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be gentle... actually no, be harsh - its more helpful
G'day Lumar, and welcome to CA!
If you wanted harsh, well, I'm not good at it, but ill start somewhere (grab something to eat/drink before reading);
First of all, are you interested in art enough to pursue it as a hobby? or a career? Assuming the former, most of all since you're new to this(?) aim to have fun with what you do, try different things (different mediums ie: inking/watercolors/sculpture etc) and fill up your sketchbook focusing on your creativity! Also be sure to do some studies when you're not sure on what to do, painting from photo reference (but not tracing - you'll hardly learn anything) is a decent example, or going out in public to sketch people as they walk by, doing these will help you in visually articulating your creativity.
Assuming the latter however, two simple still lifes' is far from enough, there will never be an enough, so you better start working on studies now because you can only get better the more you work on it, but first I think its important to realize why you want to practice art both as enjoyment and as a career as a motivational factor to get yourself working, is it a design seat at a head honcho studio? is it an idea that you really want to physically visualize? or a statement you want to bring out through your work? Whichever the case, if you're not sure, spend a bit of time thinking about it, write it down, draw on it, despite this, its important to have fun throughout your experiences in art.
After that, as the former, focus on creativity, this is crucial to a concept artist (and not limited to that) as without creativity, you will just be shooting blanks in the real world if you catch my drift. This is where that original idea comes from, you can start from there then move onto other things if you feel like it in order to get you going. Studies though will drastically help you realize your creativity depending on how much you work on them, studies referring to things like Life drawing and drawing objects from life (as you've already started), your surroundings will prove to be the most valuable resource to draw from in order to help you accomplish that.
Learn reality and the rules its governed by, so you can break and bend them in your own image. An example being; have you ever drawn a Lion? if you haven't (or any other creature), try drawing one from your head without looking at reference. Then when you feel you're finished, go look at a photograph of one, compare it and study the reference. Then try drawing it again from memory. It's all about building the mental library in your head .
Try to get a sketchbook together as well, grab a pencil or pen, and go out to shopping centers, public areas, draw what you see, draw the faces of people, draw people as they walk by, draw animals too if any are there, try to capture the energy in them on the page. Expression, subtle details, like a flick of the hand or change in balance are all very important, try to be observant as much as possible but at the same time, simplify, you're not going for ultra detail just yet, just describe what you see with the lines you're using. Less is more. Also very important, FILL UP your sketchbook, all the pages, try not to leave one page for one sketch - its a waste of paper economy, if you see a blank space.. do a study or drawing in it!
Also get into the habit of using your whole arm (not just your wrist) to draw if you're not already. The concept behind this is to a) loosen yourself up and b) exaggerate your mistakes so they're easier to spot, while voluntarily showing your mistakes may seem a bit weird at first, it is the only way we learn - through the mistakes we make, and it is also the way we identify ourselves - Perfection is boring. Studying faces (among other things) will show you this, you will quickly realize no ones face is completely symmetrical, otherwise it will look unnatural (Symmetry and Asymmetry - this is one 'rule' artists will occasionally break or bend on purpose to get certain results).
Furthermore, surround yourself with art, make friends who are into art, join sketch-meets and keep an eye on updates of art groups in your area, sign up to a local life drawing class if you can. This website also has a large and invaluable information base, there are a lot of things you can find here. Be sure to check out these two;
Fine Arts, Studies & Discovery - Strongly recommend visiting Prom|ANJ's 'general tutorial' page to give you an idea on various topics within art.
[url=http://www.conceptart.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=42]Tutorials, Tips & Tricks[url], an example being from Ron Lemen and his threads, this is a particular favorite based on a workshop done a while ago by Ron and its to do with 'ideation' for characters and starting off, there are many others in there though.
With that aside, I see you already found your way to our IRC channel, feel free to ask any questions while there, and we occasionally hold IRC Tdomes (IRC thunderdomes - 1 hour'ish group session, a small competition for a chosen topic) that you can join in on aswell. Speaking of which, there is also the Activities section of the forums which have;
The Community Forum - Environment Of the Week, Character Of the Week, Creature Of the Week, Industrial Design Of the Week and Panel Of the Week.
Hence week, these sessions last for a week and a random topic is suggested with certain guidelines, if you're bored or such, try one of them . All final images are called to a poll and then voted by community members on to see which fits the end result of the topic best.
Daily Sketch Group - DSG for short is a forum where a thread is posted every day on an entirely random topic to kill boredom or to work on your creativity or however you see fit, there are usually few guidelines so its up to your lateral thinking to do what you have to do in the most creative way, they each span a day or less.
Community Mentoring is where certain professional artists that visit CA.org or otherwise offer to train people in a small 'online' public class in a 1 to 1 style tutoring scenario in a specific area, ie: creature design. There aren't many places however so be sure to follow up on these when you are interested to attend them, but you must have commitment to it as there are several other members on these boards that are interested in it as well. Otherwise, feel free to have a gander at the work and the words of advice exchanged.
Last but not least, there's the Art Crusades sub forum in the Challenge Arena Forum, this is very much a competition, but with 3 sides and based on a game style of play where your 'weapon' isn't a sword but a pencil, if you're interested read the stickied threads, in particular alti's Rules and How to Play thread.
With all that said, the important part about making art is having fun doing it. The more time you invest into it, the better it will get - good luck with it! and once again, Welcome to CA! .
thanks luft im a long time lurker though so i knows me forums
still life take 2
wobbly perspective :/
Last edited by lumar; July 25th, 2008 at 09:01 AM.