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Tutorial-Using Photo Reference by ThirdPotato Tutorial-Using Photo Reference by ThirdPotato
"How do I draw?"
"Use photo reference."
"................k?" *wanders off not knowing what to do next*

WELL NOW HERE'S A TUTORIAL ON WHAT IT MEANS TO "USE REFERENCE PHOTOS." I realized that there's a big mystery about "reference photos." (or using life-drawing, real-life references, same point) Some people see it as "cheating," other artists say it's a "key ingredient to accurate and/or believable drawing." It's in my opinion that the former thinkers, only see reference photos as a source for copying. Well, pukes, this tutorial will prove otherwise! Now, I'm not claiming to be a great artist or nothin'. I just really like trying to explain what I've discovered through my own experiences.

Stock Image from: [link]

For more tutorials see: [link]
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:iconashwolf-forever:
AshWolf-Forever Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2017  Professional General Artist
I sorta do tend to ref one photo but it's good to see this anyway :) Still learning.
Then again I use photos more for poses.
Reply
:iconpizzapotatonbacon:
PizzaPotatoNBacon Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2017  Student General Artist
:clap: Thank you for this very helpful tutorial.
Reply
:iconhafanity:
Hafanity Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2016
just what i needed !!!!
Reply
:iconscaperune123:
ScapeRune123 Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
So funny and helpful. Thanks for making this awesome tutorial. I really love it!
Reply
:iconpeilinsirpale:
Peilinsirpale Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, this was so helpful! I've already mixed several references before, but this taught me so much more about them! Thank you for doing this!
Reply
:iconhirokimura:
HiroKimura Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Hello Again !
Thanks for the tutorial again ^^
The outcome is here
hiroki-tatsumi.deviantart.com/…
Observing is really cool, thanks for pointing that :)
Reply
:iconhirokimura:
HiroKimura Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Okay, you made my day x)
Well, that will give me lot of doors to open and to draw better :) Thanks ^^
Reply
:iconanti-hero711:
anti-hero711 Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2015
There's a Ren And Stimpy reference in there and I appreciate it. It's where the one learning is being choked and slapped. Lol. Loved Ren And Stimpy when I was growing up!

A very informative tutorial. Nice one!
Reply
:iconthirdpotato:
ThirdPotato Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
XD it was a great show, for sure. Thank you!
Reply
:iconanti-hero711:
anti-hero711 Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2015
Welcome dude!
Reply
:iconmedicus-stellarum:
medicus-stellarum Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Good lord above. Thank you for this, this has saved my life. I used to just start by copying the body and doing my own face and it usually looks dumb. I feel like I actually know what I'm doing now. 
Reply
:iconthirdpotato:
ThirdPotato Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
I'm so glad to hear n.n
Reply
:icongryphinlover:
Gryphinlover Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2015  Student General Artist
|''^3 Thank the Lord for this you, who made this tutorial.
Because it makes sense.

Once I actually reread it all!
Reply
:iconracheldeast:
racheldeast Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2015
This was the best and most fun tutorial I've ever seen! Thank you so much!
Reply
:iconazuregriffin:
AzureGriffin Featured By Owner May 18, 2015  Student Digital Artist
What a great tutorial ;w; Thank you so much <333
Reply
:iconthirdpotato:
ThirdPotato Featured By Owner May 22, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
You're most welcome!
Reply
:icondarkellalord:
DarkellaLord Featured By Owner May 13, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This tutorial is sooo good=3 It will definetely help me. Do you think, if I analyse references carefully and try to draw every day - I'll memorise all this timey-wimey-drawey stuff?+__+
Reply
:iconthirdpotato:
ThirdPotato Featured By Owner May 13, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
but of course! Observation is the artist's biggest tool
Reply
:icondarkellalord:
DarkellaLord Featured By Owner May 13, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you for a fast reply=3
Reply
:icondefhermann:
defhermann Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2014   General Artist
I never analyzed a ref pic before waw *.* good job man. And love the magic mike..erm i meant magic math stuff :)
Reply
:icontrinitysage:
TrinitySage Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I don't know why, but i can teared up a bit as i was going through this tutorial.

It's like seeing the world in a whole new way, I'll never look at a reference photo the same again and i think this will really help me with my drawing! Thanks so much for the tutorial <3
Reply
:iconthirdpotato:
ThirdPotato Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
I'm so glad to hear! Thank you TuT
Reply
:icontrinitysage:
TrinitySage Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Anytime, thank you too! <333
Reply
:iconconsciencemoment:
ConscienceMoment Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I've been drawing for years and my biggest problem has always been folds in clothing. I always just fixed them until they "looked right". I'm sure a realization of how to do folds isn't the big picture you expected to give someone with this, but boy am I so thankful right now!
Reply
:iconthirdpotato:
ThirdPotato Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
I'm so glad to hear! Also, I highly recommend the book Dynamic Folds and Drapery by Burne Hogarth! Definitely worth buying. It changed my life on folds XD
Reply
:iconconsciencemoment:
ConscienceMoment Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanx for the tip!
Reply
:iconugly0is0beautiful:
Ugly0Is0Beautiful Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014
This is awesome!
Reply
:iconvisigoth101:
Visigoth101 Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
I have trouble with complex stuff like this...
...but thanks.
Reply
:iconladycheck:
LadyCheck Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
very helpful tutorial!
Reply
:iconenigmasflame:
Enigmasflame Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This seriously needs a DD at a minimum, this is what is truly meant by actually using a reference. Thank you Fyuvix, this kind of stuff deserves to be preached to the art world.
Reply
:iconthirdpotato:
ThirdPotato Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you so much TuT I'm up for recommendation; that would be wonderful to give this piece more attention n.n
Reply
:iconenigmasflame:
Enigmasflame Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Awesomesauce :3
Reply
:iconwineinanopenwound:
WineInAnOpenWound Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
:D This is great!
Reply
:iconnevakari:
Nevakari Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2013  Student
this is so great!! i love how funny your tutorial is and now i have a firm grasp on using references!! thank you SO MUCH!!!
Reply
:iconcarriefranklin-art:
CarrieFranklin-Art Featured By Owner May 23, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This is so helpful! Thank you so much for posting! :D
Reply
:iconthefiveseasons:
thefiveseasons Featured By Owner May 20, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Best tutorial on references yet! :3 :hugs:
Reply
:iconthirdpotato:
ThirdPotato Featured By Owner May 20, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Danke! n.n
Reply
:iconnodnal99:
Nodnal99 Featured By Owner May 15, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Thanks lots!
Reply
:iconmssunnymuffins:
MsSunnyMuffins Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
You know what...i outta draw something other than people for once. The last part inspired that. Very usefull tutorial. :)
Reply
:iconmely9matzir:
Mely9Matzir Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2013  Student Interface Designer
thank u so much! :)
Reply
:iconstephenfauster:
StephenFauster Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Skeeve! I've seen nary a more useful tutorial in many a day! Thank'ee kindly.
Reply
:icontheidealmistress:
TheIdealMistress Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Why do you need to measure?
Reply
:iconthirdpotato:
ThirdPotato Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
For proportion
Reply
:icontheidealmistress:
TheIdealMistress Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Ahh... I'm asking because I'm taking notes for my speech this Tuesday.
Reply
:iconjunereames:
junereames Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013
Thanks a lot. I like how you made such a clear distinction between copying (a definite no-no) and incorporating (inspiration).
Reply
:iconwolfbane9:
Wolfbane9 Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Really amazing tutorial, you did fantastically.
Reply
:iconiamkathybrown:
iamkathybrown Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Tried photo ref once. Drew an arm too long. Thanks for this!
Reply
:iconauroralaurialis:
AuroraLaurialis Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This should get a DD. It was soo helpful, and also humorous, Def :+fav: from this gal!
Reply
:iconthirdpotato:
ThirdPotato Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Aw thank you! I'm always open for recommendations n.n
Reply
:iconjerylian:
Jerylian Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2012
I think I've come across a hundred tutorials on DA in the past few months, in hope to find something to help me improve my drawing... and finally I found your stuff. I'm very impressed, I mean, finally, USEFUL advices (and not just general stements like "use refenrences" or "study anatomy")... seriously, I love what you do and I think that your tutorials (especially this one, but the others as well) will help me a lot to improve myself.

So a big THANK YOU sir ! :D
Reply
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