good stuff jeff altough i have yet to draw anything from life... just photos...
good stuff jeff altough i have yet to draw anything from life... just photos...
Pencil on the other hand I think can be justified, at least until Cintiq screen resolution increases by about 10 times.
Jack - thanks for the input. I don't really think it matters which medium one uses - what matters is the result. With the important exception that certain media lend themselves to unique expressions or styles - in other words, the various media each have their own look. I've never understood why people working with digital media would try to or want to simulate traditional media with it. Digital has its own aesthetic which is entirely unique and can be pushed to do amazing things (Android Jones and John Picacio come to mind). If you want it to look like an oil painting then paint it in oils, marker, pastel, etc. If you want to do digital work don't use it to simulate somehting else.
There are a variety of reasons why learning the fundamentals through traditional media is a better approach - there has been a lot of discussion around here lately on that very topic. I realize it is somewhat counter-intuitive because one would think you have access to so many tools, tutorials and examples all right there at your fingertips - but digital tools lack the basic flexibility, portability and simplicity of traditional media.
James Gurney's book "Imaginitive Realism: How to Paint What Doesn't Exist" is loaded with great examples of exactly this kind of approach. His blog is also probably the best blog out there right now for people interested in illustration.
Sorry if I'm being annoying but I don't see where you're coming from. I'd think digital tools would by far and away have the advantage, if only because you don't have to worry about how fast or slow the paint is going to dry.
You're not being annoying - but we hash this out all the time around here. Here's one recent thread - I think I posted around #19 - there are plenty more. I think digital is an advantage with certain types of rapid visualization and matte painting. Though a skilled traditional artist will still probably generate more useful concepts at a higher volume than a digital artist. The advantage to digital is in the ease of shifting colors, moods and elements at the whim of the art director. For matte painting I think there are many more additional advantages.
But back to learning and flexibility - digital just isn't the best place to learn fundamentals because the fundamentals are best learned studying from life in a traditional manner. My little profile pic there was taken on top of a cliff - that was a short three day workshop I taught - I did ten paintings - all sold or were the basis for studio works. Some I did on the beach - a couple on cliffs - some were smallish - 6x8, the largest was 12x24. That's what I'm talking about with flexibility.
I'm not sure why people get so worked up about digital - I like it - it is probably my "primary" medium in many ways - I just don't think you should try to make it be all things.
One problem with digital is that it works in pixels.
Most pixels are tiny rectangle on the screen. It's easier for the computer to read rectangles, and It's easier to measure too.
Another thing is that in digital the artist doesn't really need to improvise since the artist has "The All-Mighty Ctrl+Z."
But, what do I know?
Jeff maybe you could suggest a book on painting. Mind you I am looking (oddly enough) for a simplistic 1-2-3 'how-to' book that has some info or help on technical aspects such as, 'why isn't the damn paint sticking on the surface over the other layer of paint'. You know, just a book with some aspects of that nature, simple stuff that a teacher could answer in 10 seconds, nothing too special. I have books on painting that cover other aspects. Richard Schmidt's Alla Prima is excellent, and by the way everyone should get a copy in my opinion, even if you're not painting yet.
"Don't judge a book by it's cover" Frank Frazetta 1928-2010
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Sure Michael - I'll just list a few that I got started with:
"Oil Painting Secrets form a Master" by Linda Cateura - really this is a book of notes from David Leffel's classes.
"Carlson's Guide to Landscape Painting" - by John Carlson - considered one of the "bibles" or must have books - only black and white but loaded with insight.
"Capturing Light in Oils" by Paul Strisik
"Oil Painting for the Serious Beginner" by Steve Allrich
"Fill Your Paintings with Light and Color" by Kevin Macpherson - Kevi nalso has a newer book "Landscape Painting Inside and Out" but I don't have a copy.
Barron's Guides to...I've also found to be really useful - they have one on oils, still life, figure, etc.
The problem is most books (including the ones I listed) deal more with observation, approach and a few of the practical matters like making panels and such. I can't think of any areas where they deal much with paint handling/application. Mainly this is because it just comes through practice and there are too many variables - paint brand/consistency, use and type of medium, surface, etc.
Are you having trouble specifically or are you looking for some resources you can share with students? Just curious - when it comes to paint handling there are some rules of thumb to keep in mind:
Paint "fat over lean" - work with thin paint first - no medium except a little turp - that will dry pretty quickly - especially outdoors - develop the next layer with more impasto brushwork if it suits you.
I recommend staying away form medium is general for a few years - it can be difficult to manage and adds another level of complexity to painting.
Develop a "delicate facility" with your brush - for later, finishing passages hold it near the end, loosely - load it well and apply the paint with the "flat" or side of the brush rather than scrubbing it in directly with the bristles.
I hope that helps - if I had to recommend one or two of those I would say three: Leffel, Allrich and the Carlson books. If you have any more questions feel free to ask.
I just realised I should thank you in your thread for helping me out with the advice
Just waiting on the next paycheck to get my drawing casts and drawing combined cubes and spheres and cylinders in the mean time.
Looking forward to when I get to this stage:
Cant wait to explore the mediums and techniques that my favorte artists use but need to be able to draw that cube propperly firstThen I tried to figure out what they had in common - a pattern emerged - my list was 90% oil painters.
You're more than welcome Whirly! Good for you - you'll get there before you know it - just learn to enjoy getting a good drawing done - subject doesn't matter - drawing does. The ENTIRE reason for learning those fundamentals is so that you CAN express yourself when it gets to the subject, stories and ideas you want to communicate. The problem is so many people get it backwards - with unpleasant results.
Subject matter can have a huge impact on what you're learning. Drawing a stone will not necessarily teach you how to draw water, or clothes. It can - if you pay attention to it. But for that matter, simply looking at a photo of a pig can teach you how to better draw a person, if you analyze it well enough.
It would be more accurate to say that, so long as you're putting in the effort into understanding the content, that it matters not where you start drawing. The content itself, can matter a ridiculous amount. If it didn't, then drawing from life would not be necessary - as the "subject matter" from real life, would not matter.
You already know this. I'm just rephrasing it for you, as it doesn't quite make sense to say you need to study life because of it's content, and then say the content of the drawing matters not.
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