The Learning Curve... needing a little help.
Join the #1 Art Workshop - LevelUpJoin Premium Art Workshop

Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: The Learning Curve... needing a little help.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    130
    Thanks
    60
    Thanked 93 Times in 53 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0

    The Learning Curve... needing a little help.

    Hi guys,

    I recently returned to art after a hiatus, as I'm able to devote some considerable time to it now after a long time of being unable to do so. Given the spotty learning and bad habits I used to have (I walked that anime path that many others tread!) I've decided to try to discard everything I learned before as far as possible and start my learning from scratch with the right teachers. I'm armed with some great learning materials, including Loomis, Gurney, Hogarth, and a few others, many from recommendations I've seen here.

    The problem is, there's so much to look at I don't know where to start! My goal is to create large scale illustrations including both character and environmental art. But I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the things I need to learn about between here and there, and I'm finding myself hopping from figure drawing to painting and colour studies to trying plants and environments and ending up wandering in so many different new directions I'm not getting anywhere!

    I feel like I need some structure. Is there a logical progression from one topic to another that I'm missing? Have any of you created "learning plans" for yourself and has it helped you stay on track? How do others manage their learning process when there are so many important areas to learn about? Any other advice anyone can offer?

    Thanks!

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    400
    Thanks
    113
    Thanked 122 Times in 85 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Hi Birkeley


    Attending a Figure Drawing /Painting Class or two in your local area would be my suggestion for some structure

    Last edited by Charlie D; September 23rd, 2011 at 03:43 PM.
    Learning to see

    "...the ideas are what matter most" Doug Chiang
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to Charlie D For This Useful Post:


  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    413
    Thanks
    289
    Thanked 266 Times in 197 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    lol I know what you mean about being overwhelmed by the things you have to learn! I don't really have a structure, but there is a list of fundamental skills, I look at my own work and decide on the few that need most work to work on first. I'd suggest the same, see where your weakest points are

    Hey you! Yes, you! Crit me!

    My CA.org Sketchbook 1 Last page Bashing much needed and appreciated!
    My daily art blog (all the junk and personal crap that my CA sketchbook doesn't have)

    Feel free to shoot me a pm anytime~
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  5. The Following User Says Thank You to cloudcan For This Useful Post:


  6. #4
    blazinwolf's Avatar
    blazinwolf is offline Cristina Bencina / Illustrator & Concept Artist Level 4 Gladiator: Meridiani
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    176
    Thanks
    133
    Thanked 143 Times in 79 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Do you have some classes near you, you can take? I know some people just need some structure and assignments to get themselves moving.

    If you're more of the independent type.. like cloudcan ^ said, look at everything you do. What are you weaknesses?

    For me, my weakness I feel is anatomy, so I have been incorporating more anatomy right now then anything else. It doesn't mean you're stuck doing one thing at a time.. maybe you suck at drawing hands, spend a week drawing hands everyday in your sketchbook..

    But keep in mind, you're NOT going to grasp everything right away. Expect mistakes. Art is fun, enjoy it!

    Get connected! Follow me below!
    Art Blog | CGHub | deviantART |Facebook Fan Page
    I'm available for freelance work. Please email me. My email can be found on my blog.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  7. The Following User Says Thank You to blazinwolf For This Useful Post:


  8. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Williston, Vermont
    Posts
    550
    Thanks
    38
    Thanked 156 Times in 102 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Well, since nobody has posted it, yet... might as well. Draw from life. ;-)...

    Okay, I know exactly where you are coming from. Been there, done that (mid-40's... used to draw a lot in high school and then nothing until 6 years ago... was awful when I first started out).

    So, here's what I did. First of all, I realized that I wanted to paint landscapes and realism. That was just what I was interested in. First step was to realize that my drawing ability seriously sucked. So, I would start drawing anything around my house... books, toys, tv, tissue boxes (simple objects and then progressed up to more complex shapes). Once I got used to drawing things around my house, I started going outside and drawing more complex landscapes outside.

    Now, during this time, I was also interested in watercolors (now I do oils). So, while I was practicing my drawing, I was also learning about how to do watercolor paintings. Note that I haven't really said about doing a finished painting. I spent a lot of time in the beginning about learning the basics and learning my tools.

    Once I got a decent grasp of my tools, I started to work on what I really wanted to paint: landscapes and abstract art. In this case, it was a matter of doing something, looking at it later, seeing the areas that I was weak on and then practicing more on that area.

    So, I progress from simple to more complex. Learn the tools first and the basics first, then get comfortable with them so that you can produce what you want, then increase the complexity.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  9. The Following User Says Thank You to Doug Hoppes For This Useful Post:


  10. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    The land of fast cars and loud guitars.
    Posts
    94
    Thanks
    55
    Thanked 24 Times in 16 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    If you're really serious about structure there is always The Natural Way To Draw by Nicolaides, but if you can stick to that you're a better man than me (and a better artist I'm sure when you're done.)

    As for myself, I've always let my failures be my guide. I think of something I want to draw, I give it a shot, I fail. Now I can look at that and see exactly where my biggest weakness is and so I start working on that with my motivation being, "If I can just get this figured out I can make that drawing work!"

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  11. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to mizunodave For This Useful Post:


  12. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    WA State
    Posts
    2,364
    Thanks
    796
    Thanked 1,273 Times in 887 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Birkeley View Post
    Hi guys,

    I recently returned to art after a hiatus, as I'm able to devote some considerable time to it now after a long time of being unable to do so. Given the spotty learning and bad habits I used to have (I walked that anime path that many others tread!) I've decided to try to discard everything I learned before as far as possible and start my learning from scratch with the right teachers. I'm armed with some great learning materials, including Loomis, Gurney, Hogarth, and a few others, many from recommendations I've seen here.

    The problem is, there's so much to look at I don't know where to start! My goal is to create large scale illustrations including both character and environmental art. But I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the things I need to learn about between here and there, and I'm finding myself hopping from figure drawing to painting and colour studies to trying plants and environments and ending up wandering in so many different new directions I'm not getting anywhere!

    I feel like I need some structure. Is there a logical progression from one topic to another that I'm missing? Have any of you created "learning plans" for yourself and has it helped you stay on track? How do others manage their learning process when there are so many important areas to learn about? Any other advice anyone can offer?

    Thanks!
    One of the smarter harder working wannabes (who actually made it to pro level) here on CA is ccsears.

    To paraphrase him: when in doubt, work on drawing HEADS.

    Seriously, check out his SB!

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  13. The Following User Says Thank You to Kamber Parrk For This Useful Post:


  14. #8
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Montreal
    Posts
    3,234
    Thanks
    860
    Thanked 847 Times in 457 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    I'm not sure doing a bit of everything is so bad you will need to do it at some point anyways. So I'd do some studies from the books you have, a bit of life drawing, and when you feel like having fun, plan and execute an illustration of the type you want to do. And finish it. This will give you several things:
    -Planning an illo is different than doing studies and you need to practice that too.
    -You will have a finished piece you can get crits on
    -You have something you can date and store and pull out later to compare to your newer work
    -You get to practice composition and color choices.
    -It's fun!
    -Some people do so many studies, they freeze at the idea of doing an illustration.

    I would split my illustrations between grayscale and color, because you learn different things from each. Remember, learning art is a long process, so chances are if you only do studies all the time and worry to much, it will suck all the fun out of it. Do studies, but also draw and paint things you like.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  15. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Qitsune For This Useful Post:


  16. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    2,447
    Thanks
    359
    Thanked 667 Times in 419 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    You've basically already said it, the first issue a beginner needs to realize is that they don't know what they need to study:
    Quote Originally Posted by Birkeley View Post
    Loomis, Gurney, Hogarth, and a few others
    If you can go to a legitimate school then do that. Otherwise I would suggest you get some concept art books featuring character and environment art, there is the art of world of warcraft(the one that came out in 2005), the art of resident evil 5 is also good, get whatever appeals to you. Then copy through them. Paint for 1 hour every other day from life, paint shiny stuff dull stuff, man made stuff and natural stuff.

    Sketchbook

    "Beliefs are rules for action"
    "Knowledge is proven in action."
    "It's use is it's meaning."
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  17. The Following User Says Thank You to armando For This Useful Post:


  18. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    688
    Thanks
    115
    Thanked 94 Times in 63 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Qitsune View Post
    -Some people do so many studies, they freeze at the idea of doing an illustration.

    ...

    Do studies, but also draw and paint things you like.
    Very true. I did a lot of studies when I was for the first time a member here and I got involved so deep into it, that I had problems to illustrate something on my own. It did improved my work very much when I look back, only not on the creative side.

    At the moment I'm doing little studies inbetween my artschool work. Works much better this way at the moment.

    Studies, imagination, just remember to have fun!

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  19. The Following User Says Thank You to Whitevillage For This Useful Post:


  20. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    130
    Thanks
    60
    Thanked 93 Times in 53 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Thank you to everyone who posted, there is some great advice here and I really appreciate it. Art school isn't an option (I've done university, and my degree was in 3D modelling and animation rather than traditional art, though some of the skills I learned have definite advantages). But life drawing classes are if I can find some locally and I will definitely be chasing that up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Qitsune View Post
    I'm not sure doing a bit of everything is so bad you will need to do it at some point anyways. So I'd do some studies from the books you have, a bit of life drawing, and when you feel like having fun, plan and execute an illustration of the type you want to do. And finish it. This will give you several things:
    -Planning an illo is different than doing studies and you need to practice that too.
    -You will have a finished piece you can get crits on
    -You have something you can date and store and pull out later to compare to your newer work
    -You get to practice composition and color choices.
    -It's fun!
    -Some people do so many studies, they freeze at the idea of doing an illustration.

    I would split my illustrations between grayscale and color, because you learn different things from each. Remember, learning art is a long process, so chances are if you only do studies all the time and worry to much, it will suck all the fun out of it. Do studies, but also draw and paint things you like.
    You really hit the nail on the head here with where I'm at (doing studies and feeling daunted by the idea of a full illustration). I'll follow your advice, and thanks for suggesting greyscale illustrations, I don't think I would have considered that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Julie G View Post
    I think that your problem is that you're learning the superficial details everywhere and the concepts nowhere. Instead of a subject matter, choose a principle of drawing (e.g. shape, perspective, form, etc.) and focus on that. Shape might be an easy one to start off with and draw the figure, trees, still-lifes, etc. focusing on their shape. That way, even if you say "I want to draw a cat, even though I haven't before" you'll have a decent understanding of how to break down the shapes. It probably won't be a perfect cat, but it'll be a lot better than if you were only focusing on grassy fields and getting every detail right on them.

    Basically if you can't find consistency in subject matter (which is not a horrible thing), find consistency in your approach.
    This was also very insightful and makes a lot of sense, thank you!

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

Members who have read this thread: 2

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •