Some artists, and I am one, can look at anything and redraw it on paper. But I still need a reference :-) And those that "pull from their minds" also need a reference. I love to ask people if they know what an elephant looks like. And everyone says "yes." Good. So then I ask them to draw an elephant and this is where the fun begins. The subject quite honestly can be anything. The point is, in order for it to look like what we want it to, we need to have seen and handled (regularly) the subject or look at references. Only then can an artist "pull from" his imagination whether realistic, cartoonish or a monster!
So with all that in mind, a blog, the Frugal Crafter, whom I follow, posted a great little tutorial on "graphing"-the ability to take a smaller (or larger) photo, drawing or sketch and enlarge it onto a surface the artist wishes to paint on. The usage of a grid goes back centuries! There are woodcuts by the artist Albrecht Duhrer (1471-1528) depicting an arrtist using a grid to learn to draw and see properly. I like to encourage the students of all ages to draw on scratch paper THEN transfer their image to the canvas or paper. Having the ability to enlarge drawing makes the possibilities endless!
I am going to try to post in verbatim here and try to go back and add the links as I have permission to share! The title link will also take you right to the blog! Enjoy!