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Thread: Is "The natural way to draw - Kimon Nicolaides" woth it ?

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    Is "The natural way to draw - Kimon Nicolaides" woth it ?

    I found this book at an old book store, I am turned off by the fact that this book needs a whole year of work to get through if you follow the excercises as they are.

    Well is it worth it to spend time on this book. Where I have some free days in a week for at least 3 months and was planning on grasping the traditional fundamentals.

    One thing you should note that I cannot take art classes as there are none in my area. The best I can do for now is to follow a good book on grabbing fundamentals and find a teacher afterwords for personal lessons. At least when I can afford one ( As artists also pay bills ).
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    Just one year? It should take a heck of alot longer than that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psychotime View Post
    Just one year? It should take a heck of alot longer than that.
    I have about 3 months of free time to grab the fundamentals and will continue to improve upon them, the book's roadmap is too slow for me. I think I would try my luck with "drawing on right side of brain" which is lurking around in my books collection for long time.

    Any help on fundamentals is grateful. Thanks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NajamQ View Post
    I think I would try my luck with "drawing on right side of brain"
    You might want to read this first: http://chiseledrocks.com/main/musings/topics/snakeoil

    Also yeah, three months is very little time to try to grab anything, so I wouldn't use time as the deciding factor here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NajamQ View Post
    I have about 3 months of free time to grab the fundamentals and will continue to improve upon them, the book's roadmap is too slow for me.
    Good to see you know better than the person who wrote the book.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radicou View Post
    Good to see you know better than the person who wrote the book.
    Please avoid sarcasm and help if you are able to, I never claimed and could never think of myself as better than anyone leave alone the book writer. I am just a student trying to learn. I know the above mentioned book is better than a 1000 out there.

    Sometimes you have all the best learning meterial but nothing can subsitute a good advice from a fellow learner which can save me a lot of hurdles.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TinyBird View Post
    You might want to read this first: http://chiseledrocks.com/main/musings/topics/snakeoil

    Also yeah, three months is very little time to try to grab anything, so I wouldn't use time as the deciding factor here.
    Thanks a lot for the link. Yeah I know 3 months are nothing as learning art is a life long process. By Time I actually mean that I am able to give much more time to excercises and practice than I normally do. Its not like I will stop after that, I will continue to learn as long as my brain is alive .

    While recently doing my post-graduate research my advisor with more than 40 years of experience in field pointed out a very basic fault in my learning process, i.e I never did emphasize on learning the very basics of my education speically mathematics, despite of having good grades and good GPA I still stuggle sometimes at most basic things.

    I soon realized that over the last few years I have been making the same mistake in learning art. That is why I am going back to basics and than build my skill upon them. Call it self criticsm or accpeting my weakness, but this is where I lack the most ( at the basics ) which is causing me to hit a platue in my learning curve.

    A big contribution to this lack of direction and jumping directly to advaced levels is by totally misguided tutorials available on internet or speed painting videos / drawing videos on youtube. They always give one one technique to do one thing and make you live in illusion that somehow you know everything about art by doing one technique.

    I have been wrong, misguided, and have been trevelling blindly in any direction someone pointed me to. So as a result I wasted my time. Invested in wacom which is collecting dirt on my desk, bought many books but never opened them in an ego that they are for beginners.
    Last edited by NajamQ; October 2nd, 2011 at 01:31 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NajamQ View Post
    bought many books but never opened them in an ego that they are for beginners.
    Well, maybe now would be time to open those books instead of just buying a new one? Or course depending on what those books were...
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    Quote Originally Posted by TinyBird View Post
    Well, maybe now would be time to open those books instead of just buying a new one? Or course depending on what those books were...
    Some are by Adnrew Loomis in PDF form, others have a Bridgmans Drawing from life, Drawing on right side of brain. And a kind of printed spiral bound course by the name of Famous artist's course which I got from a friend, Mastering the art of Drawing by Ian sidway & Sarah Hoggett and some printed references.

    And what a great website you just gave me. Thanks a lot again for that, now I am greedy for more too .
    Last edited by NajamQ; October 2nd, 2011 at 02:14 PM.
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    Less planning, more doing.
    Less collecting books, more reading books.

    Pick a book, at this point it honestly doesn't matter which one. Read it, do the exercises if it has them, follow along and copy the illustrations/put the principles into practice on your own if it doesn't. If things don't seem to be working, making sense, or if you just plain don't like the book, pick another.
    Last edited by Elwell; October 2nd, 2011 at 04:16 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    Les planning, more doing.
    Less collecting books, more reading books.

    Pick a book, at this point it honestly doesn't matter which one. Read it, do the exercises if it has them, follow along and copy the illustrations/put the principles into practice on your own if it doesn't. If things don't seem to be working, making sense, or if you just plain don't like the book, pick another.
    Thanks, I am on it. I will journal my progress and post my work here for guidence.
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    I believe "The Natural Way to Draw" is a good book, but it is not very suitable for self-study. The explanations are often vague, don't give clear guidelines ("draw what it is doing, not what it looks like"?), and the examples given are not really helpful. Also, the process described, i.e. first, gesture; second, contour; third modelling, is incomplete, as it lacks construction as an essential step.

    I worked my way through TNWTD almost 10 years ago, following all instructions to the letter, and developed an extremely rough and wild style of sketching, which took me years to straighten out. Recently, I picked up the book again, this time under the guidance of experienced teachers, and finally some of the things in the book are starting to make sense.

    The book suffers quite a lot from the fact it was compiled after Nikolaides early death. He is probably one of the people I would love to talk to, asking him to explain what he really had meant to say. As far as I know, he does not do email?
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    I'm kinda torn about Nicolaides. I'm not going to deny his book has value, it's certainly good enough to gain the respect of a wide range of great artists. However, I think it's the sort of book that isn't for everyone. For one thing, if you've got no art experience, it's bound to be confounding. I certainly found it so. It's also much more geared to painting than drawing, leaving out things like construction and so forth and the focus on modelling the form rather than describing it in line.

    I think Nicolaides is best suited for a budding painter who has enough basic knowledge to begin seeing the "skipped" steps, and used in conjunction with other sources like Loomis. It depends a lot on what sort of learner you are as well, I would imagine some respond better to the teaching style than others.
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