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Artists who use reference are cheaters

Hey y'all, got another article for you! A lot of us struggle with the feeling that our art is worse if we use reference to make it. We've got this idea that we should be able to paint without it and that since we use reference that we're somehow cheating.

Well I'd like to encourage you today that you're doing the right thing by using reference! And if you've got friends who struggle with this or who give you a hard time for using reference? Just send them this link and they can learn why artists who use reference are cheaters.

Artists Who Use Reference Are Cheaters

Thanks as always for your support!


If you somehow missed our last email, you can still check out last week's article, 10 Ways to Use Reference to Make Better Art


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thanks for this note! very interesting and true

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Thank you so much for all these informative insights, Noah I really think they are helpful

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Pixelvania Studios

I'm using reference to paint a face right now; this is a great reminder that I'm on the right track! I like the image you opened with, showing how you don't slavishly copy reference (like, getting every beard hair), that's something I fell into the habit of and need to push myself out of.

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