A Very Stuck Young Artist....

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  1. #1
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    Unhappy A Very Stuck Young Artist....

    Hello! My name is Ally, I am a thirteen year old who is seriously interested in art, but I am very stuck right now, and do not know the best way to improve, I have heard many people tell me what I need to do, but most of those were very broad topics, or each was pointing in a different direction than the other.
    So I’m confused, I want to draw good, without references (It’s my dream to become a mangaka, just putting that out there…) Also, I am really confused on how to even use references when you draw anime style...And anatomy…I want to learn it, but is that all I need to learn to be able to draw poses out of my head? I used to think that if you knew how every muscle looked and moved, that is how you would draw concept art… I know that I have to study life also…
    Anyways, another thing is that whenever I try to draw start to finish (sketch, line art, color..) I usually just don’t know what to draw, or how to go about drawing it even… That is why I almost never finish artworks…
    So overall, I’m confused, I love to draw, but I‘m afraid if right off the bat, I start to try and draw poses out of my head, I’ll have to go re-learn everything later when I realize that the way I have been doing it is all wrong… Oh and then my older brother says that I have to draw start from finish and eventually I’ll realize my mistakes and fix them in the process, but isn’t there a faster way?
    Well... Sorry to bore you and sorry if you have trouble understanding this… but would you please help a younger artist out starting? Should I just do a lot of anatomy studies? Draw poses more? Or do as my brother said and draw out of my head, sometimes using references just to get all the way through the drawing? Because right now most of my drawings are sketches..

    ~thanks so much for reading!

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  3. #2
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    Also, I am really confused on how to even use references when you draw anime style...
    Personally I think that you must first learn how to draw realistic figures well. Forget manga for a while and just concentrate on the drawing fundamentals . There's plenty of information about those on this site.

    And anatomy…I want to learn it, but is that all I need to learn to be able to draw poses out of my head?
    No, you'll also have to draw a lot from life. Take your sketchbook out everyday. Draw people, animals, plants, vehicles from life. Also study anatomy every day. When you master drawing realistic figures, it'll be easy to do any other style such as manga.

    Anyways, another thing is that whenever I try to draw start to finish (sketch, line art, color..) I usually just don’t know what to draw, or how to go about drawing it even… That is why I almost never finish artworks…
    That's why you have to study every day. There's no shortcuts to learning drawing and painting. It's hard work that takes time and serious effort.

    I looked into your sketchbook and saw a great amount of potential there. If you start taking drawing seriously at that age, you'll become a great artist without a doubt.

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  4. #3
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    Well if you want to become a mangaka, you ought to start to draw comics. A lot.
    Though if you consider the actual Japanese mangakas, it's a hard and gruesome line of work, a fulltime job and more. So you might want to settle on just drawing comics

    If you haven't already, I'd start by downloading and reading the Loomis books: http://alexhays.com/loomis/ and start doing life drawing. I don't know if it's possible for you to go on a actual life-drawing course with a nude model but you say you have a brother so you could ask him to pose for you (with clothes on of course) and use him as a subject to your life studies.

    Personally I'd concentrate on learning to draw before going to anime style, because it's generally easier to go from realism to stylized, rather than from stylized to realism. You're thirteen, so it's very likely that in five years you're fed up with anime and want to do more varied styles and realistic art, and you'll end up cursing yourself because you spent your time drawing animu.

    Last edited by TinyBird; June 10th, 2011 at 04:20 AM.
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    First things first, being a comic book artist/mangaka is one of the most demanding and time-consuming jobs in the world. Probably not the best choice for a career, since it leaves almost no time for anything else other than work. Attached is a schedule:

    A Very Stuck Young Artist....

    Second, how long have you been drawing? If you're just starting out it's best to start out with drawing simple mannikins or stickpeople, get the overall feel of a figure down before you start adding shapes or anything more complicated.

    From your sketchbook I see your lines are also pretty fuzzy - draw every stroke with purpose and confidence. Don't hesitate and 'pet' your lines.

    No, there is no faster way. Study anything, study everything. Still life, doodles, desk clutter, etc. You're still young and have plenty of time to make mistakes. Don't be afraid to.

    Last edited by crossmirage; June 10th, 2011 at 04:22 AM.
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    Draw everyday and learn the fundamentals, especially perspective (That's something I noticed in your SB). There are quite a few tutorials on perspective around the net, but I would recommend this one, and there's also the Massive Black tutorial as well. Granted, the video from idrawgirls is about perspective pertaining to buildings, but the principles are still the same.

    Anatomy is something that comes with prolonged practice. I'm not sure about your circumstances, but since you're under 18, it might be difficult for you to attend life drawing classes. In which case, try to pick up the following artists' books:

    George Bridgman
    Burne Hogarth
    Michael Hampton

    Also, as crossmirage said, try not to "pet" the lines - but don't worry, all of us had the same problem and go through the same stage as you are at at the moment. I would recommend drawing entirely in pen, and use the old Samurai philosophy of Bushido - one line, one stroke (I got this from one of my teachers, Skan Srisuwan). Drawing in pen will force you to think before you draw, but eventually, it'll become like second nature, and you will eventually be able to do it faster, to the point where you don't have to think about it.

    Anyway, the general gist of things is that you have to learn basic anatomy and figure drawing first, and THEN diverging into styles that you like to draw.

    I don't know much about the Mangaka or Comics business, so no advice from me there. But crossmirage and the other posters seem to have an idea.

    But anyway, keep at it - you're only 13, time is on your side .

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    you're 13. draw however you like and enjoy it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cro-magnon View Post
    you're 13. draw however you like and enjoy it.
    I sort of disagree on that, if you're very ambitious it's probably the right move to start studying as soon as possibly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ludic View Post
    I sort of disagree on that, if you're very ambitious it's probably the right move to start studying as soon as possibly.
    You can be ambitious at 13 but given that we grow and change and have a lot of other problems in life, drawing should be fun first. You make it a chore and boring then a fickle 13 year old would rather play video games.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arshes Nei View Post
    You can be ambitious at 13 but given that we grow and change and have a lot of other problems in life, drawing should be fun first. You make it a chore and boring then a fickle 13 year old would rather play video games.
    Agreed. She's a kid. If it isn't fun, it probably isn't going to happen. Honestly, how many people here were studying anatomy, drawing from life, or working on gesture sketches at 13? If manga is the only thing she's interested in at this stage, I say draw what interests you. You can work on the fundamentals on the side, but if it's manga or nothing, then draw manga. You can even copy your favorite artists work. Try to draw and color it exactly like it looks -- we'd call that a master study, and that totally counts in the learning department. It might even help you with your own work, getting the hang of composition and such.

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    I'm gonna go on a limb here and assume that what you draw look kind of like this (or you feel that it does):
    A Very Stuck Young Artist....

    Which is totally normal by the way.

    But as far as shirtless dudes go (and drawing in general) I'll also assume that you'd much rather have something that looks like this:
    A Very Stuck Young Artist....

    Now, we can argue that there are many differences in those two drawing, but in all probability the most fundamental differences of all is that one of them defines the tri-dimentionality while the other doesn't.

    If you want to dable in the art of representational drawing, you're gonna have to, at a very fundamental level, be able to represent and define the 3d space of any object, even before worrying about color, shading, anatomy. I could remove color, shading and even anatomy (replacing the main masses by cubes and cylinders) in the drawing of the guy pointing a gun at himself in the mirror and it would still work way better than the drawing of the guy walking above. If I tried to replace the guy walking with cubes, I couldn't because he's just fucking flat.

    So the main thing (in my mind) that a newbie needs to learn when it comes to drawing, is how to represent and understand the translation of tri-dimentional space on a 2d surface. If you can't define and recognize that thing, all your drawings are gonna fail on a very fundamental level.

    So go to that website and start with the video titled "The bare minimum" and then explore some of his other videos.

    That's gonna give you the framework from which the explore all those anatomy book and life drawing and stuff like that (which you'll still need to do).

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    Quote Originally Posted by allyanime View Post
    I love to draw, but I‘m afraid if right off the bat, I start to try and draw poses out of my head, I’ll have to go re-learn everything later when I realize that the way I have been doing it is all wrong… Oh and then my older brother says that I have to draw start from finish and eventually I’ll realize my mistakes and fix them in the process, but isn’t there a faster way?
    Your brother is right; you're going to make mistakes your whole life as an artist, beginner or professional. If you study and practice the right things, you will make less mistakes with time, but starting out, most of your art will serve the purpose of building up your knowledge so that you can make better art in the future.

    Since you're 13, I agree that right now, your focus should be on drawing things that you like and becoming acquainted with the practice of drawing. For practice, draw anything you like or anything that you think you would have to draw in your manga. If you can, draw from life. Meaning...if you want to learn how to draw people, try to use reference and just practice basic anatomy. Invest in a figure drawing book. Lots of trees in your manga? Go outside and draw some, but make sure that you are drawing subjects that you are genuinely interested in.

    Once you acquaint yourself with drawing, you will have a better idea of what specific things you need to practice at the time and what your strengths may be. Then you can go forth and plan ahead for yourself, with some guidance if you need any.

    I think it seems overwhelming to you because you're just starting but the best way to get over that feeling is to jump right and and not be afraid to mess up. Good luck.

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  22. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ludic View Post
    I sort of disagree on that, if you're very ambitious it's probably the right move to start studying as soon as possibly.
    I definitely disagree with this.
    The only reason that I ever maintained the ability to push forward into my art career was by drawing all day and every day through my formative teenage years. I was able to do this because I just flatout loved to draw and that's all I wanted to do. If you think the ridiculously small attention span of 10-15 yr. old me would have been able to maintain such a schedule drawing nothing but studies and working on perspective and gesture poses, you'd be wrong. Not to say there aren't some prodigies around this forum that started earlier, but I think even they probably would still agree that you need to love art first, then work hard...not the other way around.

    In fact, I still stand by this even as an adult. Studies are very very important for your artistic education, but like all things there is a time and place for everything. Drawing what you enjoy will keep you interested, curb frustration, and as I said, it will make it so you are able to draw ALL THE TIME. And that is the most important advice any artist should be taking.

    (For the record, I started hardcore studies, book reading, classes, and sampling different medias when I was 17. And I think I turned out all right).

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    Copy panels from the books you like, or excuse me "learn-draw" from panels that you like. Also screen capture frames from animes, try to make your drawing as cool as the one you're looking at. I would advise you to stay away from art instruction books for now, rather just try to put your enthusiasm into every page you draw. I agree it would be good if you had an art instructor that knew what they were doing, however you won't find that easily and not at all for free, and there are a ton of art books with a ton of crap information. Getting limited info too early is like getting your arms tied behind your back.

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    Draw whatever you want, just keep drawing. For the fundamentals, learn little by little. You do not have to try to learn everything at once. Start with drawing smooth lines first, and when you get a grasp of that, learn how to shade little by little. Baby steps go long way.

    I also would recommend that you look into the art instruction books. But, do not read the instructions as they can be mind boggling. Only look at the pictures and the small captions by the side. When I look at instruction books, I look at the pictures. (:

    When you read manga, look at the pictures and try to figure out why the drawings look so good compared to yours. See what you can imitate or learn from it. If you are afraid of copying the mangaka's flaws into your own style, you can always unlearn it when you know better.

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    And if you can get your mum to take you to life drawing - go. I took one of mine when he 13, didn't do him any harm. He still draws 2 years later, but pretends it isn't important when I keep finding sketches everywhere. Just draw, experiment. It doesn't have to be perfect and you'll learn when you need to get that stupid pose just right. Have fun. In your sketch book, don't show every single thing, try to learn something, practice and then show to find out if you learnt it right or wrong. Listen to advice, but choose only what you're ready for - you can always go back.

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    youre going to spend your whole life learning, doing, and relearning so dont be afraid of it. im 36, i work professionally and draw all day at my job, and i still take classes to learn more--if you think it will magically stop, youre wrong. but you are right that the things that cause you frustration now will someday be very easy and even fun.

    at your age though, your biggest goal should be mileage. if youre going to be in normal secondary school until youre 18 thats a lot of time to get very, very good before you have to decide whether youre going to college or an atelier or whatever. if you spent an hour per day for the next 4-5 years, thats a ton of drawing-- chances are you spend an hour doodling during breaks in regular school classes anyway-- so just set aside an actual hour of time outside of school to just draw or practice. it wont matter what youre drawing per se for another 2-3 years and you start thinking about what to do after high school.

    talk to your parents, maybe if you set up a routine and prove youre dedicated every day theyll help you buy extra art supplies.

    /also, learn japanese. and learn it well, not just videogamey phrases. you dont have to do what i did and spend ten years studying it, but maybe you should. it can also open the door to studying korean and chinese which might be very very useful for you someday. if you spent an hour per day doing that before you left for college... that would be badass.

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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCoconutChef View Post
    If I tried to replace the guy walking with cubes, I couldn't because he's just fucking flat.
    That's because the guy is shown in a full frontal view, which makes him even more flat.

    @OP: Assuming you start today and draw and study art every day until you're 74+ yrs old and don't spend time doing drugs, making babies or boozing at parties, you will be as good as Glenn Vilppu when you reach his age. Maybe even better.

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    Thank you so much everyone! I'm going to study life more and go into realistic stuff, then go into stylized type drawings, so much help thanks a ton!

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    I`m with everyone saying you should have fun, draw wathever you find interesting, play a lot, dont worry about "should i or should i not" when drawing, try a lot of different stuff, is not supposed to be a grinding chore, at least not for the most part, theres a time for everything.

    When i was in school i loved art history books and i loved magazines, i didnt had wikipedia or google images, i just went to a library to look at books for hours until someome came and threw me out for not buying anything after reading half the comic shelve or the superexpensive Dali artbook i took the liberty to get out of the plastic, or i went to any stand and bought magazines, videogame magazines, tatto, skate, rock, wathever, i loved looking at new stuff and checking out all the possibilities and the designs and colors and until this day is what keeps me going

    Is gonna be a lot of fun and good for you to explore, look at stuff, all kinds of stuff, get inspired , learn, all while enjoying yourself.Thats the "spark " of it all.

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    I remember when I was in elementary school, I drew a lot of Pokémon from my Pokémon cards and my video game guide Pokédex. It was fun. I laid on my bed one day and tried to draw every single leaf from a tree in my Kangaskhan card, it was like a master's study. Another time I was interested in dinosaurs, so I went to the library to get books and drew some dinosaurs. Then I tuned on to those Saturday morning cartoons on Fox or channel 11, saw Yu-Gi-Oh and started drawing Yu-Gi-Oh (I abandoned Pokémon cards and played Yu-Gi-Oh cards). I saw one of those "Draw 50" books in my school Library, and I remembered for "Draw 50 Monsters" in particular, I tried to follow procedures but I ultimately decided to trace almost every one in that book. I wish I remember where I put those drawings... They're probably all gone.

    By the time I was in High school, I didn't know why I was good at drawing. I was like the top "drawer" (drawer?) at my middle school classes to high school classes at drawing (the high school probably doesn't count since it was business oriented). Except in Elementary school, I had a friend who drew better than me. He also motivated me to become better at drawing because he was my competition. I remember my classmates would either come to me or my friend for drawings, and my friend and I would flatter each other by saying "he is better than me, have him draw for you", but deep down we were rivals (we coincidentally went to the same business High School. I can imagine his parents also telling him drawing is useless, like my parents told me. I never talked to him after I left elementary school, and I became very withdrawn in high school. So, I never knew if he had improved at drawing).

    Last edited by Vay; June 15th, 2011 at 08:34 PM.
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