How do you guys practice? I realy want to know how other people practice so I can learn good habits. What works better for you, going quick and gestural or going slow and thinking about what you're doing? How long do you practice, how often? What methods have you found that works out best for you and keeps you efficient, where you get the most learning out of your practice?
I practice in a lot of different ways. I find the approach where I learn the most is by working from life in a tradtional manner - either sketches of poeple in public or figure drawing in a classroom setting. When I can't do either of those I read about art, work from still life, draw from imagination, sketch off the computer, etc.
It isn't rocket science - the way people have done it for the past 500+ years works really well.
What would Caravaggio do?
Honestly, it will be different for everyone. I think a general understanding of basics is important and allows you to grow in a steady way. So lots of drawing and painting from life in some traditional media that doesn't require thousands of dollars and you don't have to plug it in. Augment that study with reading anything you can on art.
Software is easy to learn later on but if you start with layers and undo and custom brushes you grow much slower because you never learn to think for yourself, you rely too much on tech.
It is important to practice accuracy and then speed back and forth becoming more complex as you go. When you think you have something down, up the difficulty level. Study shape first which includes perspective and contour, then value which includes edge quality and then color. All the while work on composing and drama, these skills will serve you well in any artistic field. Forget about style, worry about form and lightand good pictuer making but never style.
Anyway I hired many people for the games industry and all of the people with traditional skills were more versatile and could learn the job faster than people who knew the software but couldn't draw or paint. I've had 20 years experience in the industry and another ten in illustration and gallery art.
Exactly! Just to reitterate: Start by studying the fundamentals through drawing - keep it simple - understand form, light, perpective, sight measuring, etc. Once you have those down step it up to studying the figure (if you are interested in figurative work). Eventually you can move into the study of color and painting - I would recommend oils as the best medium for developing an understanding of color.
My method of learning is a bit unconventional. I read and visualize a lot more compared to actually drawing (which is probably an unhealthy habit, haha). I imagine myself drawing one image over and over in my head then proceed to put it on paper for real. I find my strokes are more bold and confident that way - I 'rehearsed', so I know what to do.
Doodling with a ballpoint pen, brush pen and other similar 'no-erase' media makes me more cautious as there's little room for error. It's good practice and I can see how accurate I am.
With digital art, I sometimes forbid myself to use multiple layers or the undo button, so it's just me and the default round brush versus the background layer.
If you've got a dog or a cat follow it around for a couple hours drawing it any manner possible. That's probably been the most entertaining way of sketching I've found for a while.
Maybe setting parameters, requirements, goals for even just individual pieces may help for the technical sides of things.
like count the number of strokes you use, only shade in one value, use these materials in this specific combination etc etc. Might end up feeling like art 101 though, which personally I've had enough of.
Hoping to find some cool advice in this thread
Last edited by yoshikee; February 6th, 2010 at 10:35 PM.
this is how i learn, make an intense study schedule.. and follow it
and when u draw or paint, try to conssiously figure out how to construct the drawing.. construction for me doesn't stop at making figures... construct everything! even colors.. after u try to figure it out, do it all from memory ... of course this is hard ass hell
I haven't practice a lot but i can say that how i do it is just by what others have explained here, learning the basics, making everything simpler even if its complicated, break it into shapes, learn values- all the basics.. art is just a compilation of basic learning of things with the use of different techniques. I also find involving yourself with different art mediums help with your knowledge on simple things you might have missed, like color. just like what JeffX99, i've learned a lot about colors and mixing them through oil. I'd also like to try sculpting, if i ever have the time, because i believe it will help me simulate the shapes of structures. Art is fun, so the best thing to do is practice with interest .
I visualize things, observe, and do lots of unreferenced practice sketching to jot down ideas. I often do a couple of loose sketches before beginning real work, just to get in the mode and loosen my hand.
Sometimes I draw with a non-erasable pencil or with paint, just for fun and for building confidence.
Sometimes I focus on problems I have identified in my work. E.g. "I have botched that foot, must brush up on anatomy and structure of feet".
I also train for speed.
When I observe or draw from life, I analyze what I see in terms of structure, solid form and lighting (and anatomy, where applicable). I believe that just reproducing what you see misses the point; you must constantly think *what* you see, what form it has, how light affects it, what makes it look like it does. E.g. when drawing a figure, don't think in terms of "here is a shadow", think "here is the shadow made by the depression in the skin over the fascia lata which is taut in this pose to maintain the balance".
Without reference, I then can just apply the same logical process to a nonexistent subject and so create anything I need.
In fact, I always "practice" when I make artwork. I always observe how my medium behaves, what I can improve, what I can learn from this particular scene, even while doing a finished illustration.
I have a lot of things to practice so I never get bored with studies. I usually have one focus at any given time, and a lot of other things I practice but not as much. Last year it was value and color, now it's composition and perspective. So I do studies that revolve around that and work on finished art that focuses on my goals.
I also pull out my sketchbook and do anatomy studies, draw from life outside and inside, attempt to draw environments and anything else that really gives me trouble. I experiment a lot as well. I also look at a LOT of paintings, try to analyze what makes them great, and I copy masterworks as well. For this I usually use traditional media instead of digital because I digest the information better, but I think I'm finally understanding digital color enough.
Also, I never forget to draw from my imagination. It tests how much I remember and conceptual ideas also need a bit of work too.