Any chance to get detailled art school curricula and tasks?
As some of you probably know by now - I never had the chance to visit an art school. What I did instead was my masters' degree in English and Archaeology... now being a marketing manager enjoying a sabbatical of undefined length (i.e. I'm unemployed and looking for a new job - which turned out to be more difficult than I expected...). Story of my life in a nutshell...
Anyway, for the first time in my life I find myself with enough time to study art in a serious way, and I try to do so by reading and working from books, using forums like this one (my absolute favourite!) and participating in the S.P.O.D thread, and daily practicing as much as possible.
BUT - I'd like to do this in a more organized way. Currently I'm switching from anatomy to perspective, from life drawings to copying, from shading to outlining... and so on, sometimes several times a week. I do not have the impression that this is as effective and efficient as I'd like it to be.
I think that to get detailled curriculum information, sided by explicit tasks you have/had to do would not only help me but also quite a lot of other people around. So who is willing and able to share the knowledge acquired at art school?
just a few things ill put down while im still in the state of mind im in right now... i wish i could be in this state of mind all the time its so fun to think.....anywho
in visual art you must understand that it is not english, do not think of it as english. Your vocal chords are not producing sound to communicate ideas, you are learning how to tell a story or affect someone through using the visible light of the electromagnetic spectrum. You are telling us a story that we "see" (interpret with our eyes as the main part of the body receaving the information... just like when hearing, the ears are the main part of the body receiving information.
So in order to be able to affect other humans in this way you need to learn how to control what our eyes see not what our verbal language tells us.... or if you read drawing on the right side of the brain you know what i'm talking about.
So our eyes best see relationships between objects taking up space and absorbing light rays.
Draw from life as much as possible, BUT, learn as many tools as possible. Seeing THE basic shapes within your eyes limit is what you need to learn to do. Do lots of observational drawing of simple objects like boxes, pens, paper, cups, computer screens, tv monitors, pots, etc. Notice how simple the shapes of those objects are. The more complex and detailed a scenery you want to draw gets, the bigger the shapes you can start with get. Just blur your eyes, or squint if you don't know how to blur them, and watch for just MASSES of overall general light, middle, or dark areas within your field of vision.
....i hope i helped sorta........ if not, then read some more books and talk to other artists like your doing
basically you get a GOOD plaster cast...a white one...you set it up under a constant light and draw from it every day...on the SAME drawing...you draw it until it looks EXACTLY like what it is that you see. You need to do this as often as possible and as consistent as possible if you are to have it sink in. take a look at the arm plaster cast drawing on that page above...
also see the pic of the students doing the cast drawings below. click on that pic...do you see how accurate thier drawings are???? that is what you should do.
this is all you need to do for the next period of time.
to mix it up...the students back in the day would copy master etchings and master paintings (just parts to begin with) study their anatomy. just draw parts...hands...feet....draw them as real as you can do....learn all your anatomy.
take some figure drawing classes at the local college if you can....
drop one of the schools above an email to see where they are getting their casts....good casts are a must...you dont want to draw from things like that if the proportions are not precise....you draw these casts to study light...form...space...and to DEVELOP your eyes.
if you work this way (and I dont think there is an artist on this entire site that can really do a perfect cast drawing...though I have tried on numerous occasions). It is extremely difficult and takes huge amounts of persistance.
if you were to do it your eyes would become more sensitive in the sense that you would understand what you are seeing to a higher degree.
you would learn to understand light and shadow extremely well.
and you would grow as an artist.
Im of the mindset that traditional is first....once you learn your traditional grammar then you can use it in creative ways right?
well, cast drawing, still life drawing and copying master images are visual grammar studies.
but..as you can see...i still need to work on my english grammar. as artists we all need to work on our visual grammar.
PS..check out this horse cast and see if you can do that...how bout the head cast....all the info is in front of you if you draw from the cast....
Jason - that was amazing! Thanks very much (esp. for the links, too). Yeah, I'm also one of those old fashioned people who thinks that you have to learn the tools of the trade first. Didn't think of drawing plaster casts, though. I'll try to get one.
Mr. Manley, I really like what you said about learning solid traditional skills first. It is tough while in art school not to copy other designers while learning the basics. I mean it's somewhat strange that schools offer computer game design as a major. IMHO. I am not sure, but doesn't it always come down to learning to be a solid draughtsman and artist first? I could be wrong!