Guidelines not neccesary?
I was having a conversation on Gaiaonline with some kids (bad idea) about the use of guidelines within their art, and a lot them seem to believe that they don't need to use guidelines to do good art.
I kinda have the feeling that these kids are just saying that to make themselves sound like "art prodigies" or something.
But really, I'm curious to know if it really is possible to create a gorgeous illustration without the aid of a few shapes and lines.
If there is, how in the hell does that happen?
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It's definately possible, (unless you're talking technical illustration).
Usually it comes about from thousands of hours of making mistakes/ using guidlines.
The ability to do it is due to having an incredibly well-developed sense of proportion, which anyone can achieve. All it takes is practice. It's probably what many people are referring to when they say someone "has a good eye."
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Ironically, the concept of SIMPLICITY is most often misunderstood by simple-minded people. --Alj Mary
It's called direct drawing, basically just going right in and putting down the line or tone you need without starting with a block in. The skill to do it comes from thousands of hours of practice without using guidelines. I doubt anyone can make a really finished and detailed illustration without thumbnails, or lots of modifying of the original marks.
"Beliefs are rules for action"
"Knowledge is proven in action."
"It's use is it's meaning."
I've been meaning to ask, what exactly are thumbnails?
Sure, it's possible. Lots of things are possible. Is it necessary, meaningful, or desirable? Maybe, maybe not. Art is a big thing.
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Appreciation for artistic boundaries tend to form as an artist matures a bit... at least from what I've seen. Gaiaonline hardly calls out to me on that level. There's a reason I don't mod there anymore.
Smaller, rough sketches where you work out ideas for the larger, final image. They're usually about the same ratio in size so you can blow them up, extemely rough, and you do more than one to find the best composition. It keeps you from spending too much time on a comp that isn't working (or that a client ends up not liking), and lets you see the overall design at a glance.
Originally Posted by Jie Kageshinzo
Like....these for James Jean's cover illustrations. They're especially useful in staging comic pages.
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There are many, many methods of drawing. Most of these rely on some sort of predrawing, but not all do. Construction is useful for a lot of things, but other methods have their place as well. Chill out, and don't submit to dogma.
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Originally Posted by Mirana
Heh, if they think they don't need them, more power to them. Either they are really good, or they THINK they are really good and have some misguided ideas on art and "cheating". A lot of people have a LOT of crazy ideas about art. An artist shouldn't need reference, they should be able to make up a convincing image of absolutely anything, even if they've never seen it. They should be perfect and draw the right line, shape, value, and color the first time, without planning things out.
Let them think that. In a few years they'll be drooling over your superior work and wondering why they haven't progressed as far or as fast.
That reminds me of this post on James Gurney's blog. Fortunino Matania was a 20th C historical illustrator. Per the post, his typical working method was to start with a blank piece of paper and, without any preliminary sketches at all, tear off these amazingly detailed tableaux.
Scroll down to see one in progress and be thoroughly demoralized.
I was once on the receiving end of a critique so savagely nasty, I marched straight out of class to the office and changed my major (sketchbook
This post remind me of 2 things:
1, I read about how Michelangelo approach his sculpture, while normally you would start with a general shape, and work your way in refining the details, but Michelangelo doesn't, he works in a way as if the figure "emerge" from the stone...
2, when I was in high school, I knew this guy from China Central Academy of Fine Arts. He talked about the contests they had in school, the students would paint a life size full figure from toe up, no guide line, no blocking in the big shape first, no reference, nothing, start with the toe and goes up. and the final painting is amazing.
My comment on the first story is: there's only ONE michelangelo; on the second story is: ......eh......what's the point for that?
LOL, I guess my point is, yes, it is definitely possible, and yes, a lot of people can do it...after many many many years of painful hard work with reference and guidelines...
I almost never use any sketch lines cause I do everything directly in pen. Not at all because I think it's better or whatever, but I just like to work that way. Almost all the nudes, portraits, street sketches, still-lifes etc in my sketchbook are done directly in pen. I like the excitement, the concentration, the being in the moment and hit or miss aspects of it.
About the orginal question of 'how' - I don't know about others who work this way but I still look and measure things out to a degree. You just do it in your mind, not so much on paper. Previsualise and measure, hold it in your mind, and then put it down on paper. You can also use dots instead of lines to mark a spot or direction. I also often 'draw' the thing in my mind while looking at it before I start on paper. Measuring angles, squinting to see the most important features. Other than that I think you need to try to 'see' both the detail of what you're drawing, and the relation/size of it to the bigger picture/overall subject - at the same time. This helps a lot in getting proportions more or less 'correct'.
Other than that, instead of relating everything to the bigger enveloping shapes, you relate to whatever you have already put down - including the occasional dot - and to the edges of your paper. Figures for example I mostly start the head and hair shape, and relate the rest to that. Just working from top till bottom. It can be very punishing when you get a lot of misses, or 'alright' drawings but nothing really hot or whatever. Not all mistakes are bad though, and a lot of times I like the surprises I get cause they give me more than something I could think up myself.
It's come to the point that I found that when I use sketchy lines or envelope shapes as guidelines on paper, I have trouble to see my 'potential drawing'. It messes with the previsualisation.
To immediately contradict myself I have to say I found it a relieve to do some sketches with pencil and guide lines the other day. I still use it directly as a pen, but its great to have the freedom to erase or emphasise certain lines. Or to stretch or compress space a bit.
Of course I don't know but I think many people that work in pen work without guidelines. It's just another way of putting down what you see. Nothing better or worse compared to other methods. Try it out if you like, but don't worry if you don't. Do your own thing, try many others and enjoy the learning process.
Last edited by tensai; August 27th, 2008 at 09:22 PM.
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