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  1. #1
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    A Complete Rookie's Journey On Learning To Draw

    Hey there!

    Name's Daniel, I'm 18 & it's a pleasure to join the forum. I've been lurking the site for a long while now but I finally told myself to stop whining about how hard it is to learn to draw & just do it. I'm hoping it's true that practice is the key behind it all, because I'm terrible right now! Honestly, I used to be unconfident with drawing even stickmen. I feel I just need some guidance on what I'm doing so I don't go in circles.

    I've managed to build myself a healthy collection of over 25 or so books to get me started, so here's a list of my teachers (I grouped them into the order I plan to study, but I won't be too strict on that) :

    Fun With A Pencil - Andrew Loomis
    Vilppu Drawing Manual - Glenn Vilppu
    Successful Drawing- Andrew Loomis
    Perspective Made Easy - Ernest Norling
    Pespective! For Comic Book Artists - David Chelsea
    Drawing Essentials - Deborah Rockman
    Art & Fear - David Bayles & Ted Orland

    Figure Drawing Without A Model - Ron Tiner
    The Practice & Science of Drawing - Harold Speed
    Figure Drawing For All It's Worth- Andrew Loomis
    Drawing the Head & Hands- Andrew Loomis
    Drawing The Head & Figure - Jack Hamm
    Figure Drawing Guide: Design & Invention - Michael Hampton
    Cartoon Animation - Preston Blair

    Bridgman's Complete Guide To Drawing From Life
    Atlas of Human Anatomy For The Artist - Stephen Rogers Peck
    The Natural Way To Draw - Kimon Nicolaides
    Human Anatomy For The Artist - Goitfred Bammes
    Perspective Handbook Joseph D'Amelio
    Drawing Lessons From The Great Masters - Robert Beverly Hale
    The Human Figure - John H. Vanderpoel
    Imaginative Realism - James Gurney
    Colour and Light - James Gurney

    Creative Illusion- Andrew Loomis
    Drawing Scenery & Landscapes - Jack Hamm
    Art of Colour and Design - Michael Graves
    Understanding Comics - Scott McCloud

    An Atlas of Animal Anatomy For The Artist - Ellenberg
    Eye of The Painter - Andrew Loomis

    And the subjects I'm focusing on for now are:
    3D Basic Forms
    Still Lifes
    Perspective
    Gesture
    Line
    Proportion
    Old Master Copies (Depends on progress by March/April)

    I'm trying to learn as much as I can so I can do some serious catch up and be at a good standard in 3 years or so where I can can start drawing a good webcomics & who knows, maybe even become a concept artist. But obviously I need consistently good quality to pull that off. I'm trying to get into the habit of drawing 4 hours a day to help me make such a drastic improvement. Gonna push that up to around 8 when my exams are done in Janurary.

    The 1st & 6th sketches are from last month just before I decided to start getting serious about art; both were drawn from life, the first is supposed to be a self portrait. Within the sixth one you'll see a mobile phone which has a more accurate drawing from life a few sketches below that. The rest are some studies, apart from the car which was drawn from life and the second self portrait. These are just some of the sketches I've done, but from now on, I just want to update what I do on the day, everyday from now on.

    Wish me luck, and please critique!

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    Last edited by arc41; December 26th, 2011 at 06:14 AM.
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  3. #2
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    Already done my 4 hours today, which was a reality check that made me realise I need to do way more than 4 hours a day to reach the standard I want in 3 years. It's only 2PM here now though so I can do some more stuff.

    I've decided to try and do 1 self portrait a day seeing as there’s no life drawing classes in my area. I haven’t been keeping up with it, but I’ll try to change that. (I'll post the self-portrait and any more sketches I do later).

    Today though, just a few more sketches from Karmatoons and some Vilppu studies where I'm getting started on the actual figure now. And a really ugly face from Fun With A Pencil that I tried when I was getting a lil' bored. Finally the pencil and sharpener were from life. The pencil took 30 minutes which really doesn't show. ^^;

    Gotta try harder!

    Sorry about the image quality guys, I'm using my phone to upload these pictures and I have to size them down a bit so that the attachment manager can upload the images onto the site. One of the pictures was over 1MB before. o_O

    -- Daniel

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    Last edited by arc41; November 24th, 2011 at 10:25 AM.
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  4. #3
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    Hey Daniel, Welcome to CA.Not sure what to say, because you seem to know the basic idea of what you need to do. But if I was to say to do something, more still lifes, nothing helps more then still lifes. There is a link in my signature that will take you to a thread with a ton of links to tutorials and other stuff that will help you with your journey. Hope this helps, and again welcome to CA, hope you enjoy your stay here!

    And about the size of your pictures you can bring them into MS paint then press Ctrl+W then make it 50% in the top two sections, and that will make your image smaller, you can mess around with that till you get a good size you like.

    -Diarum

    The Penvirates:: Xeon_OND :: PermaN00b:: Kamber Parrk :: Cygear ::Diarum

    "Life itself is your teacher, and you are in a state of constant learning." -Bruce Lee

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  6. #4
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    Hey Diarum, thanks for the welcome & the advice. I'll make sure to get right onto still lifes tomorrow! I find it more fun than drawing pages of shapes anyways. ^_^

    So I did the self-portait, then showed it to my Mum. She hasn't laughed harder than that for days. She gave me a few tips and I made a few adjustments. She still says I should make the lips closer to the nose and the bottom of my jaw more rounded rather than squared. Good advice from a mum who says she can't draw! I'll make sure to do that for next time.

    Whilst they're my most realistic ones (thankfully), the original made me look like a monkey so there's still a way to go. xD

    That's me done for today, didn't get much else done after earlier cos of schoolwork and I took a long nap. Tomorrow though, still lifes!

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    Hey Daniel, great start so far. And I agree with Diarum, more drawings from life, even during class
    Here's a link to kevin chens demos. I think it would help alot.
    http://www.angelfire.com/art3/kchendemos/


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  8. #6
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    Hey Daniel!
    If you put in some serious hours, you WILL improve! I'm on somewhat of a similar journey as you.. My drawings looked very similar to yours a year and 3 months ago. I also have a similar 3 year goal. What a lot of good teachers will say is that getting a strong grasp of the fundamentals is key. I personally want to be able to draw just about anything from characters to environments to machines.. All of those things follow the rules of perspective. Offering my opinion here.. I would learn perspective ASAP and practice drawing the shapes that are the building blocks of everything!! This DVD has helped me a lot: http://www.thegnomonworkshop.com/sto...e-Form-Drawing . All of his DVDs are really good. I am coming from the point of view of making stuff up out of my head which is somewhat different than still life yet they certainly share common themes. Long story short.. Practice Practice and practice some more!
    I am excited to see where you go with this!

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    Sorry for the late update! Friday's are my busiest day. I've got the fewest free periods at college on Fridays (Just 2!) and I go to church on Fridays from 12AM-3AM & it takes us 40 minutes to get there. But cos yesterday was the last Friday of the month, which I didn't realise, my family went to church from 10PM-1AM but an hour late at 2AM. >_<

    But it's noexcuse for how little I did yesterday. Just a few life drawings, a self portrait and a bit of perspective. My lips are God-awful so I'm gonna start doing studies on them and the eyes along with my life drawings for now.

    And for the perspective sketch, the lines aren't all straight cos I did it on the way to church and it was a bumpy ride. ^^;

    Joined CGSociety yesterday and I'm gonna join CGHub as well today. 3 Sketchbooks are better than 1!

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    Fell ill on the weekend, so barely anything got done. Need to make up for it this week.

    Just some perspective, a still life and a self-portrait that somehow turned into a study from Loomis. xD

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    Spheremania!!

    Decided I should get to work on spheres to get the ball and plane method down. I still need some work obviously. I've also managed to get a decent understanding of perspective. Now I need to build on that to start practicing to draw buildings and really get into my bones. I got Norling's "Perspective Made Easy" yesterday to help me out on that. Also, just a few lips from reference and life. Will do more still lifes tomorrow.

    Planning to do a self portrait later tonight too.

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  12. #10
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    hey man , good start . keep doing still lifes and loomis studies .
    maybe you should also try to loosen up more .
    draw straight lines and ovals and use your should and elbow not your wrist .
    after doing pages of these you will have more confidence and your circles and ovals will ook better .

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  13. #11
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    Thanks for the tips Blaster. I'll continue practicing the shapes alongside all that I do. I keep trying to draw with my arm, but subconciously, I switch back to my wrist. Arrgh, it's so frustrating!

    But here's some life studies before I hit the hay: a banana, a dehoderant can, a peeled back sticker and Mr. Muscle spray

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    Here comes some advice

    1. Read andrew loomis' drawing heads and hands and make sure to go through all the exercises
    2. Research drawing pencils cause it looks like your using the standard number 2 pencil. You should only be using art pencils.
    3. Get a life drawing book. My favorite is drawing the keys to drawing
    4. Think about pressure cause it looks like you press down way too hard
    5. Before drawing from life, go and draw from 2d images first

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  15. #13
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    I honestly don't think it's that big a priority to get 'proper art supplies' right now. Maybe I'm just biased towards my own cheapskate tendencies (mechanical pencil, biro, whatever I can find), but as long as you're just doing studies (especially as there's minimal to no shading) I don't see that you need a different pencil. That said, I agree about not pressing into the paper too hard - loosen up!
    As far as I'm concerned, you seem to be on the right track - the banana that's facing the viewer slightly in the last drawing is especially nice. Look forward to seeing you improve more!

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  16. #14
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    Its not required to have fancy art material IMO but you should at least experiment with it (Charcoal, Acrylic, etc) But definitely keep drawing from life, train your eye to see shapes, a good book for observational art Drawing Essentials: A Guide to Drawing from Observation by Deborah Rockman.

    Yum!

    me
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  17. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boulsoup View Post
    1. Read andrew loomis' drawing heads and hands and make sure to go through all the exercises
    2. Research drawing pencils cause it looks like your using the standard number 2 pencil. You should only be using art pencils.
    3. Get a life drawing book. My favorite is drawing the keys to drawing
    4. Think about pressure cause it looks like you press down way too hard
    5. Before drawing from life, go and draw from 2d images first
    1. Agree
    2. A number 2 pencil is just fine, art pencils are only a bonus, no need to make it more complex for yourself atm.
    3. You don't need a book to help you with life drawing, just make sure you are trying to understand 3d form.
    4. Agree, looks like you are engraving your picture lol softer strokes.
    5. Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong. Still life > all. Ask anyone with some art exp and they will tell you to do still lifes do lots of them. If you go to my link in my signature, you will find a link to Jeffx's thread about observation from life.

    The Penvirates:: Xeon_OND :: PermaN00b:: Kamber Parrk :: Cygear ::Diarum

    "Life itself is your teacher, and you are in a state of constant learning." -Bruce Lee

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  18. #16
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    Boulsoup Got some advice from the forums to help me with Loomis' methods so I'll get to work on that for the next few days. And I'll try to put in less pressure on my drawings. ^^;

    grey sequences Thanks! I'll keep working hard.

    ven- I've heard of that book before, so I'll consider getting it. And I'm just gonna try and be comfortable with the pencil before trying the other mediums for now.

    Diarum I'll definitely keep at drawing still lifes Diarum. I need to make sure I keep looking for 3D forms in what I draw though.

    Did a few gesture drawings (if you can call them that xD) today. One of a woman sitting with a bag on the bus before she got off and the other 2 were of a couple of people in my class. Along with that was me practicing some lines and shapes whilst making sure I was drawing with my arm the whole time till it felt natural. I erased most of those lines anywho.

    Did a life drawing of my htc and that thing next to it is my ID card holder without the actual card.

    Gonna be an awesome artist someday, so I have to keep working hard!

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  19. #17
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    Welcome to CA!
    I see you have some problems drawing faces, they're very simbolic, the way you draw the features is not how the features really look.
    When I was starting out this website really helped me learn to draw faces: http://www.portrait-artist.org/
    I hope you find it helpful too.
    Keep up the good work and godspeed!

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  20. #18
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    Haven't been updating all that much because I've been doing a lot of reading rather than drawing lately. After a lot of that, and with people on here, CGHub and CGSociety all saying that I draw symbols rather than the real thing, I've decided that I'll get back to using "The New Drawing on The Right Side of the Brain". It was the first book I bought but I've done little from it because of the criticism it's taken from a lot of people on here. But after a bit more lurking, I see others say that it is fine for someone at my level as long as I don't fall for the psycho-babble and just complete the excercises quickly. So I'll do the excercises in it alongside some life drawing and continue with my daily self-portrait. I'll show my progress in a week or so when I'm hopefully done with the book and return to Loomis & Vilppu and if I'm ready, hopefully get a start on Hampton, Speed and Hamm.

    Thanks for the link Voodoo_Mama, I'll couple it with what I do on Edwards.

    Here's the little I've done, lost a couple of sheets, but if I find them, I'll include them in my next update.

    Wish me luck.

    -- Daniel

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  22. #19
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    Hi and welcome to concept art, arc41.
    Nice to see you giving it a try and I hope drawing will be enjoyable for you.
    As I see it you have still long way to go. Therefore I will give you some tips which at least helped me when I started drawing.

    1. Look carefully at what you are drawing and try to draw it.
    Your brain messes with you and therefore try not to think but to see.
    This is very difficult but you will get the hang of it.

    2. Draw objects/things from life.
    You will get a better understanding of the things you draw.

    3. If something does not work out as how you wanted or you failed
    badly, put it aside and look at it later. You will have a new perspective
    of what you did. Look for mistakes and try to take them into account
    when you are drawing your next piece.

    I hope this will help you as much as it helped me and wish you a hell lot of fun improving. Just don´t give up easily and you will be rewarded!
    Greetings,

    Warforce17

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