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Thread: Loath to Practice Crisis

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    Loath to Practice Crisis

    Having worked memorizing skeletal anatomy all year, with only the arm and hand bones to go, suddenly the thought of practice seems intolerable. Like being stuck inside when outside the day is a glory of blue skies and sunshine.

    I'm obsessively diligent and thorough, and feel learning anatomy is equivalent to learning musical scales. Of course what I really wish to do is compose beautiful pictures to satisfy an increasingly hard to ignore aesthetic craving, and enjoy the total absorption such work provides, but like a Raphael with No Hands, first I must learn to crawl before anything else.

    I've given myself a five year plan of informal study, in which this year I work on the skeleton; next year the muscles and face; the third year perfecting gesture drawing and perspective; fourth year rendering, shadows and value; and the fifth year colour and experience with various mediums.

    Now Starcraft 2 has come out and drawing is no longer the sparkly wonderful thing it was. In fact, I feel a desire to abandon it completely, like a capricious husband forsaking his newly wed bride in favour of a fresh conquest.

    Should I resist the temptation, and continue doggedly with my drawing practice? Force myself to work, even though it feels like the dead end of the world, and all the wonderful things are happening elsewhere? Is this the narrow gate that only few pass through? The trial which must be overcome if one is ever to attain mastery?

    Has anyone ever continued through this feeling for better or worse?

    On the other hand, maybe clinging to my drawing ambitions will be like holding my breath? The greater I persist, the more complete will be the suffocation. Maybe I must let go, and refresh myself in another diversion, and if drawing really means anything to me at all, it will come back. Maybe a kind of duality must assert itself, whereby a sustained growth in skill must occasionally be refreshed by something different. Like in nature there is summer and winter.

    Does anyone here have an unswerving interest in drawing, and such a dilemma as mine is incomprehensible? They cannot wait until their next chance to improve their skills? Is this why the great masters become so accomplished - because they have an almost savant monomania?

    I feel once I attain a certain level of competency, where I am finally able to draw with some degree of fluency and express my ideas, this won't be a problem. If I feel like painting, I will paint. If I feel like playing Starcraft 2, I'll do that. My frustration is that I haven't even begun to explore my potential, and the clock is ticking. I'm scared all the subtle tricks I've learnt thus far could easily be forgotten.

    Anyway, I would appreciate views and anecdotes concerning this dilemma.
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    JESUS CHRIST ON A FLYING PONY, I can't UNDERSTAND you people!
    You drain every bit of pleasure out of the process, you turn ART into WORK, and then you complain because YOU LACK INSPIRATION?
    OF COURSE YOU DON'T WANT TO DO WHAT YOU'RE DOING. NOOOOOOOOBODY DOES.



    Draw what you like. Draw because you enjoy it. Not because you want to show off your awsum artz and get pats on the head and cookies, not because of what you hope to do SOMEDAY, but because you enjoy DRAWING. Exploring. Creating. Learning. Because that's the ONLY WAY to get good. THE. ONLY. WAY.

    And if you don't enjoy it, DON'T DO IT.
    STOP.
    Find something worthwhile to do with your life.
    Please.

    Tristan Elwell
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    JESUS CHRIST ON A FLYING PONY, I can't UNDERSTAND you people!
    You drain every bit of pleasure out of the process, you turn ART into WORK, and then you complain because YOU LACK INSPIRATION?
    OF COURSE YOU DON'T WANT TO DO WHAT YOU'RE DOING. NOOOOOOOOBODY DOES.



    Draw what you like. Draw because you enjoy it. Not because you want to show off your awsum artz and get pats on the head and cookies, not because of what you hope to do SOMEDAY, but because you enjoy DRAWING. Exploring. Creating. Learning. Because that's the ONLY WAY to get good. THE. ONLY. WAY.

    And if you don't enjoy it, DON'T DO IT.
    STOP.
    Find something worthwhile to do with your life.
    Please.
    "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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    Respectfully speaking but if someone told me that I wasn't allowed to draw anything but bones for an entire year I'd tell them to shove it.

    I'm kinda getting the impression that you're trying for way to much anatomy/detail and you're not actually drawing the entire person. Try working on everything including bones/skin/face/shading and trying to improve in all areas rather than becoming an expert at bones and then moving onto muscles.

    That's what I'm trying to do now. Sometimes my shading looks terrible but the body is good or vice versa. But by allowing myself to draw a complete person even though I don't have perfect anatomy or shading keeps my interest a lot more than just drawing bones over and over.

    Also let yourself draw other stuff besides people. I get the impression that sometimes people (including myself) focus so much on the main subject of a piece that we never learn how to draw things like rocks, grass, trees ect, then we have to place out beautiful person on a plain white boring background. XD
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    if Jesus on a flying Pony doesn't give you inspiration then what can
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    GOOD NEWS EVERYONE: You dont need to have a "five year plan" - the most effective way to learn anatomy is to bloody well draw the human body, from life or from photos. Learn how it works instinctively and artistically, with some technical backup, or you will SMOTHER YOUR SOUL.
    CRITIQUE AS YOU WOULD BE CRITIQUED
    http://conceptart.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=59
    THE ABOVE LINK IS ALL YOU NEED

    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=200044 <- Sketchbook - filled with unhappy things.
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    I second Noah's vote.

    What is UP with this idea that you can somehow force-feed yourself art skills. That's NOT how you learn to draw! Not if you want to stay sane, anyway. It's not like memorizing a bunch of facts and then you pass a test and voila, you can draw now!

    I've given myself a five year plan of informal study, in which this year I work on the skeleton; next year the muscles and face; the third year perfecting gesture drawing and perspective; fourth year rendering, shadows and value; and the fifth year colour and experience with various mediums.
    And WHY are you trying to separate the learning process into tiny parts like that? You're trying to take all the factors that go into a picture, learn them separately, and then put them back together again! OF COURSE it's no fun! OF COURSE you're not getting anywhere!

    You'd do much better trying to make pictures. With bodies and heads and faces and light and form and space and color and composition in them. All at once. You know. DRAWING. PICTURES. That's how you learn to draw pictures. By trying to draw pictures. And you learn all the stuff that goes into making a picture as you draw.
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    I believe anatomy studies (and any other studies) is something you do on the side of your personal work. Locking yourself in the room and studying bones for months will most likely lead to death of creativity. Your art is reflection of who you are as a person. If you sacrifice your personal developement for just daily robotic drawing from anatomy books without experiencing and interpreting world around you then after few years of such brain torture you'll most likely end up creating meaningless empty pictures. It just won't be something memorable. Only pictures about well proportioned characters.
    Last edited by Farvus; July 31st, 2010 at 12:23 PM.
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    Thanks for the views, but not quite what I'm after. I entirely agree that if something is not enjoyable, one would be better spending their precious time on that which is of greater interest. Though sometimes, for example, I find myself halfway through a novel not feeling particularly enthusiastic, yet push on and am glad for that sense of completion.

    I certainly don't limit myself to drawing exercises, but feel a need for some structure to my study. I like meeting goals, and apply it to whatever takes my fancy.

    My dilemma is better understood like this: if someone has a girlfriend, who they once really loved, but things are growing a bit stale and predictable, and then along comes a new woman, with all the allure of fresh novelty, should one remain loyal to the girlfriend, or seek after the fresher conquest? Perhaps my question is better suited for a philosophy forum or something. Thanks anyway.
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    Naw, you got the right place. People are just used to answering same types of questions over and over, that's all.

    As for your question, I hope you'd stick with the girlfriend. But for art, my answer depends on how easily you can get back into a routine. If you took a week-long break to let yourself play StarCraft, for example, could you go back to studying anatomy at the end of it?
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    My dilemma is better understood like this: if someone has a girlfriend, who they once really loved, but things are growing a bit stale and predictable, and then along comes a new woman, with all the allure of fresh novelty, should one remain loyal to the girlfriend, or seek after the fresher conquest? Perhaps my question is better suited for a philosophy forum or something. Thanks anyway.
    Um............ Good luck with relationships, man.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morphane View Post
    My dilemma is better understood like this: if someone has a girlfriend, who they once really loved, but things are growing a bit stale and predictable, and then along comes a new woman, with all the allure of fresh novelty, should one remain loyal to the girlfriend, or seek after the fresher conquest? Perhaps my question is better suited for a philosophy forum or something. Thanks anyway.
    In both situations, you should do whatever you think best, these aren't decisions anyone else can make for you. And by asking these sorts of questions, what it seems like you are doing is fishing for justification for the decision you have already made.

    Oh, and terrible ham-fisted metaphor, BTW.

    Tristan Elwell
    **Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial

    Crash Course for Artists, Illustrators, and Cartoonists, NYC, the 2013 Edition!

    "Work is more fun than fun."
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    -Marc Maron
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