Hi, I hope this is the right forum to post this...
Ok, just as a bit of backstory, I used to practice drawing a few years ago, but ended up finding it stressed me out too much (at not being good enough) so I gave up for the time being. My goal was to be able to draw well straight from my head, which I could never really do, though I got pretty good at drawing from observation. Anyway, I've been wanting to take it up again, but I'd like some advice.
I know that the best way to improve is drawing from life, but to be able to draw things accurately I had to draw extremely slowly, and pay very close attention to just drawing in each contour and line of whatever I was looking at. When I do that I get the best results, but it feels like because I'm focusing on that so much I'm not really taking in the actual form of the object (memorising what it's like in 3d, if that makes sense?) I'm just looking abstractly at the lines and copying them down. So for that reason I'm not sure if it's really helping me that much in being able to draw from imagination.
And if I would try and do quick sketches to capture the idea of the dimensions of whatever was in front of me, it would normally end up innaccurate and messy, so doing the opposite doesn't seem to help either.
Plus, even when I could draw, let's say, a realistic person, as soon as I would try and draw things around them, perspective and everything else would be off. So I guess my question is, how should I go about trying to improve? Where should I start? Should I try and think consciously about what I'm drawing when I do observational pictures, or just let myself get in 'the zone'? Any thoughts would be really appreciated!
I was gonna leave this post moderated so that the OP could look around other parts of the site Then again the downside to that is they may leave because their posts are moderated...but they may leave because they feel the answers people give aren't custom and personal :/
Thanks Mind of Madness! That's exactly the type of thing I was looking for, that's really helpful.
I realise now my original post sounds like I'm just complaining about how hard it is to draw - I guess what I meant to ask was more along the lines of, is practice more beneficial if I try and make myself think about what I'm drawing, or just let myself go into autopilot? It seems a bit obvious now that I've put it like that though...
Whenever I'm practicing (which is never near enough), I always focus on trying to solve a problem, rather than just "practice". Say, for instance, I am having issues with edges. So, my practice strictly focuses on edges (lost and found).
For instance, right now, I'm practicing to get realistic colors. So, when I'm painting, I'm strictly focusing on getting the right colors matched up. I make sure that I get the other parts of the painting satisfactory, but, if not, then I just add those other bits to practice sessions later on. I just make sure that I'm solving the problem that is my goal of the practice.
but to be able to draw things accurately I had to draw extremely slowly, and pay very close attention to just drawing in each contour and line of whatever I was looking at. When I do that I get the best results, but it feels like because I'm focusing on that so much I'm not really taking in the actual form of the object
I was just thinking about the same topic this morning. I'm an absolute beginner with less than two months under my belt, so I'm just here to sympathize .
Personally, I started learning with the Right Brain book, which emphasizes drawing exactly what you see. I recognize the importance of that skill, but if I'm being honest, I must admit that I kind of hate drawing that way for long stretches of time. I'm not sure exactly how to explain it, but I feel like that frame of mind alienates me from the subject.
Lately, I've been working through Nicolaides' book (I'm about 45 hours in), and I'm really enjoying his approach to building understanding of the subject. Hopefully I'll continue to improve both understanding and copying, and learn how to integrate them effectively.