Drawing Photos


TPF Noob!
Mar 19, 2006
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Nottingham, UK
Hi All,

Recently, I've realised that I've been buying a lot of photography books (as in, books full of photos, like "An Inner Silence - The Portraits of Henri Cartier Bresson":thumbup:

Anyway, I've been flicking through them a lot, without really feeling like I'm looking at them, so I've started re-drawing them as a way of really looking at them, and it really works! (For me anyway) I take a lot of time over my drawings, and they usually look rubbish, but afterwards I feel like I've taken a lot more time over the different elements of the photo and how they fit together, over facial expressions etc. I don't really think it's about the results, but the process, so am not too bothered that they look rubbish.

Has anyone else tried this before? What do you think?
Yes I have drawn photographs before. And yes it gives me a beter feeling of the effects and shades of the picture. henseforth i appriciate and understand it better.
Yes, I used to do a lot of drawings and paintings of photos. I think it has helped my understanding of light a ton! Plus, it's really cool to have a drawing of a photo that you really like.
You are touching on something that I could write a War and Peace-thick novel on in my opinions. So without killing the bandwidth of the internet with my ‘opinion’ I will instead say this:

It should be MANDATORY in public schools to first teach drawing, then drawing a photograph, then photography, and the same with language skills, math, blah, blah, blah.

I started drawing photographs in the 6th grade, and went for the ‘photo-realism’ aspect of it. I have found that my drawing abilities went forward by light years as a result. It helped me see tonality, light and dark, contrast, etc. The most amazing aspect was that the photographs I drew were done mostly on my time, and I wound up with A++ on most of them. So, hu… I guess I agree with you.
Mandatory my arse. I walked into the office of the head of the studio arts department at my school with four cameras slung over my shoulder and my portfolio in hand, and they still wouldn't even let me into beginning photography because I had taken Foundations of Sculpture (103) instead of Foundations of Drawing (101) or Foundation of Painting (102). The rationale? People who haven't studied drawing or painting will never be able to have an astute sense of light, perspective, or composition when it comes to photography. I've never heard such a crock of s**t in my life. I've taken a number of drawing and painting courses in my earlier years, before I realized that I was infinitely better at photography, and three dimensional work like sculpture. I still couldn't draw or paint anything recognizable to save my life. Does that make me a poor photographer? Of course not. Would I be a better photographer if I could draw or paint? I highly doubt it. Taking a photograph requires me to wind something, push something, line something up, etc, and most of all use my eyes and my imagination. A mechanical inability to translate that well onto paper or canvas has f-all to do with my abilities as a photographer.

Sorry for the language, but not for the rant. ;)
Max: I think you miss understand what I say. I am not saying that it has to be mandatory for entry into a particular course like beg. photography, what I am saying is that I see education in the US as not only pathetic, but down-right criminally neglectful. One does not have to be a Michaelangelo or Donatello to pass a course. I am saying that it enhances the KNOWLEDGE BASE of the student. Which in the country is is sourly lacking! It takes a person of high personal motivation to get the education that industry and the world as a whole demands, and the pub. school system fails at that.

I can tell you stories of how I was PROHIBITED to enter a photography class at school because I lacked two other courses that were demanded by an arrogant teacher and administration totally clueless as to what the concept about photography was. So I understand that part. I do not say that anyone who has never had a class in drawing doesn't understand light and contrast, etc. I said that it ENHANCES the experience!

I don't mean to come across as harsh on this point either. I just see education as a neglected area. But then again, I live in New Mexico, and it is after all the Land of Mañana.

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