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  1. #1
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    Question How to start drawing?

    When I was young I used to draw most of the time, but then I stopped when Computer games came about. I then later on started 3D Modelling [2002 - 2008], but I lack 2D skills, such as drawing to produce concept art.

    I am planning on going to University to study 3D Modelling etc, but I need to learn how to draw. I would be helpful if anyone could give me help/tips on how to do so.

    I have seen some artists using a pencil by lightly holding it by their finger tips, but this is hard when drawing on a desk than on an angled surface.

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  3. #2
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    C'mon now...

    It's not the materials that's holding you back. It's not the angle of the desk, the hardness of the pencil, the lighting or the advent of computer games that's slowing you down.

    Where's your passion to draw?

    To people who truly have the passion & desire to draw, they draw on napkins, walls, scrap pieces of paper, the beach, anywhere & everywhere. Grab a sketchbook, any writing implement you can get your hands on and just do it.

    Quit making excuses by blaming computer games or your desk. It comes down to "how much do you really want to draw?". As far as subject matter, draw everything around you, the characters you like so much, draw people you see, draw whatever comes naturally to you... there's no right or wrong.

    But once you draw it... do it again. You improve every single time you make an attempt. It doesn't magically happen over night nor does the pencil magically move across that drawing surface either. You've got to have the moxie & drive behind it in order for it to happen.

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  4. #3
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    Find a large book with a hard cover, lean it against the edge of your desk, or at an angle on your lap. put paper on top of the book, hold a pencil in a way that feels comfortable to you, then just start drawing; the rest will come with lots of practice.

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  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Storyboard Dave View Post
    C'mon now...

    It's not the materials that's holding you back. It's not the angle of the desk, the hardness of the pencil, the lighting or the advent of computer games that's slowing you down.

    Where's your passion to draw?

    To people who truly have the passion & desire to draw, they draw on napkins, walls, scrap pieces of paper, the beach, anywhere & everywhere. Grab a sketchbook, any writing implement you can get your hands on and just do it.

    Quit making excuses by blaming computer games or your desk. It comes down to "how much do you really want to draw?". As far as subject matter, draw everything around you, the characters you like so much, draw people you see, draw whatever comes naturally to you... there's no right or wrong.

    But once you draw it... do it again. You improve every single time you make an attempt. It doesn't magically happen over night nor does the pencil magically move across that drawing surface either. You've got to have the moxie & drive behind it in order for it to happen.

    Agree with Dave,
    Just go for it...the road has no shortcuts....

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  6. #5
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    I would add that you should start with the basics, it is a good idea to start out easy and work on a few different concepts at a time (maybe drawing simple objects without shading for now). Grasping basic concepts early will save you the headache later on, also it is more motivating than getting stuck on a hard project.

    And don't forget to have some fun in the process

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  7. #6
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    I only speak for my self, but just draw. It does'nt matter at the moment if it is all perfect what you draw from imagination. You should enjoy it without holding it your back. Do then studies to get a better grasp of things. Also do life drawing, even things from your desktop can be interesting to draw, even if you think it ain't. It might take time but you'll progress if you keep it up daily, and it doesn't always have to be perfect, unless you set your self a goal at the moment for a serious drawing.

    Good luck!

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  8. #7
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    First, drop all preconceived notions of awesome drawings.

    Then, one must draw like a madman, and not have a care in the world how shitty or messed up it looks.

    Once calmed down, begin drawing like a sane, intact human being. Or not.

    Repeat as desired.

    Lol, It sucks that I'm asian. I can't help it if I look like a million other people.

    My Sketchbook: Critics and Comments would be AWESOME.
    http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=69016
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  9. #8
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    I think I have tried to get every thing I do to be perfect, over the last 6-8 years, which might have messed my mind of thought up. Perfect, Perfect, PERFECT!

    I'll take what you have all typed and go with that, I hope anyway

    I guess I should just draw and not really care what it looks like, as long as it is fun. Then try some proper sketches etc.

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  10. #9
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    if you want to do 3d modelling find life drawing classes and attend and draw like mad...
    don't worry about producing masterpieces, bring a pad every where you go have free time draw people trees dogs cats hills, anything, as you practice your skills will sharpen, its not easy its often frustrating but its the only way to cut your teeth

    SKETCHBOOK

    "There aren't any shortcuts. You've got to dig in – study and draw the world around you. This is the only way to hone your skill and develop a style that is your own". GREG CAPULLO
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  11. #10
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    Just DRAW. Why are you going to a University? To get a job in the games industry or something? Why do you want to learn to draw? So that you can create some concept art to show off the process of your 3d models as you take it from concept sketch, to 3d model with wireframe, to fully textured 3d model, to lighted 3d model to animated 3d model?

    For someone that is seemingly just starting out you have to many reasons for wanting to draw. You want to draw for a career. For recognition, for fame, fortune, to get your name on the credits of a movie or a game. To have a badass portfolio, website gallery or maybe even your own art book.

    When you were drawing at 6yrs old you didn't even know what any of that shit was. You didn't draw for money or for deadlines or for some art director or for some freelance gig, or for recognition from the art community. You didn't draw because your editors needed more work for your art book or because you had to finish up a painting for an upcoming gallery show. You just sat down and started to draw. No external reasons or distractions.

    When you start out and have your thoughts on those external reason as listed above you set yourself up for a way out. What happens if one of those external reasons doesn't fall in line? What happens if you leave school and you no longer draw to get a good grade? What happens if your art director doesn't give you a deadline? What happens if the deadline is extended (think Last Man Standing 3 extended deadline) Do you work harder and put in more time or do you treat it as "I have another 2 weeks where I can play my video games before I need to start on it now."

    The bottom line is as a kid you will find a reason to draw because you WANT to draw. As an adult, you will find any reason NOT to draw. "If I'm not getting paid or the deadline is not till next week or no one is judging or grading me on it or if I am not motivated or I am tired, or I ran out of lead or if my computer area is not full of inspiring images and posters then I will wait till those things are in order, THEN I will draw". -- Run on sentence intended.

    A Marathon is a long ass distance for someone that has never run a mile before. How do you complete a marathon? Everything else aside (proper shoes, training, diet, mental focus) I am pretty sure that the only way to ever finish a marathon is to put one foot in front of the other and start running...

    Last edited by creatix; February 1st, 2008 at 01:14 PM.
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  12. #11
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    accepting that most of what you up end up drawing will look like crap is vital. most reports indicate that this feeling never ever goes away. keep improving your mistakes, and godspeed

    In the future, everyone will have 15 minutes of privacy.

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  13. #12
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    I did some silly little sketches before, characters, mugs and my hand. I didn't really care what it looked like, I just drew

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  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by D.Higgins View Post
    I think I have tried to get every thing I do to be perfect, over the last 6-8 years, which might have messed my mind of thought up. Perfect, Perfect, PERFECT!

    I'll take what you have all typed and go with that, I hope anyway

    I guess I should just draw and not really care what it looks like, as long as it is fun. Then try some proper sketches etc.
    You want to hit the homerun the very first time you step up to the plate.

    Sorry, but it doesn't happen. Being an artist is about embarking on a lifelong journey to explore and becoming better, knowing you'll never reach nirvana.

    Get over the fact that there will never be a perfect drawing in your portfolio- only temporary moments of achievement. The drawing you did yesterday will be lousy today by your standards because you'll always want to improve upon it. Seasoned veterans can look back at award winning pieces they did years ago and wish they would've done something different to it.

    Get that ideal of perfection out of your head now and quit putting that kind of unrealistic pressure on yourself to perform. It'll hamper you and make you miserable, because if you hold onto that ideal- you might as well give it up because there's already prodigies out there working twice as hard as you, have parents who dote all kinds of money & support on them, and are just plain more talented than you. And yet, they're not you... so again, quit trying to be perfect. Just be you.

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  15. #14
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    I hope I can still get replies but I did not think starting another thread on the subject would be a good idea...Here goes.

    I too have the same problem as the Op. In Elementary school I drew regularly because art was part of the curriculum. Sadly, as my skills advanced to around the 7-8th year old level of drawing, I began to feel discouraged as other students began to pass me in skill. When I finally went to Middle School I felt so discouraged by the experience that I never took art again, as electives or otherwise...

    Recently...as of two weeks ago I was looking at art that really truly inspired me...And I truly want to learn again, problem is, I never advanced past drawing like a 7-8 year old...If only I had been encouraged to take electives...7 years wasted...

    I've read many tutorials and such online, and I have started practicing this week, but I am still feeling discouraged...Is it really possible for anyone to learn to draw? Or am I just wasting time and money trying?
    I feel lost, I have been considering taking formal art classes to supplement my self-learning but I can't seem to find any good ones in my area [Miami] There probably are but Google sure as hell isn't turning up results...

    I read the advice above and I agree that I should persevere and not give up...but sometimes it's so hard to keep thinking positively when everything looks dark.
    If anyone can toss some advice my way...where to begin, how to practice, how many hours a day to practice? I would appreciate it...maybe even links to a guide of some sort.

    I read that inspirational post on here of that artist who went from a novice to a master in 4 years, but even that disheartens me because I see his "first attempts" and they are way better than anything I can currently do... *sigh*

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  16. #15
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    Dol, pick up a copy of Betty Edwards' Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.
    Also, I gather from your post that you're around fifteen? It's perfectly acceptable to suck at that age, and you've got plenty of time.


    Tristan Elwell
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  17. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    Dol, pick up a copy of Betty Edwards' Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.
    Also, I gather from your post that you're around fifteen? It's perfectly acceptable to suck at that age, and you've got plenty of time.
    Oh heh I think I should have specified years. No...My elementary school..hell even Middle and high school days are long over now. I am 22, a student who is about to finish his first major in college, medical field. =]
    I gave up so long ago, that is why I am very uncertain now if I can ever continue where I left off. I really want to have some sort of artistic skill.
    I've heard of that book above, also an inspirational one called Art & Fear. I do intend to pick both of them up.

    Maybe someday with enough practice and ambition I can advance from where I left off and stop drawing like an 8 year old...

    Thanks for the reply.

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  18. #17
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    Betty Edwards book would be great since you are also worry about drawings that look childish. The book explains how that happens and provide exercises to help you advance from that. The childish drawing is just part of how the brain naturally works, there's no need to feel embarrass about it.

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  19. #18
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    Thanks again. =]
    I will go out and buy this book today and begin reading it.
    I guess I'm just going through that "beginner's depression" phase at the moment and feeling lost.

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  20. #19
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    22 is still young. Get the Edwards book, it will do you good (although if you have any medical background, you'll know enough to dismiss the "science" parts). Art & Fear is also good, probably just what you need.


    Tristan Elwell
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  21. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    22 is still young. Get the Edwards book, it will do you good (although if you have any medical background, you'll know enough to dismiss the "science" parts). Art & Fear is also good, probably just what you need.

    Ah fear, a useful tool when mastered and focused....

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  22. #21
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    Start they way the masters did. Draw by looking not at your paper but at what you are drawing. Start by never looking down at you drawing just follow the lines. It should look like scribbles. It frees your mind from seeing symbols and to only see lines.

    JakeDX6
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  23. #22
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    Thank you all for the reassurances!
    However it seems the materials the book needs are quite pricey so looks like I gotta save some cash first. >.>
    Could probably do it myself but I have no idea where to buy a plastic frame like the book requires.
    However, until I get the money for that portfolio kit...I have been practicing daily doing contours and blind contours, hopefully I improve a bit by the time I can afford the materials and start doing the lessons inside.

    I hope to eventually keep a sketchbook of my progress and maybe make a thread in the sketchbook forum. =]

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  24. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dol View Post
    Thank you all for the reassurances!
    However it seems the materials the book needs are quite pricey so looks like I gotta save some cash first. >.>
    ???????
    Used copy of DOTRSOTB: under $10 (lists for $17 new)
    Assorted sketchbooks, paper, pencils, charcoal, erasers: under $25 (under ten for the basics)
    Copier paper, ballpoint pens and #2 pencils you probably already have: effectively free
    Stop making excuses.


    Tristan Elwell
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  25. #24
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    "Stop making excuses"

    Haha your right. =]
    But where do I get the other aids like that plastic thing? Viewfinder I think?

    I can get the book but I want to do it right.

    Or do I not really need to focus on having such things and just draw?

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  26. #25
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    Make a viewfinder out of a piece of paper. Cardstock if you want it a bit stiffer. It's just a rectangle cut out in the middle. Hell, you can use your hands to frame anything you're drawing anyway (Think stereotypical directors with the "L" hands... )

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  27. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dol View Post
    Or do I not really need to focus on having such things and just draw?
    bingo


    Tristan Elwell
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  28. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dol View Post
    Or do I not really need to focus on having such things and just draw?
    As usual Elwell is spot on. Draw.

    Regarding the age issue, do you think 22 is too old to learn French? Mechanics? Cooking? Physics? Plumbing? Joinery? Welding? Knitting? Quantity Surveying? Town Planning? Kung Fu? Skateboarding?
    Why would art be any different? Granted some people are naturally wired for certain activities and they do have a headstart but there's absolutely no reason you couldn't get reasonably good at something.

    It's art, all the tricky stuff takes place in your head. Creaky old joints won't stop you progressing in art. It's not international gymnastics or UFC.

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  29. #28
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    Surprised to see that 'The Natural Way to Draw' by Kimon Nicolaides hasn't been recommended.

    This along with Betty Edward will provide you with pretty much all the fundamental approaches to drawing.

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  30. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    22 is still young.
    I just had one of my students who was quite a few years older than me graduate last year. His daughters who were nearly my age paid for their dad to go back to school.

    He had spent most of his life taking care & raising his family. Now it was his turn to indulge and really pursue his love of art. He was truly an inpsiration and a gem to have around because of his work ethic and his perspective in class room discussions about art and life.

    22 is still very young. At no point is it ever too late for you to start enjoying life.

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  31. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by HunterKiller_ View Post
    Surprised to see that 'The Natural Way to Draw' by Kimon Nicolaides hasn't been recommended.
    One reason I wouldn't recommend Nicolaides to an absolute beginner like Dol is that the rigidly structured program he sets out could be intimidating, especially for someone who's looking for reasons why they can never learn to draw. Betty Edwards is the perfect intro for those people, and hopefully gives them enough confidence that they can then move on to more substantive things.


    Tristan Elwell
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    Crash Course for Artists, Illustrators, and Cartoonists, NYC, the 2013 Edition!

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