Getting back into the groove?

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  1. #1
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    Cow Getting back into the groove?

    I used to do a lot of art, I took classes all through junior high and high school, but my senior year I made the mistake of taking "AP Studio Art" with a teacher that was anything but good. She was very discouraging, only seemed to have any help for people who were brown nosers, and I frequently got yelled at for my art (once I drew a My Little Pony-esque toy in a piece where it had a very much symbolic presence, and I got SHOUTED at for plagiarism...).

    Anyways, it's been two years, and I've dabbled at trying to get my groove back off and on, but have just been feeling very discouraged. I don't know where to go. I know probably the best thing is to take a figure drawing or painting class, but I'm just terrified of having another really bad art teacher. My friends tell me I'm better than most of the art majors here, but they're biased, and I do work in different mediums and for different reasons than probably most of the majors, so it's really comparing apples to oranges (and seriously, I'm not that good).

    Is it possible to get good/decent at art being self-taught? What's the best resource besides drawing from life (which I try to do when I get the chance).

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  3. #2
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    I suggest starting a sketchbook thread and posting everything you draw, even the embarrassing stuff. It can be very inspiring to see improvement over the months and years. MindCandyMan's thread that was the kick in the ass I needed to start sketching again. Seeing his progress made me wonder where I would be had I just kept at it.

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  5. #3
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    I think I'll try that. I've always wanted to do something kinda like that just to track my progress. Thanks!

    And that does look really motivating. I've seen on other sites where artists will put up several drawings of the same character they've done over like a 5 or so year span... and it's always really impressive.

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    I used to do a lot of art, I took classes all through junior high and high school, but my senior year I made the mistake of taking "AP Studio Art" with a teacher that was anything but good. She was very discouraging, only seemed to have any help for people who were brown nosers, and I frequently got yelled at for my art (once I drew a My Little Pony-esque toy in a piece where it had a very much symbolic presence, and I got SHOUTED at for plagiarism...).
    one time when Hulk Hogan turned heel (became a bad guy) in the NWO he was asked about why he was no longer a role model to all his fans. he replied that his orange and red wearin' good guy image was aimed at teaching his fans what to do, "take your vitamins, eat your vegetables, say your prayers, brother" etc. now that he was a 'bad guy' he claimed that he was still a role model to kids, but that he was showing them what not to do and how not to behave.

    point being, you can learn just as much from someone you agree with as someone who you do not agree with. keep an open mind and don't let your own personal ego get in the way of you missing the lesson.
    Anyways, it's been two years, and I've dabbled at trying to get my groove back off and on, but have just been feeling very discouraged. I don't know where to go.
    well what do you want to do? share your work, if we can see where you come from it is easier to give advice of where you can still go with your art. there's plenty of inspiration and tutorials in each section of the forums aimed at teaching the basics and getting you 'on track'. read up on what is already provided, as a lot of it is timeless in its ability to help.
    I know probably the best thing is to take a figure drawing or painting class, but I'm just terrified of having another really bad art teacher. My friends tell me I'm better than most of the art majors here, but they're biased, and I do work in different mediums and for different reasons than probably most of the majors, so it's really comparing apples to oranges (and seriously, I'm not that good).
    i bet if you were to meet those art majors you'd find that you are not apples and oranges, but the same fruit in different dishes. art majors are deconstructed the first few years, the bad habits and self-taught junk that gets in the way of their ability to grow is taken apart and their art education is started from scratch. i remember my first college art class was an 'Intro to 2D Design' course, and we were not allowed to create any recognizable images, and we would never use color. the class cried and moaned about how limiting and restricting the assignment requirements were. but goddamn i learned more in 10 weeks about the basics of art than i had learned in the previous 18 years on my own. the product was not flashy, and a lot of artmajors were pained by not being able to flex their one art muscle and were really weak in the most basic areas of art.

    do not be the smug asshole who thinks himself better than needing to be educated. a formal art education is merely an environment that forces you to take actions instead of relying on your own ambitions to dictate what you learn and how fast you learn it.
    Is it possible to get good/decent at art being self-taught? What's the best resource besides drawing from life (which I try to do when I get the chance).
    of course. you can be a great artist and never step foot inside a classroom. the classroom by no means will automatically hold your hand until youre successful. either path requires self motivation and determination to learn or you will not get anywhere. a good formal education will recognize your passion and help refine, guide, and accelerate your art beyond what is normally possible on your own. but in the end each one is dependant on what you put into it.

    i saw a lot of art badasses fall apart in the classroom and be wholly unable to accept ideas outside of their own, and for that their art never grew past a certain point.

    drawing from life is great. drawing from imagination and from other sources (such as master copies) are also great ways to expand your art. get in the habit of drawing daily, this is a good place to start. don't worry about quality and applying concepts, just focus on setting up a routine that allows you the time needed to have the opportunity to learn.

    make a sketchbook, post your work. then specific exercises can help point out weak areas you may be dancing around.

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    At the college I will be attending in September, the teacher which takes the art classes, I have heard does a very strange exercise in the first few weeks of the course. She gets all of her students to stick their paper on the underide of their desks, and then draw what they see from a life drawing set-up, and they aren't allowed to look underneath the desk at all, and can only look at their work once they have finished. It makes sense, as it makes you really observe what you can see, and try and draw that without actually being able to see what you are doing on your paper. I have seen work from one student over the few weeks, and even then there is a dramatic improvement from their first 'desk' drawing and their last one. Its just a suggestion of something you could try, and you get some fun out of it at the same time

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spirit View Post
    I have heard does a very strange exercise in the first few weeks of the course...
    there is nothing strange about blind contour drawings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grief View Post
    there is nothing strange about blind contour drawings.
    I understand that now, of course, but when I was told about it last year, it seemed a very odd way to me for somebody to learn how to draw. Now that I have more "experience" and understanding about art in general, I realised it isn't that strange, but it's certainly different from how every other teacher decides to teach their classes where I am from

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spirit View Post
    At the college I will be attending in September, the teacher which takes the art classes, I have heard does a very strange exercise in the first few weeks of the course. She gets all of her students to stick their paper on the underide of their desks, and then draw what they see from a life drawing set-up, and they aren't allowed to look underneath the desk at all, and can only look at their work once they have finished. It makes sense, as it makes you really observe what you can see, and try and draw that without actually being able to see what you are doing on your paper. I have seen work from one student over the few weeks, and even then there is a dramatic improvement from their first 'desk' drawing and their last one. Its just a suggestion of something you could try, and you get some fun out of it at the same time
    That sounds really fun! I'll have to try it. Except it would have to be still lifes since I don't think any of my friends will sit for me, but still, same idea and skills, right?

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    You can try it from photo ref, or try turning a pic upside down. Guaranteed to drive you crazy!

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  12. #10
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    Greif: Yeah, that's what I meant by the whole "apples and oranges" stuff. Since most art students aren't going to be producing stuff from the classes that would normally make them shine, while I'm more just drawing the stuff I like and whatnot. I'm sure if I drew what I like to draw and think I'm good at, and they drew what they like to draw and think they're good at, chances are their's would be better.

    And I've heard the kind of "you have to go to school to learn art!!!" argument on the "art" site I hung out on until I got in a very MAJOR disagreement with the people in charge.

    I made a sketchbook thread, but I don't have the ability to upload anything terribly recent (since it's all on paper and I am sans-scanner at the moment).

    Thanks for all the replies!

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