Why you shouldn’t draw from your Phone

It’s important to paint from life when trying to grow your observation skills. Photos – especially from your phone – may not accurately capture lighting and form and colour. But sometimes you need a way to capture a moment, take it with you so that you can use it at a later date.

Smartphones have replaced cameras for documenting life. So many of my students have them and I recommend that they use them to take reference photos for art class. However; so many times I hear from students that they can’t access those photos because we don’t allow cell phones in class.

Aside from not having access to the phone, it’s not a good idea to draw from your phone. For one thing, the screen is small and you can’t see details. Even if you zoom in, you’re not getting a full picture. As well, sometimes you’ll want to use multiple versions of a scene or object; you should be able to look at them side-by-side in order to compare and contrast and use the best features.  Print your photos so they are full-sized and you can look at them as a set.

Another good reason to print photos is because photography is also art and if you have an excellent composition, you could include the photo as part of your portfolio. 

​So by all means, take photos. But then print them out and bring them to class. Or use them on your own.

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