How to study Art from references

Introducing an insightful video by Mark, a former senior artist at Blizzard Entertainment, who now shares his artistic wisdom as an art teacher. In this episode of his YouTube Art School series, Mark delves into the art of studying from references, revealing that you might have been doing it wrong. He emphasizes the importance of not just studying but how well you study, and how references are crucial for learning and improving as an artist.

Mark breaks down the study process into four levels, each tailored to your skill level and designed to help you grow continuously without plateauing:

Level 1 – Starting with a Desire to Learn: At this stage, you focus on trying to recreate what you see in a reference with simple line art. It’s all about having the curiosity to learn something new.

Level 2 – Observing the Big Details: Here, you learn to observe the big details in your references while ignoring the smaller ones. It’s about honing your observation skills.

Level 3 – Refining Observation Skills: As you advance, you start to observe more subtle details, like lighting, texture, and shadows, while spending more time on each study.

Level 4 – Combining References: At this level, you combine multiple references to create a more complex study, pushing yourself to understand and replicate various elements.

Mark’s teaching method helps artists maximize their potential and progress rapidly. Which level do you currently find yourself at in your artistic journey? Share this video with fellow artists to help them on their path to improvement.

Hey class, this week I go over all the levels of study when it comes to using references! Ever wondered how the heck you’re supposed to practice drawing? Watch this RIGHT NOW.

Here’s the full study I was referring to


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