improving?... ugh

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  1. #1
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    improving?... ugh

    I've been drawing a lot after school ended. I really need to improve, since I don't like the way I draw. I keep drawing and drawing, but I see no improvements. I just don't know what to do. I get the image in my head, of what I want to draw. However once I get in front of the paper, I am unable to draw that image.

    So I was wondering how you folks do your stuff, and if there's any tips out there that could help me/people/poop improve.

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  3. #2
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    I dont think I've ever been able to draw an image that was in my head and have it turn out like I imagined it. Ever...

    Youre probably improving cookie, just at a slow slow pace like most of us do

    Start a sketchbook thread and update it regularly. You'll be able to chart your improvement pretty well over the years.

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  4. #3
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    You could try drawing from life. It's easier to measure improvement when you can see what you're trying to represent, if you know what I mean.

    Choose an object and try to draw it 5 different ways. It sounds boring, but i it can really stretch you and make you think about what you're doing and why you're doing it.

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  5. #4
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    sounds like me when I first stumbled over this site. First of all this needs to be cleared up.. If you are a beginner or better yet anything but a very skilled artist.. do not expect to be able to see something in your head and be able to draw it.. not gonna happen. I used to think.. what the hell is wrong with me I can see the damn thing why cant I draw it?? The fact is there really is no connection between imagination and drawing ability. The are plently of people who can see vivid pictures in their head of fantasy creatures, monsters, imaginary lands, etc.. but have never drawn a day in their lives. So If your starting out.. here are some things you can do to improve.. true they might not be so exciting.. but you cant be Rembrandt in a day.

    1) Draw from life.. Draw anything you see. Your dog, mom, a chair, a car, people on the street, your toilet.. whatever.

    2) Copy Masters. You can learn so much by studying what the Masters of the past and present have done.

    3) Try to draw from your imagination, use reference whenever you need to. Anytime you find yourself saying.. "I just cant seem to remember what a ___ looks like".. look for a photo or a real life reference.. and use it.

    4) Draw all the time.

    5) Have fun.. dont just "study" all the time.. Do you love comics? Draw some comic characters.. Love sci fi environments? Find some great art in that genre and try to copy and learn from it.

    There many more things you can do as you get better.. but that should get you going. Search for threads here.. This questions is answered millions of times.. it was answered just for me many times haha let alone tons of other people. So get drawing and good luck

    "We are the music makers... and we are the dreamers of dreams."


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  7. #5
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    Well, I know a good number of people look down on this book, but try checking out "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain". Even if you don't try the exercises [which are fun in my opinion], it's an interesting read on the scientific creative shifts, how to really see with "your minds eye", and has good tips&tricks of observation. I personally enjoyed it and I saw a major improvement within my drawings after only finishing half of the book [it was already overdue at the library].

    Since I don't know what your work looks like, how many pieces you do per sitting, and how long you've been actively been drawing, there's little I can say aside from: keep drawing, and hopefully, the majority of it is from real life.
    Perhaps though, if you're becoming stressed, you should take a day off once a week or so, to just relax and perhaps, google some theories and art blogs for motivation.
    Or.
    Try to do some small warm-ups of quick sketches of random household items before you tackle some serious stuff. I notice that I don't draw anything decent until the first several cruddy ones.

    Improvement will take time, and you probably won't see a day-to-day change, but perhaps if you look hard at some things you drew a month ago, you'll see a difference. Don't let it get to you too much though, because really, you are improving.

    Good luck and hope I helped somehow. o 3o

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  8. #6
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    The great Chuck Jones once said that you 'need to make a thousand bad drawings, to make just one good one'

    Sometimes it feels like a million bad drawings, but don't give up - it just takes time and effort.

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  9. #7
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    i am the same.i find it realy strange that i cant draw what i see in my head.also i find it funny that i can have a vivid dream where lighting and perspective are perfect,but when i try to draw something it tends to look strange and warped.i realy have to think about where the shadow's go etc.

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  10. #8
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    draw, draw, draw, practice, practice, practice... 6 things I could stand to do a bit more of.

    I think that one of the most important things you can do is draw from life/observation since it trains your eye and hand to work together. I think everyone here so far has had some good advice, just keep drawing.

    "The pressure to be something I was not was constant and unrelenting. It was a battle to maintain a sense of authentic self when that self was still in the developmental stages."

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  11. #9
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    I'm having this problem too. I'm a start out artist with a lot of summer holiday time on my hands. Pretty much the same story as the OP. My problem is mainly drawing characters - not getting proportions and things right. Practising... and saving up for a wacom.

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  12. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Living Cookie View Post
    I've been drawing a lot after school ended. I really need to improve, since I don't like the way I draw. I keep drawing and drawing, but I see no improvements. I just don't know what to do. I get the image in my head, of what I want to draw. However once I get in front of the paper, I am unable to draw that image.

    So I was wondering how you folks do your stuff, and if there's any tips out there that could help me/people/poop improve.
    I know this is going to sound annoyingly simplistic, and harder to do than it is to say...BUT...If you don't like the way you draw, draw differently. By that I mean, try out a different media, draw something you would ordinarily never draw, get outside your comfort zone. Just drawing the same thing, or type of thing, especially from imagination over and over is really just running in circles. Some other people suggested drawing from life. This is the most frustrating, and most rewarding thing you can do as an artist. Everytime I sit down and study/draw from life I feel like I've learned something, if not about how to draw, then about my current limitations, and that's the most valuable information you can have.

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  14. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cthogua View Post
    I know this is going to sound annoyingly simplistic, and harder to do than it is to say...BUT...If you don't like the way you draw, draw differently. By that I mean, try out a different media, draw something you would ordinarily never draw, get outside your comfort zone. Just drawing the same thing, or type of thing, especially from imagination over and over is really just running in circles. Some other people suggested drawing from life. This is the most frustrating, and most rewarding thing you can do as an artist. Everytime I sit down and study/draw from life I feel like I've learned something, if not about how to draw, then about my current limitations, and that's the most valuable information you can have.
    perfect advice. I honestly can say that drawing from life for 1 hour will help you learn 500% more than drawing from imagination for 1 hour. Basically because if your just using your imagination... you have no way of correcting any of your mistakes. You need to see what the thing actually looks like. If your only using your imagination.. youll probably just keep repeating the same mistakes.. which will run you in a circle like Cthogua said

    "We are the music makers... and we are the dreamers of dreams."


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  15. #12
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Don't just draw draw draw draw and 'practice practice practice' but try to DRAW and PRACTICE the 'RIGHT' things.

if you sit at your sketchpad drawing 100s of sticky figures, and practicing facial expressions, you will most likely not improve so much at your overall drawing skills.

If you instead challenge yourself everytime you sit down, and as someone said "draw differently" , by all means, you WILL improve.

Drawing the same shit over and over will make you SLIGHTLY better at that thing your doing over and over, but not even touch your real drawing skills.

If everything you do is drawing boats, then draw cars! if everything you do is drawing buildings, GO DRAW SOME TREES.

Change methods/medium...sometimes the medium isn't right for your mood, try some traditional, mix it up with digital, do some sketching, find your oils and do some studies... anything that will spark the light!

Just keep it up!

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