How important is life drawing?
Hello everyone,

I'm a former art student, and haven't done any life drawing (as in a finished life drawing piece) for a half year or so now. I do draw anatomy studies (like 1 minute poses), but I consider those to be practice. My question is, how important is it for me to sit down and really try to draw and shade something from life? I have a cartoony style, and although I use references, I never feel the need to carbon copy them. Could I benefit from drawing from life more often?

Thank you.

You will surely benefit. There's no doubt about that. The question is whether it's worth your effort.

I encourage you to do it, but at the same time it's possible to do it and see no results or application to your cartoon work for a long time or ever. So I'm not going to say it's a must. In other words, it definitely wont hurt, but it could end up not mattering. I know plenty of people that tried life drawing for a while, but didn't stick with it long enough to really see the benefit and it didn't truly make a huge difference in their work. The exact same way you can take guitar lessons for a bit, and then quit and it's like you never even did it.

If you're young or just starting though, I think it's important to learn all you can.

Well even in life drawings you're not really making a "carbon copy", you're simplifying somethings to compliment other things working on composition along with the simplification. At the end of the day drawing is not a machine, it doesn't need to function properly (maybe engineer drawings lol), just be designed well and learning from the source to design more realistically can benefit you. Life also bleeds into everything so you may find something that you weren't looking for in it as well. If you have the time and money I say go for it. Even if it's not really for you, you gain experience in doing something you don't enjoy as much which will greatly help you in any aspect of life.

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