Beyond practice

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Thread: Beyond practice

  1. #1

    Beyond practice

    High, I want to be able to draw well but I'm looking for help. Everyone I approach for help shuns me into the corner by saying "go practice and soon you will get it." So i do, but I have no idea what I'm doing wrong. After looking at this site I have a couple of questions.

    What ares "Studies" I don't understand the mindset of "Studies" are you just drawing? Or are you trying to copy anatomy? Then how do you use that information for your drawings?

    I also don't understand perspective studies. How do you study perspective? What are you doing? How are you using the info that you are learning?

    I don't understand how to see forms. Everyone says to break something down into its simplest forms. Only when its shown right in front of me I understand. But when I try to break something down into simplest forms I don't understand what I'm looking for or I cant see it.

    Forshorting. I really am trying to understand this. From what I understand, its drawing things that are closer larger and things that are further away smaller. But to me it feels like a shot in the dark to get it to look right. I'm trying to understand the mindset.

    Roughing out shapes on my paper turns into a jumbled mess and then I really don't know what I'm looking for. People tell me to check proportions before I do my contours but I really cant see whats wrong untill I'm near completion of my drawing. Any help?

    I also don't understand to draw losely or lose. If I try, My lines don't go where I want them to go and it turns into a mess on my page. How do I keep my drawings from looking sketchy?

    No one has ever sat down and watch me draw and pointed out what I'm doing wrong along the way. So I really don't know where my drawings go wrong.

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  3. #2
    It sounds like you are in quite a frustrating position! Well, never fear, there are always possibilities for you.

    First off, are you in any art classes? If you have a teacher who can supervise your progress first-hand it will surely help you.

    On the topic of studies, take them lightly at first and do not work yourself up over them. Studies are basically just practice to learn things such as anatomy. When done, they are often broken down (no shading or detail) just to show shape and form. The point is to learn how to do those shapes and forms expertly, without thinking, and to do them well.

    When your starting to learn, do not expect to get it right away. People spend years practicing, perfecting, and experimenting. Start simple with just shapes and shading. Such as spheres, cylinders, and boxes. Maybe do some still life drawings, which are numerous shapes all in one picture, with one light source. That will help you to teach yourself composition, contrast, and values.

    To me, it kinda sounds like your just thinking to hard. Just do what you can at first. Become so familiar with your pencil it feels like its part of you. Have control over your wrist and arm. Don't try to see only simple shapes in something, that won't get you very far. See the object and understand its size, shape, and texture.

    If you haven't already, start a sketchbook on these forums. This will allow people to give you specific advice on what your doing.

    Feel free to continue to question, thats what this site is for!

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  4. #3
    I am in an art school. And thats why Im so frustrated. Its going by way to fast and now I'm supposed to be able to do the same character over and over for animation. I love animation, I started with 3D animation. I just have never been exposed to drawing before I came to this school. I grew up in an engineering family and now I'm trying to play catch up. Like 10 years worth of drawing in 1 year. I Just want to make cartoons, I've always enjoyed them. Nobody ever told me "Hey Pete, you know you can draw these characters." I want to paint too, I don't know where to begin. I look back on my path I took and its full of anger and regret.

    I had an Idea though. After graduation I was thinking about pulling out of society and drawing all day for a year. I hope my family will support me on this because with my current skill level I wont get a job. And I'm not happy with what I'm producing.

    Last edited by Pcasey; January 18th, 2009 at 05:29 PM.
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  5. #4
    Well a word of advice. When you aren't happy or have a bad attitude, your going to produce poor work. So your behind? Ok, so what. Your just at a disadvantage, that doesn't mean its not going to happen.

    And as for your idea of drawing all day for year, that might not help as much as you think. You need to break sometime. Just draw for an hour a day, that would be a good start. Try that until your more confident in your ability then try some more advanced things.

    It just takes time, practice, and a good attitude. You sound like a very determined and dedicated person. Don't loose that! Keep your head up, buddy.

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  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Pcasey, here's good advice so far, so I don't want to repeat (if I can help it, but I tend to forget). Are you feeling impatient to get results? You want answers to all these questions at once, which can be overwhelming because there is a LOT of information that you can take in. You also have the idea of just drawing for a year, but do you know your goals, or are you going to just draw things?

    If you're going to draw for a whole year, you may burn yourself out and feel less motivated, especially now while you're feeling this way. A year may not be long enough for you, if you want fast results. You might rush through practice and scream at the thought that you only got a little further than you wanted.

    Thing is, if you don't continue to practice on your weak spots and build up your strengths, but try doing everything at once, you might just get yourself confused and crazy!

    One thing you'll learn is that you gotta take your time when you practice. Appreciate what it is you're learning about, and try getting an understanding overtime of what you want to accomplish by learning.

    You're in an art school, though you don't have to be in an art school to be good. I skipped my chance TWICE to get into an art school because I wanted to do computer stuff as well. So along the way, my classes were community-based figure drawing courses, online tutorials, and actually having a sketchbook here on CA where people can give me critiques and I can show them and myself how I'm progressing.

    A sketchbook isn't the only useful tool here; there is a Tips and Tutorials section, a bunch of different sections for submitting finished art, works-in-progress, challenge-based art, etc. Look the forums over, especially where you see "Stickys". There's lots of information to help you.

    Sometimes a person can't be RIGHT THERE to help you along the way, but you will receive help sometime, just seek it out and show what you got!

    Good success!

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  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    CA, USA
    Studies are pretty much just observational drawings used to understand something better. Anatomy studies are used to understand bones and muscles and how they work with each other while clothing studies might help you understand folds and how they wrap around form.

    Perspective is, for the most part, what you use to create a 3D object on a 2D plane. It's pretty much tells you how to draw a cube on a paper, then morph that cube into cylinders, spheres, etc. Seedling has a better explanation here --> When people tell you to break things down into the simplest form, they're talking about turning something with tons of details down into a simple 3D form. Example: Turning a person into a bunch of 3D shapes consisting of cylinders, cube, spheres and the like.

    Foreshortening is pretty much perspective in action. A hand close up to your face is going to be way bigger than the person it belongs to. (According to your eyes anyway.) As for Proportions, that's practice, studies, and just observing what you're drawing. After you've practice enough, you should be able to tell what's wrong usually at a glance, but for beginners, people usually recommend walking away from your drawing, looking at 5 star sketchbooks on, then going back. It should be pretty obvious then...

    You're probably frustrated with people telling you to practice, but for the most part, they're right. Learning how to draw takes time. It'll probably take at least half a year to get your lines where you want them, and then another half to full year to be able to spot mistakes right off the bat, and you haven't even gone into anatomy, form, lighting, colors, and all that yet.

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