the same issue but I just started using myself as a reference. That works really good


ErenBlacklite

Yea when I need reference for poses or basic animations I just act them out myself.


exehnizo

It's not cheating and I am glad that you are not afraid to talk about the change of opinion out loud. Whole world is a reference, and it doesn't matter when you saw the object - half an hour ago in the park or one and a half seconds ago in the picture. Because of such "cheating" opinions, aspiring artists slow themselves down by not using references. Thank you and grats!


RogueDeku

Thank you for your words man! I appreciate them!


TheRookCard

Almost all professional artists use references.


i_am_harry

You won’t be the best artist you can be without using references. They inform your eyes about the reality your viewers’ brains inhabit and expect to see.


RogueDeku

Yup!


Elizzy_7

References aren't chaeting all artists use References bc you're eventually just drawing the world around you. As long as your not tracing ots fine


RogueDeku

I agree on that!


kakyoins_cherry_

ooooo! references arent cheating btw, you need them to help with proportions and stuff


RogueDeku

I agree. It makes things look a little more natural


BrazenTwo

Well I would Say then that all artist cheat for seeing the real world to draw


RogueDeku

We're all bunch of cheaters :c


Worf_Borf

I never thought of reference as cheating but I definitely found it boring. Now looking at people who are 'masters' of their craft I think using reference to build up and improve yourself creatively and skill wise is immensely important. I just wished I'd pushed myself to do more studies when I was younger. Very nice foreshortening btw.


RogueDeku

Thank you and I feel the same way. If I could tell my past self something then it would be to practice anatomy sooner


Outside_Ad_3377

Totally fair play


RogueDeku

I agree now and for that punch my past self in the face repeatedly.


simplyelevatormusic

Yes! I used to feel the same way but now I use pictures of myself as references all the time and it makes it so much easier. And no one is going “hey you used a reference picture 😡 it doesn’t count” lol


RogueDeku

Lol haha makes sense


simplyelevatormusic

Yes! I used to feel the same way but now I use pictures of myself as references all the time and it makes it so much easier. And no one is going “hey you used a reference picture 😡 it doesn’t count” lol


Caenobith

How using reference is cheating???????


RogueDeku

Idk :U


r_mutt17

There’s ‘kind of’ a hierarchy of references as I see it. Still life>using your own image>using someone else’s image>Tracing. With the goal being that you’re artistic style and vision owes less to anyone else. Of course for learning you start out tracing as a crutch but get better and use the crutches less. I personally use my own pics often because I don’t have time for plein air painting, but even the lens can alter the reference from how you would have portrayed it. I also say ‘kind of’ because it depends on your intentions and what we have come to accept from traditionalists. Vermeer and others are suspected of “tracing” with camera obscuras at least a little. Cheers for taking the leap!


RogueDeku

Thanks for your words man! Appreciate all of them especially for them being so informative! I'll keep practicing to eventually reach the place I want to be!


She-raZombieBitch

My un—referenced work is some of my most surreal and mythological...once you’ve got a picture in your head and to be able to put that on paper with no reference, even I can be proud of it as, it came straight from my head. But yes do both and no it’s not cheating:) good luck:)


RogueDeku

Will do! :)


RosaRisedUp

Then… then how do you practice? How do you do studies?? References are simply a part of building your foundation. Ain’t no cheatin’, friendo. Use all of the references and watch your skill rocket!


RogueDeku

I used to get like one still image of a person standing and imagined it in different poses and angles. For that reason I suck at drawing people from above and below.


RosaRisedUp

References will help with perspective for sure. Don’t ever give in to the illusion that the illustrators that you admire don’t, or haven’t, used a lot of reference.


RogueDeku

Aye aye! I will use references to better myself going forward!


New-Ad-8553

References for poses, weapons, clothing, setting, or even expressions are really helpful. As long as you don't copy another references style. But in the end, it's all just practice.


RogueDeku

That was my issue. I hated references because I always catch myself sticking to it waaay too much and that doesn't fit my own way of drawing cuz I like to make things up on the go


sh0rtyx

i feel this so much i just dont feel like its me, and its dissapointing that you cant credit yourself


mnl_cntn

Then take your own reference photos, use your phone, set it up as best as you can and pose. Though I will say, every single pose has been painted or drawn far before you or I. There’s no “cheating” using references because there are no original ideas. Look at fantasy books, almost all of them are influenced by Tolkien, either by following or bucking trends. Obviously don’t plagiarize, but using reference isn’t plagiarism. Just be honest where you got the reference and give them credit. Or again, make your own. You have more control that way too, by creating the composition and lighting in the photo you’re solving problems even before you put pen on paper.


sh0rtyx

thank u so much💓 this inspires me!


plskillme666

how is using a reference cheating...


RogueDeku

It felt like that to me because I thought of it like stealing someones work when in reality if I did use references I deconstructed them, which helped a lot but I didn't like the feeling of using references(even though it's not even bad)


CinimodDraws

Using References isn't cheating... tracing is


RogueDeku

Yes