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  1. #1
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    Exclamation Middle class lessons

    I just thought I could promote the Middle Class lessons here a little.
    I guess they are too well hidden!?

    People who found them seem to like the idea so maybe we can start something here.

    A discussion would be great.
    Do you like it the way it is now? Should there be less text? Do you agree with what the text says?
    Or do you want to rewrite a part of it completely ?
    Maybe anybody wants to write the next part?

    Please keep it general enough that we don't get off topic too much
    (like a discussion completely about art definition for example)

    We don't only want the opinion of professionals. Of course that would be much appreciated.
    But really any input would be great!
    Yeah it would have to be converted into proper English :emb:
    More about that in the first post there.

    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...threadid=12487

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Signature; October 29th, 2003 at 08:31 AM.


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  3. #2
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    I think that Middle Class was and is a great idea. A fantastic idea, maybe CA.org is the only forum with a place like that.
    I hope, in the future, will be a Middle Class "Basic" and a Middle Class "Professional"

    "Mistakes are the portals of Discovery" (James Joyce)

  4. #3
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    The Idea of the middle class is great, but in my opinion the "middle class feeling" disappeared. First there was the schedule. It was really tight, but everyone worked on the same task and everyone could add something to the stuff of other people because they did similar things to the same time. Then there were monthly tasks. These were good also. It was a group doing the same stuff together and everyone could add proper c&c to the other ones stuff. Now there are basically some themed threads and everyone (at least the few people doing something) does his own thing. The feeling of being in a group where the people struggle with the same things and everyone helping each other has gone. I think lessons would be a possibility to make people concentrate on the same things again. I think this would very motivating for everyone participating.
    The idea of splitting the middle class in "basic" and "professional" is not the best IMHO. I fear that after some time there are two classes doing their stuff all alone, but when all the "Basics" and the "Pro's" are together, the people with more experience can pull the others up by sharing knowledge motivating the others. I think this was a basic intention of the middle class when it started.
    A fool with a tool is still a fool

  5. #4
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    Good points but the group feeling did come up again when Cashmere started an assignment in the anatomy thread.
    The schedule and monthly assignments could be revived if there were more people.

    One problem is the lack of patience and members.

    Dividing in beginner and advanced member groups is important because new members will try to do what everybody else does.
    If they jump directly to anatomy from reference and never even tried to draw a still life it won't be easy to give helpful c&c.
    And you can't just send them away because they are not good enough.

    I think it's better to give them some easier tasks. Advanced members might go back to those and demonstrate how it should be done.
    With the lessons at least the members who did them can relate to the problems of new members.
    The group feeling doesn't have to be damaged because of this.

    The problem is that not many people have the time to contribute I guess.
    And it's not well organized.
    I always see that people read the dead
    "General Middle Class Discussion Thread"
    instead of the sticky
    "Info for new Middle Class Members"
    or
    "Consolidation of the Middle Class Thread"

  6. #5
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    Well... the anatomy assignment was hidden very well . I have to admit, I did not check the Middle class very often in the last weeks.

    Concerning the division of beginners and members... how do you want to realize it ? Will there be one person who will judge who is still a beginner and who is member ? Can everyone decide for himself when he is advanced enough ? As you already said, it will be difficult to give helpful c&c when a starter tries a difficult task, but will it be easier to add c&c to the works of an absolute beginner who does five or even ten beginner tasks and thinks that he should leave the beginner section now ?

    Sorry if I sound too pessimistic, but I really don't know how this should work.
    A fool with a tool is still a fool

  7. #6
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    You are probably right.
    I know how that would work in theory.
    But there are no more illusions left.

    I guess people would just think that everybody behaves condescending towards them.
    Even if there was a checklist with all the prerequisites for assignments.

  8. #7
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    Thats the problem. I agree that beginners should begin with beginner tasks, not start with life drawing when they can't draw a cube. But if we really want to differ between beginner and advanced level we would need some "institution" to judge the skill of the people. And I think this "institution" would not be accepted by everyone. Honestly, I would not want to be the one who decides.
    The best solution that comes to my mind is to set up lessons / assignments covering various topics, starting at beginners level with increasing difficulty. Everyone can start where he wants to start, do the assignments and so on. But... then the whole thing would be a big tutorial. This is not the way I wish the middle class to be. There must be a better solution. I wish we could hear more opinions. Time to take a Glühwein (mulled wine is the appropriate word I guess) and think about it...
    A fool with a tool is still a fool

  9. #8
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    I wish we could hear more opinions
    So do I! Sigh

    That is why the lessons and assignments were meant to be optional.
    The results would be posted in the threads that those who ignore the lessons post in.

    But yeah the increasing difficulty was important to me too.

    Many artists understand that they have to go back to the basics.
    But telling them exactly what they are supposed to do ...
    well it's not the right way IMO.

    Still a checklist with known mistakes and what they should do to improve in that area ...
    writing something like that is possible in theory.

    Maybe I'll try to write more ... for my own studies as MindCandyMan suggested.

  10. #9
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    Well... an idea came to my mind. I thought about it some time, but I still don't know what to think about it. We could do assignments and label them with the recommended skill level. Everyone can do it, but it should be done after you mastered the lower skill levels.

    The second thing, going along with the skill levels is a Middle class member status. Just as a feedback how the other members judge the skill of the person. I think the whole group must decide. For example, the someone could post a poll when he / she thinks a better status is reached.

    To sum it up, there would be a feedback of other persons to reassure you are jugding yourself correct and it's easy to find assignments for your skill level, but it's not a must to do exactly these assignments.

    Just an idea, but I think it's worth thinking about it.
    A fool with a tool is still a fool

  11. #10
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    While I'm not (yet) a member of the Middle Class, I'd like to see the "skill level" thing you guys are talking about. It'd be cool to know what to tackle next. As my major is 3d animation and I'm getting close to graduating, there is less and less time to draw (and not many drawing classes at my school to begin with). I'm getting very rusty, and when I look at the threads in the MC section I don't know what to do when.

    How does one post requests for lessons, assignments, etc? I'm confused by "planes" that Kevin Chen and I.was.ink talk about and would love to see someone tackle it...

    -Bad Mange
    If I ventured in the slipstream between the viaducts of your dreams
    Where immobile steel rims crack and the ditch in the back roads stop
    Could you find me?
    - Van Morrison, "Astral Weeks"

  12. #11
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    Nold:
    I like the idea but maybe there are too many nice guys there?
    I think I could be brutally honest though :evilbat: .

    It might be something for members to look forward to ... being promoted.
    Maybe we could do something external.
    Profiles for the middle class members ... with medals maybe!?
    And an official track record

    ... if there were more interested people.

    BadMange:
    Planes!? You mean seing things in basic forms?
    And then like wire frames?
    Then these threads might be interesting for you!?
    The problem is there aren't many instructions yet.

    This is pretty basic ... and maybe not what you are looking for!?
    Still you'll find the basic shapes in everything you might want to draw/paint ...
    and it should help with seing the planes!?
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...&threadid=8381

    This also deals with planes I think ...
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...&threadid=7548

    There's a page in Figure Drawing For All It's Worth.
    It's about foreshortening where arms and legs are drawn as wireframes ...

    Maybe you can quote them? What exactly do they say about planes?

  13. #12
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    Thanks for the links Signature, I'll check them out. I.was.ink mentions "planes of the head" in THIS THREAD. I can kind of understand by looking at the pictures, but it'd be better to read an explanation as well.

    -Bad Mange
    If I ventured in the slipstream between the viaducts of your dreams
    Where immobile steel rims crack and the ditch in the back roads stop
    Could you find me?
    - Van Morrison, "Astral Weeks"

  14. #13
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    As one of the three founders of the Middle Class I'd like to contribute to this thread, too. First of all, I'd like to thank Signature and Cashmere for keeping this alive.

    It's true, the Middle Class lost speed once I.was.ink and MindCandyMan made it to Art Center and Sioux Falls - and me getting ever busier with my own biz (which isn't art related).

    However, we meant it to be just a learning community for those who want to learn seriously. That's why we tried and started with the lessons and a really tight schedule/curriculum. We gave this up because we realized that in such an open community like an internet forum it's almost impossible to keep track and proceed without rejecting newcomers.

    Therefore we decided to have a more open approach and invented the assigments that can be done at any time and in almost any order.

    Surely a better structure would be helpful for some - but there is no easy way, not even in the Middle Class. Those people who cannot figure out that it might be a good idea to set the thread view to "to the beginning" and read (yes, read!) through all the threads and posts cannot expect to get the full out of it.

    In contrast to Nold I think that it's well possible to jump in at almost any asignment - if you can't draw a cube you might be able to draw what you see: and that's what it boils down to in almost all assignments. Learn to see and draw what you see. Much the better when you manage to accompany this whith knowledge (like anatomy, color theory, composition and so on) - but you can get really far by trusting your eyes and not your lazy inner view of what the world looks like.

    I really appreciate the efforts Signature underwent to structure, group and organize - I don't have the time and patience any more to do so (not because I'm frustrated of the Middle Class, but just because my spare time shrinks dramatically right now). And I wouldn't mind if some people "take over" the organization of the Middle Class and continue what MCM, I.was.ink and I started at the beginning of this year (I'm quite positive that they don't mind either and rather be glad that this things doesn't die -do you???).

    Just my two cents: Keep doing, what you're doing, Signature - it's really great. If you keep in mind that "originally" those three of us just had us three in mind when founding the Middle Class and were really surprised how attractive and successful this idea became for other forum members you might not be too disappointed when "seemingly" no-one reads your posts or doesn't participate. Many people start in lurk-mode and only come out of hiding weeks after one promotes an idea. Do this for yourself, for Cashmere and all other people who demonstrated interest (including myself! ) and keep this rocking!

    Thank you ever so much!

    :flower:

    Jester
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  15. #14
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    I admit that I've been quite lazy posting in the middle class lately, but I always check what is going on there. Hopefully I can get out of this bad habit and post some artwork

    If I may, I'd love to make a suggestion. The idea of "graduating" from the middle class has always interested me. This might sound silly but I think it could really push people further when they have something to aim at. To graduate the middle class you'd have to tackle various tasks, bargue drawings, still lifes, anatomy studies and so on. When you'd have finished all of the tasks in the correct order you would move to the upper level of the middle class where you would get other tasks and hopefully grow further

    dammit, I make it sound like a bad role playing game
    Wanted: 30 chinamen and a zeppelin for an elaborate practical joke... can you help?

  16. #15
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    if you can't draw a cube you might be able to draw what you see: and that's what it boils down
    I didn't think of drawing a cube from imagination and this cube thing wasn't meant literally.
    All I wanted to say is that people should not start drawing (and learning to see) by drawing the most difficult objects the can find. When people aren't able to draw easy geometric objects properly, they should not expect to finish a life drawing perfectly. Most people who draw for the first time have problems to draw a book because they don't draw what they see. Knowing the basics and being able to use them is the foundation of doing more complex things. Its easier to understand why a hand looks like it looks when you have mastered the basics. And, like Signature said, it's easier to give them helpful c&c.

    Graduating is nice. And Signature mentioned something like medals.. what about a division between "Draw what you see" and "Drawing from imagination".
    "Draw what you see": the basics, assignments sorted by skill level, starting wit drawing the basic shapes and different kinds of shading going to life drawing, including theory like anatomy, perspective theory and so on.
    "Drawing from imagination": sorted too, for example from creating simple objects, poses with stickmen to things like creating atmosphere.
    For the different skill levels members get medals for doing the assignments (medals standing for something like: done some assignments, done good or perfectly done). When all skill levels have a "good" medal (silver for example), this member can proceed to the next part.
    It's a mix of everything. Or maybe the whole thing should be divided in more parts... don't know. But we have the old problems: Can this be realized ? And who judges about the medals...
    and... does anyone find this concept good...
    A fool with a tool is still a fool

  17. #16
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    Medals can be a good incentive to continue and improve. I see a lot of CA.org members around the forum with that "Member of the Middle Class" signature. Well, this can be an entry-level medal but if you are an active member, you must have a signature that explain what sort of MC member you are.

    - Jester, MindCandyMan, I.was.ink aren't only members but Founders of The M.C.

    - Are you contributing with stuff and lessons? Ok, you are more than a simple member.

    - Are you able to drawing solid shapes? Ok, a "Solid +" for you. In this case, your advices about volume or perspective will have a major consideration.

    - Are you alive after 3 Bargue drawing? A "Bargue +++" for you. If someone has a problem with a Master Copy, your help or suggestions will be greated appreciated.
    ..and so on.


    Signature is doing a great work,... the MC structure is growing day after day,... and I like also the MindCandyMan idea of an online atelier.

    Why not make a thread for each member and post his own stuff inside. For example:

    Thread: [LESSON] Bargue drawing.
    Thread: [LESSON] Cast drawing.

    Thread: [Member] AllergyBoy
    Thread: [Member] SpiderGirl
    Thread: [Member] ChompingKing

    If SpiderGirl and ChompingKing decide to work on a Bargue drawing, they will post their stuff in the respective "member thread". AllergyBoy is a "Bargue +++" so he decide to start a Cast drawing in his personal "member thread".
    In this way we can see who is an active member, who is improving,.. In the meantime, we can copy all the good advices come out from the various "member thread" and paste into relative "lesson thread".

    A "level 1" member can be a tutor (if he want) of one or two "level 0" members and a "level 2" member can be a tutor of a "level 1" member....

    Just an idea. :p
    Last edited by Cashmere; October 21st, 2003 at 05:32 PM.

    "Mistakes are the portals of Discovery" (James Joyce)

  18. #17
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    Hey,
    just a little about me and my input. I visited here a year ago maybe more, lost it, time passed, found it again, and found the middle class. Thought that is cool, but where is the beginning, where is the starting point. I was confused by what was there then. Now things are changing...

    I like these ideas... here are some suggestions to counter some of the above questions/concerns...

    -spliting the middle class to beginner/intermed/pro could work but will likely just cause seperation, the titles/medals idea could be used to show improvement etc...

    -as far as who should judge what level of middle class you are lets vote... put up your "test pics" and everyone votes.

    -I like the idea of splitting up assignments, with individuals threads under it, I think it may be easier to navigate find things that way.

    other ideas; Why not have everyone who wants to join the MC do a drawing test? call it the MC basic test and everyone can draw an example from the lessons. They don't have to be perfect just something, that can be used as a gauge/baseline. like a cube, cylinder and ball; a still life; a figure drawing etc..(not a pirate and bird head) Then maybe every quarter or once a year they can redraw them to see their own progress.

    Maybe the test/basic drawing could be part of the middle class, beginning steps and be its own thread. That way those that don't know if they are middle class can try it and those that think to highly of their work can know to focus on the basics more... just an idea...

    future member of the middle class...(hopefully)
    zraM
    my own worst enemy....

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  19. #18
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    I agree with JESTER 100%

    I can't keep up with things at the moment, cuz Im super busy, and i bet mcm, is too. Just like Jester mentioned. I would also like it, if you kinda took over things signature, and cashmere, i really like your idea about the member threads. This way we keep things organized. Good job fellas.

    I'm sure things will be better once, the site is renovated.

    Anyone not like Cashmere's idea? I vote yes for cashmere!

    More ideas people. Let the middle class liiiiiiiiive! :cool:
    -http://iwasink.com/-
    DS Illustration
    "Get reference.
    There is nothing wrong with using a photo to help you see things.
    No one complains about life drawing,
    so take a photo.
    its easy, and will improve your piece greatly."

  20. #19
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    Yeah good ideas! Lots of them.
    The member threads idea is cool. How does that sound:

    New members post their own thread. Medals and titles are in the first post ...
    maybe also a list of things they have done like assignments they tried and the date.

    The other posts could be a nice gallery with all the images they made for the middle class.
    No comments by others allowed there.

    Then a kind of track record would be created that way and the length of the thread would show how active the member is.

    Or does anybody have a better idea? Maybe one thread with track records of all members?

    We could have lessons as well as atelier assignments.
    Those who don't want to bother with lessons can do regular assignments and atelier assignments.
    Those who follow the lessons will be told to do atelier assignments at some point.

    Parts of the lessons can be quoted when it fits ... so they are still valuable even if nobody follows them.
    A suggested order thread and normal posts in the already existing threads would show the members
    what they can work on and what they should work on.

    In the assignments there could be good examples ...
    and bad examples that show frequent mistakes.
    We'd have something we could refer to when people ask why their work is not good enough.

    There would be a lot of threads then though.
    Who thinks that would be too messy ... that maybe lessons are not needed and atelier assignments are enough?
    Who would like to have extra webpages exclusively for the middle class?
    AndyT = Signature

  21. #20
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    I updated the thread.

    Again ... I think I wrote the text in about 3 hours so it is just meant to be something we can talk about.
    Personally I think it could be organized better ... dunno how!

    What do you like about it? What should we change? And so on ...
    Is that the direction you meant Cashmere?
    If we decide to go for the tutor idea we can add fields to the member thread template.

    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...&postid=116057
    Last edited by Signature; October 29th, 2003 at 09:02 AM.

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    Is that the direction you meant Cashmere?
    I'm going to read all the thread and I will reply later. (25 pages to print! :cool: )


    Originally posted by I.was.ink
    More ideas people. Let the middle class liiiiiiiiive!
    :rock:

    "Mistakes are the portals of Discovery" (James Joyce)

  23. #22
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    Sig, I agree with most of the concepts in the thread but there are some points that I don't understand:
    (I don't know if I may reply in this thread or in the Lessons example and poll
    but if I reply here, the other thread remain as example for the sake of clarity )

    ----------------------

    List of the important Middle Class threads:

    - This post has to be edited periodically. Maybe weekly or daily. Who does this? Are moderators agree to edit it when you cannot do it?

    - Member-Threads (in that post): If a new member creates a "Member thread" and then he disappears... Does the link remain in that list?

    -----------------------

    Should we start another thread for questions and suggestions?
    This is a sort of "Middle Class V1.2 beta" so why not to start a beta-test in another forum (like yours). We can simulate new members, lessons, new posts. We can track all the possibilities, we can see virtually if this new structure work or not. In this forum-demo we can build various rooms for each new version of the "M.C.beta" and in these rooms we can experiments all the ideas.
    If someone want to be a beta tester, he is welcome!
    What do you guys think of this?
    Last edited by Cashmere; November 1st, 2003 at 07:06 PM.

    "Mistakes are the portals of Discovery" (James Joyce)

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    the middle class seems technically flawed because it is the blind leading the blind. i think that explains some of inanities that exist in some of the activities. it would make more sense to create a manifesto and a lesson plan to accomplish those goals, however i doubt that everyone's goals are the same. some people may not want to focus so much on copying nude photos and doing cast drawings and some may want to spend extra time on it.

    the best advice is to practice what u think u need to learn, show it and then go off to a school. not to only learn but to make real world contacts.

  25. #24
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    Cashmere:
    I wrote a reply already but a loudspeaker fell on the power switch. Not good!

    We can use my board! Sure.
    All: Who'd register there as a beta tester?
    http://www.andyart.de/forum/index.php

    Maybe I'm thinking way too complicated.
    Cashmere ... if you have time you can show how you'd do it in "Room 2".
    If you need anything tell me. Permissions, Subforums ... stuff like that ...

    I'll take Room 1.

    We'd need dynamic sites to create a link list automatically.
    I don't think any Middle Class member has enough influence?
    Van maybe? Are you still around?

    We can discuss in the new forum. Let's see how well this goes!
    http://andyart.de/forum/index.php?showforum=15
    In this thread maybe!?
    http://andyart.de/forum/index.php?act=ST&f=15&t=52

    You can start another one in your "Room" for specific questions about your version.
    If you go for it that is.
    That would mean copy&paste ... starting spoof threads, posting spoof posts and so on ...

    We can as well only talk about one possible solution.

    togusa:
    About the blind leading the blind thing ... most of the exercises are taken from somewhere else.
    The atelier assignments for example. And for the lessons I mostly quote people who know what they are talking about.
    If there are any complaints I'll remove or rewrite parts if I think it is the right thing to do.
    Many people don't have the possibility to go to a school.
    Those who want directions and guidance will find something here that is better than nothing.
    My theory is that there are people like me who only do this as a hobby and are still ambitious.

    People may pick the assignments they want to do.
    However they will be told what they should work on.
    Some people really need to hear that they have to learn the basics and what the basics are.

    Maybe you have examples of bad advice? I'd really like to hear them ...

  26. #25
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    @ togusa - no-one is forced to participate in the Middle Class... and as for the blind leading th eblind: if you had read all of the threads and posts from the beginning you would have known that the Middle Class is being watched and supported by the pros in this forum.

    Jester
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    hah. i never said i wanted to paticipate in them, they are disorganized and you are trying to do things are look cool, but seem advanced for the collective skill level of your group. i would focus on the basics, line, tone, composition before delving into even the figure. they also should focus more on perspective since that is ultimately more useful than knowing to draw the figure. you can always construct a figure in perspective w/ a proportion sheet, however if you can just draw figures, it is difficult to place them into a space.

    i think the real kicker for me was seeing assignments i had done being copied in the middle class without the same rational for doing things, thus negating the point of the assignment. that is why i say the blind leading the blind. learning in art is involves a master/apprentice relationship. this also applies to art schools seeing how the teacher is most often more experienced and knowledgable than his students. however the middle class is a lot of people that are making assignments from things they have seen in the forum, yet may not fully understand or trying to teach things they are learning themselves. i understand that everyone may not have the chance to attend a school, or to take classes, however the approach does not seem to be advantagous to good learning. i suggest you find several real pros to have supervise your learning.

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    *sigh* did you actually read jester's post?
    i for one am planning on following the lessons as a suplement to my own learning. as you said, some of us dont have the luxury of being able to attend an art school. besides, there is more than one way to skin a cat and just because you believe that your way is the right way doesnt mean it is.

    from what you said, it doesnt sound like youve even bothered to read the lesson outline. many of the things you said are exactly what has been proposed for the lessons (ie workiing on line value and tone before getting into more complicated things like the figure and focusing on perspective first)

  29. #28
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    Thank you, nil.

    togusa, some of the points you make aren't wrong, however: can you offer anything better? I don't think so. Blah, it's easy to say "this is bad or wrong" - the Middle Class however was meant as a place where people who don't have the chance to get proper education get as much education as possible by teaching themselves. If you don't have to offer anything to give to help those ambitious people to improve (and all the Members did improve and got to know things they didn't have access to before) please leave us alone. Thank you!

    Jester
    Imagination is intelligence having fun!

    Jester's Sketchbook

    Portfolio web site

  30. #29
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    For people who are interested in testing ...
    comments would be appreciated!

    http://andyart.de/forum/index.php?showforum=13

    You can also start spoof member threads.

  31. #30
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    Some assignments have been added.

    Btw. ...
    we think that some static or dynamic forum independent sites could help with organizing things.
    I'd like to know if there is a chance that we could upload some files to the server (or let somebody else upload them)

    Can anybody tell me who the person(s) to talk to is (are)?

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