This is a graphic study of my friend and favourite model, Lyrea, using the "lifting" shading method where I tone my whole drawing and then lift out the light parts using an eraser, carefully balancing between dark and light. I wanted to practice capturing accuracy as sometimes the smallest detail can affect the entire drawing. A study like this can potentially be used as the basis of an underpainting to create an oil painting.
I also found an interesting article this week on redbubble about how many famous painters used photography as a means of reference for their artwork. You'll be surprised whose on the list. It does beg the question though of how much an artist should rely on a photo and should one necessarily take advantage of having access to all the intricacies at one's disposal and/or should an artist allow for less control and more expression when using a photo reference. It is rather tempting to measure every detail to the letter when you have the advantage of a photograph but does the painting lose something of it's relevance by being too perfect? Can an artist justify painting an exact replica of their model if they have a hand in setting the tone of the painting through other means such as composition of the photo, facial expression, colours and setting? Age old questions, I'm sure, but definitely something that I've been thinking a lot about lately. Any thoughts?