If you draw & paint what you see, then anatomy & perspective won't be necessary, right? Anatomy is what you know and so is perspective..it's how your subject "should be". Whereas drawing/painting a curved line, wrinkles, mountains, etc., you see it all as shapes and color that are bound together creating an image. I think anatomy & perspective are for those who want draw/paint realistically or be imaginative, it is what  you 'know' vs what you see. What say you?

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It's a good question, Lori, and one I asked myself for a long time.  I've discovered, though, that the more I learn about anatomy and form, the more effectively I can depict them to bring out specific characteristics.  I'm learning how to make the most of planes, where and how to exaggerate and where to de-emphasize aspects to bring out what's most important.  It's similar to making the most of a focal point in a painting, and taking artistic license to make the most of a scene.  Painting and drawing are not photography and shouldn't be treated the same way.  To my way of thinking, art is interpretive, so what does it mean to show a subject as it "should be"?  Isn't it how we, as artists, either perceive it or wish to convey it?  We interpret it for the viewer to reveal characteristics that might not be otherwise visually apparent--a quirky grin or a glint in the eye or weathered skin that says something about the subject's personality, lifestyle, or history.

Hi Charlotte...so sorry for the late reply. Thanks for your comment.  No doubt it's good learn anatony for those want to draw what's inside. I just don't understand why art schools make this mandatory. As artists we see more details and we paint/draw as it is, as we see it, without needing to know about anatomy. 

Hi Charlotte, I was very interested in your post. I have been an (average) artist for years and could never understand why my paintings didn't always look quite right. For the last five weeks I have been going to a drawing class and have been quite amazed at how this knowledge has improved my work. The teacher actually said that most artists finally realize that they have to learn to draw if they want their paintings to look accurate, and I now believe this is true. I was so way off on perspective it wasn't funny, and now I am learning to draw the planes of the face and body. Quite fascinating. I can't wait to apply this new knowledge to my paintings.

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