Roundtable: HOW-TO learn? An open discussion of techniques for learning art - Page 2
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  1. #31
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    I wish I just knew where to start. I assume just like any other thing drawing has a learning curve. If thats the case, is it possible to break everything into steps in terms of difficulty so that those with out obvious direction would know where to start and what sort of skills to work on before others.

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  2. #32
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    Gee, I hadn't seen this thread before! Wish I could have said something earlier, but I too have trouble with learning. I can learn many things, but I need to somehow put my techniques together, and it tends to become a mess. Learning from different people and applying methods myself has me sometimes in a muddle, as if trying to please each person by trying to do each thing they suggest.

    Right now I'm working on my portfolio, and I only have a little on it because of fear. However, I received sound advice that for me to get anywhere, I should just need to DO things, draw things that may not always appear correct. Draw them to understand that they exist, and work on their form to understand how they look and function. I use resources--books, classes that I can afford, critiques, etc., but for myself I also need to let my brain work and delve into my mind so that I do know what it is I'm drawing, and to see if perhaps I can modify its appearance using my creativity.

    And then, I need to have a balance of fun, strictly imaginative work. In both instances, reaching a "better than last time" stance will mostly come into play, because I am a perfectionist who has made crap because...I look too hard, want everything to be correct. Never is, but that shouldn't deter me or anyone from trying again to improve. One step higher is cause for glee, I'd say!

    That's all I got for now, I have soooo much to learn about learning right NOW. It's all coming at me in a crazy ball of fury.

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  4. #33
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    This is a great thread and some interesting reads on how people do things differently.

    Like some i fell in the trap of drawing the same shit for years.. sci fi .. fantasy .. metal gear meets mass effect with the goal of becoming some concept artist for capcom japan working on the next big street fighter with my idols.. only to wake up at EA testing video games in a room of people who wanna be concept artist .. somethings gotta change!

    gains have been made in the last few years since realizing .. a few things..
    a Good teacher .. i know this is easier said then done .. but i'm in debt to the amount of knowledge my lectures have passed on to me in a few months..

    Just draw more .. if your a student .. and the teacher asks for 1 perspective drawing do 10 -20 .. doesn't matter how bad you start off .. the more you do the better you get.

    Be original .. which means .. if you wanna paint a samurai then do your research on a samurai ..eg samurai main weapon is a bow not the sword.. reference real images and not some pros work.. thats there design solutions your stealing .
    and draw from life... get a sketch book and study 5-10 pages a week of real life subjects ..
    ex .. this week mine was heavy machinery ..next week is insect.. building design solutions and a visual library.

    last thing is . get off shit like face book and msn or any distractions .. just focus on improving .. lose sleep , just focus on doing more as much as possible..

    any ways those are based on my gains ..if it helps

    Just draw more!

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  6. #34
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    hello CA ! i am wondering if anyone can point me to a thread on color theory on CA? or anywhere.. i am interested in finding information specifically on mixing oil paints .. if you guys know any resources on this, plz let me know! thanks !

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  7. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by slipp3ry View Post
    hello CA ! i am wondering if anyone can point me to a thread on color theory on CA? or anywhere.. i am interested in finding information specifically on mixing oil paints .. if you guys know any resources on this, plz let me know! thanks !
    There have been a few lately - search the Art Discussion forum and Lounge for color theory, mix colors, color mixing, etc.

    Eventually someone will point you to Hue Value Chroma by briggsy. It is a bit technical but still good. You could also check out Jim Gurney's blog and pick up his book, "Color and Light".

    My advice is to keep it simple - start with the primaries plus white (I use a set of cool and a set of warm primaries). Avoid any medium at first and just use a touch of turp to thin the paint if necessary. It takes a few years and a few hundred paintings to get a handle on mixing color.

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    thanks jeff! yes it is a very complex thing to master.. i took 2 years of color theory at corcoran college of art and design, and i am not close to considering myself a master of mixing (unfortunately we did all out paint mixing exclusively with acrylics ) . Most of the tutorials i find are in depth theory about LIGHT , and as we know mixing light versus mixing oil paints are totally different things . Ill check out your links, and search the appropriate forums, thanks for the pointers!

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  9. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    Eventually someone will point you to Hue Value Chroma by briggsy. It is a bit technical but still good.
    Who are you, and what have you done with JeffX99?!

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  11. #38
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    I know! Darn kids sometimes get on here...(but yeah, I even did a link and everything)!

    What would Caravaggio do?
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  12. #39
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    I always liked Briggsy's site.

    I've also a high comprehension & a webster's dictionary for any complex languistical issues that may occur during the reading of his site, though I didn't have to engage webster when I did.

    Two thumbs Briggsy!

    "Everything must serve the idea. The means used to convey the idea should be the simplest and clear. Just what is required. No extra images. To me this is a universal principle of art. Saying as much as possible with a minimum of means."
    -John Huston, Director
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    Thumbs up A deeper understanding.

    just a few things about really understanding what you're drawing.
    this is assuming you have a reasonable drawing ability already. also a general idea of how perspective works.

    I found this video by Feng Zhu. Here he addressed still life drawings in a new light. How to think in 3D space.
    this differs in drawing what you see. here you are drawing what is there. understanding the object from a 360 POV. breaking it down into it's shapes and rotating it in your mind. this technique for study will give you the ability to draw objects at any angle, as opposed to only drawing what you see from your seat. to me this really pushed my studies to the next level. made me truly think about how an object looks, not just from a 2D perspective.

    here is the link to the video
    VIDEO

    another Feng Zhu video explains a simple way to understand anatomy.
    Here you need a Photo you have taken or free Stock photo(see Deviant art stock and resources) of a model. you will also need a book of anatomy, or online resource for anatomy...specifically the human skeleton.
    Basically you are going to draw over the model what is beneath the skin. this gives you the knowledge of the body's mechanics, and will help you when drawing without reference in your own pieces.

    VIDEO

    all that said, i just want to say what has helped me with studies is simply paying attention. drawing from photo reference or still life is pointless if you don't pay attention to what is happening in the reference. I spent years of my life thinking I could "Draw" because I was able to copy what I saw accurately...but then I started to want to draw or paint from my imagination...and realized I had no understanding about how to create art..only how to be a human copy machine. And that is not what I want to be

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  15. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by phats View Post
    a Good teacher .. i know this is easier said then done .. but i'm in debt to the amount of knowledge my lectures have passed on to me in a few months..

    Just draw more .. if your a student .. and the teacher asks for 1 perspective drawing do 10 -20 .. doesn't matter how bad you start off .. the more you do the better you get.
    Don't under estimate the value of a teacher:

    It's beyond just the assignments. Watching the process and steps of a master will help you create. It's the seeing part of it. But you need to add the motivational part of it...and do it. I do believe this is one of the areas in life where you need to throw out the books and follow along with a good teacher.

    I meet many angry youths who will not accept the advice of a teacher or mentor. They are going to do it there way...

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  16. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sepulverture View Post
    These are really good points I think, thanks for adding them. Time is important, but I'd say that managing time is more important in many cases.

    I think that there are times when you just let your pencil do the talking and you can go willy nilly just drawing whatever you will in the student. Rendering the hell out of it, while at the same time spending a ton of time trying to nail those lines precisely as you see them, or are imagining them, however most of the time I think you need to be conscious of how much time you're spending on a single study to make sure you're not overworking it while not learning all you could be by completing this study and moving on to another one.

    The comment about variety is also good, but I have a little I'd like to add to that.

    I think it's fairly common understanding among more experienced participants in any discipline that practicing a variety of skills related to your discipline is essential for improvement, but being conscious not to study such a broad variety of things as to over stretch yourself without gaining sufficient proficiency in any of them.

    Finding out what you want to do and how to do it through experimentation and whatnot should be the first step, then when you find that one part of your discipline that you want to master, you focus on that while prioritizing additional skills.

    Focus on your primary, while giving less than equal attention to secondary skills, and paying cursory attention to tertiary skills, being careful not to under-study those additional skills, since all skills play on each other for advancement. To me it doesn't make a lot of sense to become a master of human anatomy if your primary focus is on landscape paintings where there are few, if any human actors present in the painting. Still one should have a good foundational knowledge of all other aspects of their art, as these "lesser" skills will ultimately come into play into your art at some time in the future, and in the future your focus may shift to some aspects of art that you had preciously deemed lesser, or unnecessary to your advancement.

    the ability to keep a wide-open mind to different possibilities is a hugely beneficial tool to have in your possession when undertaking these kinds of tasks.
    For example, in anatomy studies. Would practicing how to draw the bones and studying them be a waste of time?

    Can you gives examples of which type of study is good use of time and which isn't?

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  17. #43
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    Very expressive thoughts here. Very well...

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    I remember coming across a quote Richard Williams used in his book, from Rembrandt, "Start with what you know, and what's unknown will be revealed from it."
    I feel that applies alot to drawing, in the sense that it's really hard to progress to the next stage until you've completely grasped an initial stages of big proportions, hand eye coordination, etc.

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  19. #45
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    Incredible posts on this thread and so insightful!

    I have vacations now and thought I might get back into art after neglecting it in favor of academics (Physics major ).

    I saw a link on an online resource that led me to CA.Org and OH LAWD where has this site been all my life!? Such inspiring artwork from such talented individuals!

    I had made some portraits my senior year of high school and know how to draw instinctively but I have always sought the 'true method' to all the work I did (like perspective, doing 'studies', contours mapping etc)

    I deduced that learning about perspective would be a good starting point as in the books by Andrew Loomis and am intently following them. Until now I had no idea of the role played by perspective and just kept drawing hands and faces and gestures (which had a 50/50 chance of looking good and natural and usually did NOT).
    Every time I look at an illustration in games or comics, I just feel this 'urge' to create and dissolve my hand in a blank page and let it do its thing.
    I really want to get better and 'stay' better this time and not neglect practicing for weeks or even months as I have often in the past.

    I can only smile as I read the inspiring posts in this thread

    Last edited by tarzan4496; July 13th, 2012 at 05:05 PM.
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    I remember when I was around 12-13 I saw major improvement in my art. I believe it was because I was actively learning how to use my chosen medium. I'm a digital artist who appreciates Easy Paint Tool SAI, and as I learned it I saw improvement in every drawing. I went back to the basics of reflection and brought what I learned imitation and refined it with reflection and that also improved my art. I studied values, color theories and other things... I started to use photos of real life and photos of styles I aim/ed for.

    All of that really helped me, I think I should really look into the history of art. I never paid too much attention to it back in art class, but reading this thread I can see that it'll definitely benefit me. I'll also see about attempting the "quick study, quick study, long study" theory. I hope more people will post answers.. It's really helpful and refreshing.

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    had been a bit lazy on and off for a few years/ frustrated because of a temporary med issue...just some things i picked up along the way to get back on track.
    1) Know what direction you want to go or at least a very generalised one; plans always have room for era
    2) practice what you suck at; you will notice more improvement and progress at a faster rate
    3) study but also work from your head by recalling what you have studied wether on a whole or borrowing bits and pieces: helps your working knowledge of the basics and allows you to develope your own style in your work.
    (example: anatomy study from observation followed by your own drawing of a figure using what you have leartned from your study)
    4) keep track of your work and dont over observe: its easy to get in the habit of re-evaluating your work DONT DO THIS look at it once or twice and then put it aside but keep it filed away so months later when your work starts to look like crap to you look at your old work and realise the progress you made ( you will notice progress if you have been honestly pushing yourself.
    5) test yourself: doing the same thing over and over will only get you so far so throw in something that challenges you it will give you a reality check and push you to become a better artist.

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