Drawing Training vs. Drawing Education

Drawing Training vs. Drawing Education

Question from Kate, Drawing Academy student

I was wondering, do you have any reference photos for the projects, in particular the models, so that I could work along with you?

Feedback from Vladimir London, Drawing Academy tutor

Hi Kate,

Yes, I can send you reference photos, but before that I would like to ask, what is your ambition? To be able to copy someone else’s pictures and photos, or to learn how to draw constructively whatever you want and become an original fine artist?

The human brain is wired in such a way that by learning copying you will suppress your constructive drawing skills.

In the Drawing Academy, we do not want students to copy pictures they see in video lessons, especially drawing models from photos.

Here’s the best way to benefit from the Drawing Academy course – watch the video lessons, get a good understanding of the principles used in these lessons (rules of perspective, proportions, helping lines of symmetry, constructive drawing rules, contours, etc.) and use those rules and principles in your own creative works by drawing from life or imagination.

Our aim is to teach students how to draw whatever they see or imagine. This is much more than “watch me drawing and repeat after me” parrot-style training.

Copying pictures is training; learning to draw constructively from life is education.

I don’t want you to be trained; I really want you to be educated.

If you don’t see the difference between training and education, I’ll explain in the following example.

Let’s say you have a teenage daughter. What would you want for her, sex training or sex education?

I hope this clears any doubts about copying photos as training.

I want you to become an original fine artist, but the choice is yours. Just let me know if you want to learn how to copy, and I will send you photos to draw from.

Best regards,

Vladimir London
Drawing Academy tutor

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This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Ishita says:

    The question “What would you want for your teenage daughter, sex training or sex education?” nails down the whole argument about training and education!

    My art college professors train us to believe that anything we do is art instead of teaching art skills we came to learn.

    I was reading other articles on this website and in 10 minutes have found more information about drawing techniques than my professors “trained” me during last two years!

  2. Alexi says:

    I’m actually shocked to read that some art students see no issue with drawing from photos and are asking for photo references. This is diabolical. I’m studying art in Russia and here this is the biggest sin in learning drawing. If you do a carbon copy of a photograph, that’s the sure way to get expelled, no joking!

  3. Vern Dargel says:

    That is a very thought-provoking point you make regarding training vs education in the analogy of a teen age daughter receiving sex training or sex education. I would say that perhaps copying a photo may give a wannabe artist a feel for proportions in a given pose, but it is not to become a way of life — a manner of life for an artist. I learned this in my early twenties and could draw an identifiable figure in any posture, but I suppose I had more of an orientation for technical illustration as I specialized in architectural renderings, mostly home renderings. Knowing how to draw a figure added to this as I could place a figure in the illustration to make it more complete! Vern Dargel

  4. Tom Bolt says:

    Actually I am speechless. Everything I have done has always been from a photograph except for nature drawings of plants (that I got from biology classes). I am decent a photo drawing but have never been satisfied. Currently, and stupidly, I am really struggeling with a simple still life. I have gone through five and working on my sixth and determinately the final one. Copying from a photo the hard work has been done, the composition, color, values, perspective, and all you have to do is copy someone elses idea. I am lacking in so many areas that it is pathetic and I can understand what she is saying, she, not unlike me, needs the safety hook, something you are familiar with. I think this is why my still life is presenting me such difficulty. I look at it and get this sense of unsatisfiedness, discontent with the objects, the composition, the light source.

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