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This will probably be long and boring for you to read, and you might get annoyed because it looks like I'm only lamenting, sorry about that.
Anyway.. I just got back from drawing class today (dual enrolled senior in highschool), and I was so frusterated I had a headache. Basically when I started the class, I thought I was pretty good, and my teacher keeps telling me i'm her best student she's ever had... but I, excuse my french, am really fucking frusterated.. right now (end of class) I don't think I am good at all.
Today, we had to draw a still life of a model and a still life and we had an hour. Halfway through I couldn't stand how shitty my "drawign" looked and i just started over. The 2nd time around it looked just as bad, so i took my darkest pencil and just scribbled as hard as i could because i was frusterated (I know it looks like i have anger problems.. but i dont, more on that later though).
I don't know, but i have some ideas of why I get so angry, but I just need guidance or support. Everyone's liek blah blah you'll get better but that doesn't reassure me at all. If anything I've gotten WORSE since the class started...
Here are my ideas
1. I think my expectations have changed, although im not quite sure. Just before art class i spent 3 hours browsing all the excellent work on CA. (not just this time, but lately ive looked at lots of life drawing threads etc). Maybe its because i expect that my work will be like (or even close to) the work of the professional artist's sketches here... thats obviously not the case, but maybe ive raised my expectations and i cant meet them, although i dont think this is the biggest thing.
2. What frusterates me the most is just simply how much i suck... Like Say i look at the model and i see her shirt. Ill draw the shirt and when i finish i stand back and look and see how completely off it is... no matter how many times i try. After im warmed up, i do a little better but still not good. Another thing that might happen is ill look at her shirt, and draw it, then ill be like yes.... GOOD i finally got it.. then ill draw her pants and ill be lik eGOOD i got it.. but then if i look at the relationship between the tip of the pants and the tip of the shirt tehy are way off and i want to just scribble all over my paper..
bah.. i dont even remebmer what i was saying. i wne to go get a hamburger and im not as frusterated anymore.
i dunno if anyone can even understand my babble/complaining.
i just feel like i suck and im getting worse, i cant draw worth shit (and its my favorite thing to do ironically)
SOudns like we have a lot in common there Junior mints... I go through this all the time. I was told once that it is a VERY MILD manifestation of manic depression or even ADD. The person also told me that A LOT of well known artists, actors, musicians, and writers go through the same thing.
I have heard that Steven King takes a medication for this same condition and that he sometimes will stop taking it for a while when he wants to get a LOT of work done quickly.... He will sometimes write several books at one time.
Anyway it probably has to do with self esteem. Try not to be overly critical of your work and tryo not to let your emotions get the better of you.
It will pass.... It always does for me.
Well I don't know if this is what you want to hear but the best thing is to just keep drawing.
I can only speak for myself but there are times even now when I think I am utter crap, and I have been at it for a lot longer then you. It comes and goes, (sometimes I feel like I am king of the world.)
It comes in cycles.
The good news is you are capable of looking at your artwork objectively, and believe me that is a good thing. You will improve, I guarantee it, as long as you keep plugging at it.
On a practical note, practice some gestural drawings first, real rough, just to get the feel of what you are drawing. Don't forget to rough in the bones and joints of your figure, then build on that.
I know that sounds like "drawing the marvel way" but it really works. Sometimes its easy to get lost in the details and when you bone in your drawing first it will help keep you on track.
Sometimes I get lazy and forget to rough it in and go right to the rendering, and guess what happens half an hour later? something is invariably off. Especially if you try and draw clothes without drawing the flesh underneath. Thats asking for trouble.
So do stick figures, gestural drawings and rough sketches, then render on top of that after class when you have the time. It should make a big difference.
Hang in there.
Thank you very much for your input. I just gotta hang nit here it seems
Another thin git hought of that deals with me sucking is that i think my eyes are too good for my hands. After drawinga line I can INSTANTLY see how it sucks.. i just simply can't draw it any better.
Say I draw a body.. almost right away i will see how misshaped it is, and i can tell you every single detail about that line that makes it not look liek the original.. yet when i try to draw it again, it just comes out as major suckage.. i can draw the line 20 times and maybe 1 time it will actually look good.. but by them im either way to frusterated, or all the lines i drew will be one jumbled mess and i wont be able to see what original form i was doing.. it will be a mass of spaghetti lines. I also draw really dark for some reason. If i try to draw very lightly, it ends up being kind of dark.. i dont know why, but that sucks to because every time it ry to do a rendering it ends up looking like a sketch.
One thing I like to do to keep my paper clean is to transfer the sketch to my good paper for rendering.
This can be done on a light table, or as I like to do it, by flipping the sketch over and rubbing on the back with my thumb. It reverses the image but I get a perfect and very faint reproduction of my sketch which I can then ink or paint without worrying about the graphite repelling the ink or lines showing through.
I never ink or render directly onto the sketch unless I am doing the rendering in pencil only, which I never do anymore.
I used to have this same problem, but with writing, but, when i was in highschool, drawing too... You know about left brain and right brain, right? the right brain is the arty side and the left is the the math AND CRITICAL side. when you are drawing, you have to turn off that inner critic until you are at a stopping point. one line, or sentence in my case, is not that point. when you're drawing, or writing, or anything creative, you just have to get it all out first, and THEN decide what's good. LATER. after you've done a bunch of sketches. Then, sleep on it. seriously. DON'T cross it out, DON'T scribble over it... I can't tell you how many times I've thought that everything I drew one day was crap, looked at it a few days later, and thought, oh... that's interesting... sometimes those same drawings, or the ideas from them, even end up in my portfolio. I just needed some time away from it. but you have to get it out first. scribble around, mess up once in a while. I think part of your thing is is that you've been told you are good, or the best, and now, subconciously, you think that every drawing you do has to be a beautiful and perfect gem. It's not like that, I'm PRETTY sure everyone on this board'll back me up on that. anyway, that's enough of my yapping...
i agree with fletch. other's expectations of your ability can be crippling, just as your own expectations can be. so step one: get rid of those expectations. then you will be able to see yourself actually improve.
i remember when i first starting teaching myself guitar.. i was terrible (im still pretty bad), but because i had no expectations, it was fun. every new chord i learned increased my library exponentially. so i could actually chart my progress from week to week, or day to day.
along these lines, keep a daily sketchbook. do NOT scribble out any drawings. resist the urge to throw away anything. just draw.
then get a second sketchbook. pick an artist you like. fill this second sketchbook with copies of that artist's work. get tracing paper. find out how other artists construct their figures. use the tracing paper as an overlay on your own drawings too. trace for structure only.. not detail. trace something a few times and then draw it freehand in your sketchbook. put the traced image on top of the freehand drawing. make mental notes of how they differ. repeat the process.
there are soooo many books on drawing. but the basic premise is always the same. its like sculpture: rough in the basic shapes, then refine the draing in passes. more and more detail/shading with each pass.
hmm.. sorry about all this babbling. like the others have said, we all feel this way. that maybe we are not cut out to be artists. if you didnt ever feel this way, you would never have a desire to improve. this feeling is healthy for progress. just dont live in this feeling. draw through it.
I had an instructor in college that said we all have 999,000 bad drawings in us, and all we have to do is keep drawing until we've worked through all the crap. The concept is silly, but the principle is dead on. If you stick with it, you've got nowhere to go but up. Probability is on your side that your drawings aren't even as bad as you think they are. We're all our own worst critics.
In actuality, your new self-awareness is a very good thing. Being able to perceive an area you can improve on is fantastic. It's also way better than just knowing a nebulous "something" is off--you seem to have a handle on recognizing where the errors lay.
This part is obvious, and everyone has pretty much said it already, but if we all thought that every piece of work we did was gold, we would never mature as artists. It can be discouraging to draw below our expectations, of course, but a good dose of humility can be immensely helpful.
I'd say (1) just run with it; keep trying to do better, draw a LOT and (2) (this one's important) find the things you hate drawing and keep drawing them. If you hate to draw feet, then by God, you should draw feet like a madman.
In all honesty, it just sounds like you're learning, Junior Mints. I'm happy to hear you're so interested in getting better. Pushing past one's previous limits is always tough.
In the meanwhile, try not to be too discouraged. Having the drive to get through phases like this is what separates the good artists from the great artists. Be a great artist, man.
Ive had the same problem junior mints, but ive figured a way round this type of art block. what you are describing usually comes because we expect to much of ourselves. you are told you are awesome, and you begin to expect better and better from yourself. Eventually nothing you do pleases u, and art block ensues. To really brake through, think on this. You are good. As soon as you start a pic, tell yourself this. Dont start over agian when you get mad. Stopping is just your perfectionism taking over. You CAN do this picture, so take a deep breath, focus in your mind what you want to draw, and slowly, without rushing, finish it. Dont stop, till you are done. I dont know if this will work, but try anyways, and good luck, it worked for me
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