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I could get long and tedious here, but I'll try not to. Basically I am frightened to death of drawing. This is my attempt to push past the fear. I had the same problem with abstract art and once I got past the fear I really enjoyed it. I suspect (and hope) the same thing will happen with drawing/painting/concept art.
Read a book on willpower that helped me grok my resistance a bit. Going through it bit by bit. I'm starting small and working my way up, starting with one drawing a day. I'd ask you to wish me luck but, I think that at the moment what I need most is determination. Especially since just sitting with it and finishing something tiny made me go a little loopy!
Thumbnail (some of my old abstract art, a fractal in this case) followed by today's drawing. (Apologies for it being digital; I just moved and my scanner is still buried somewhere.)
It's a hilariously bad contour drawing of a cruet on my desk!
Last edited by Ohaeri; March 27th, 2012 at 12:36 PM.
Sorry, reverse psychology took a hold of me and as soon as I read the title I had to go look in. I liked your thumbnail, I thought it was very pretty.
With the contour drawing I'd recommend making your lines more curved because they look a bit too angular.
Good luck on the willpower challenge
I didn't even think of the whole reverse psychology aspect. It's just that it's really bad right now and I'm not terribly ambitious at the moment. I think (may be wrong) that could be a turn-off for most of the people on ConceptArt. I anticipate that once I get over whatever it is that's causing painting and drawing to be such an exercise in discomfort, I'll have much bigger ambitions. That's how it happened with my abstract art. (Glad you liked it, by the way!) Anyway . . .
Today's drawing practice, more about glass . . . I'm thinking I'll figure out how raised glass patterns work in general with something I already know (writing) and work from there. It's not much but it actually took me an hour of staring at a Mason jar, half of which was me going, "OMG what if I get it wrong?" But hey, at least in the end I got it done.
Also gestures, which happened some time later as a way of pushing myself to do a bit more before bed. Some of them even look people-like! XD
And we're back to active badness! That didn't take long. Not that I mind, I think I may actually be feeling the fear starting to melt away, or maybe it's just taking a break or something. Either way, I feel pretty good.
A contour drawing of my cell phone. It's an extremely odd design. (Also, not very functional, by which I mean that it does things like shutting off when you take it out of your pocket due to silly on/off button placement.) It's also curvy, which is something that I need practice at, methinks.
I spent all of today upgrading (basically) from a really old, crappy version of Photoshop to my very own brand new Photoshop CS5 Extended Educational Edition. Super happy right now, but also really tired and didn't have much time for drawing. So all you get today is grey on grey! Apologies in advance. Usually I find grey a nice, soothing, neutral color, so I always use it--and I didn't think about the ramifications of painting my object in the exact same shade.
hey man, your abstract fractal peace is really beautiful, for the drawing, you're going in the good way,
Start with simple objects and shape without color and when you'll feel more comfortable with that,
you move on more complicated subject. Keep working and if you have also other abstract things, just share with us
s i m o n
If you really want to learn to draw, it would be a good idea to perhaps pick up a book on the subject to have as a guide. This is the book I first used, and I found it very helpful in getting to know the basics of shading and perspective and things like that. http://www.amazon.com/Learn-Draw-Now-Peel/dp/0939217163 (there may be better ones, i don't know. i just used that one by chance) Wish you well on your journey, and don't be afraid! It's just a piece of paper (or a photoshop document, hehe), it can't hurt you! Make it do what you say
You're off to a good start by working with simple shapes -- it's a great way to practice structure and lighting. (You also said you like gray, which is great because grayscale is perfect for learning values!)
Keep working on the simple shapes, but try to think about their volume and how the light/shadows are describing them. Push your values (i.e. lights / darks). Working with a ball or an egg will really help because you can really clearly see the light turn over the form and how it makes that shape look like the shape it is. Try painting either one of those and see how you do. (An egg is especially good because they're small enough to sit nicely on your desk and easy to get. It's also nice if you have a white one so you'll clearly see how the shadow/light is working and it'll already be sort of in grayscale for you -- don't shine the light directly on it because you'll wash it out.. just have it set in a normally lit room and see how you do.)
Keep up the good work! ^_^
Be careful what you wish for on the abstract thing, I've got a whole ton of pieces. I was an active fractal artist for seven years before I decided it wasn't what I wanted to do for a living (still love it as a hobby, though!)
I do also have a few extra art books along the lines of Bridgeman, Rubins, Hale, Loomis, etc. but they are still packed somewhere.
I'll also be visiting everybody's sketchbooks tonight as well. Now I've got to go eat before I run out of time for lunch.
Last edited by Ohaeri; March 17th, 2012 at 11:16 AM.
I agree that studying form would benefit you greatly. While studying the contours can be helpful, it really tends to make your pieces look flat in the long run, so it's best in my opinion to work in 3D with cylinders and cubes. Think of the form in that way over just plain flat planes.
Anyway, will critique more as I see them...
I find that the less I draw, the more I have crippling anxiety (yay anxiety disorders) over what I produce. The MORE I draw, the less I obsess over being "good enough" and actually get to business.And we're back to active badness! That didn't take long. Not that I mind, I think I may actually be feeling the fear starting to melt away, or maybe it's just taking a break or something. Either way, I feel pretty good.
Because look at it this way -- if you draw once a month, you're going to produce less good drawings than if you draw every day. If you draw quite often and you screw one picture up, you shrug and move on to the next one. When I notice my anxiety levels creeping up again I know it's because I'm not drawing enough.
Let's say that for every twelve drawings you do, only one is going to be at a level you're proud of. If you draw once a month, that's only one good drawing a year, so talk about unmotivating, eh? The more you draw, the faster you get through your quota of bad drawings, the more good stuff you'll produce.
I hope this helps somewhat. I've had a lot of art-related anxiety before (I have had panic attacks over art. So I understand a fear of it) and this is what helped me push through it. Good luck to you!
The egg is under a fluorescent light, because in this apartment that's the only decent light I've got. Also it's sitting in front of my monitor because that's the only clear surface right now, so it'll look like two-point light if I've done it right.
Unfortunately it's not finished yet, because I'm having some crazy trouble with blending, but I intend to work on it some more tomorrow. It's got a looooong way to go.
May God not strike me dead for the horrendous blending job.
(Just kidding. God probably isn't contemplating vengeance.
. . . Probably.)
More progress on it tomorrow!
Last edited by Ohaeri; March 17th, 2012 at 10:32 PM.
It also does help to know that people aren't judging me for being afraid, I mean I think about what reaction I would have and the fear of being judged seems absurd, but when I'm in the moment I'm less able to see it in that light. So it's always good to have people saying, "Me too, it's okay, you can push past it."
Thanks for stopping by!
The egg isn't looking too shabby so far. I'll be curious to see how you do when you pick up with it today!
When you paint, try painting on a medium gray as your background base (somewhere in the vicinity of the gray you were using on your previous studies) -- it'll allow you to really see your highlights/shadows better. (It's easier to tell how light or dark to make something when you compare it to a neutral/middle point.) With your background being so much darker than the egg itself, you're loosing the ability to really see your shadow a bit. Try lightening up the background slightly and, as Liffey suggested, paint the shadow the egg is casting and ground the egg is sitting on. (It doesn't have to be fancy, just give us an indication of where it is and how the egg is relating to it with its shadow.)
Nice job so far. Kudos for learning to blend with a hard edge brush, too. So many beginners try to do everything with a soft edge brush and it just causes problems. Learning to blend with a hard round brush is a good thing to learn. ^_^
ARRRRRRGH this egg.
Let me know any areas for improvement you guys see.
I ended up scrapping the initial version of the egg due to several factors: the background needed to be totally redone, different lighting factors due to different time of day, changed surfaces for the egg when my first one rolled off the original surface and broke, etc. etc. etc.
But it is finished enough to show, though undoubtedly it needs more work! I'll be practicing blending, but at least this isn't embarrassing.
I'll be visiting sketchbooks tonight after feeding my daughter tonight. Thanks for the encouragement and criticism so far.
"I ended up scrapping the initial version of the egg due to several factors: the background needed to be totally redone,"
background? its just a grey fill?
at the terminator, where light fades into shadow, use the colour picker to select a half-way tone and a soft low opacity round brush and you should with a little practice be able to smooth out the transition.
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Not a significant factor, but still a factor.
Just to make sure I'm clear on what you're saying: is there a particular transition I should work on, or all of them need some work? I think it's going to come with practice, but I'm at the point where I've stopped really seeing the painting if you know what I mean, so I want to make sure I'm not misunderstanding.at the terminator, where light fades into shadow, use the colour picker to select a half-way tone and a soft low opacity round brush and you should with a little practice be able to smooth out the transition.
Thank you for the suggestion though, the thought is much appreciated, as it really is a good book even though it wasn't quite what I was looking for.
Your second egg is much better -- the lighter background definitely helped, as did adding in the cast shadow. (I like that you also painted the bounce light on the edge of the egg that's in shadow -- that's usually something not a lot of beginners seem to pay attention to. Nice job!)
Blending smoother will come with time and practice, no worries. Your egg vs. your previous piece with the blocks looks a lot more convincing in conveying form/light. (Drawing from life is always helpful and it's always easy to find objects around your house to practice from.)
Pick another object (preferably with a fairly simple shape to keep things easier) and do another study. This time pay attention to where the light meets the shadow. Usually there's a slightly darker shift in values at that point because it's where the least amount of light is hitting (no direct light and no potential reflected light). This is called the terminator. (Not to be confused with the movies. XD) Try to see if you can pick it out! (There's an article here that talks about that and other things about light/form that are helpful. It has some good pictures to help demonstrate things, too.)
Very nicely done on this newest egg. Especially with the reflected light.
While it may be a nice practice to get used to (painting all on one layer), it's not exactly neccessary since you are using Photoshop.
What I mean is, you can have the background on one layer behind, and then paint your object in one layer on a new layer.
That's how I tend to work and it seems to work a bit better for me, that way I can go back and revise the background later
Just dropping in to say, baby threw up and is unhappy, so sketchbook checking will happen tomorrow. (lol)
I'll do the study and try to locate the terminator.
Most of the reason why I wanted to paint on the same background is to kind of force myself to get used to correcting mistakes on the same layer, as I've had a bad habit in the past of doing new layers so that I end up with 100s at the end of a small painting. But you're right that it's useful and a good idea to keep them separate.
I think its great you seem to be exclusively digital!
Big study incoming tomorrow! Small study for today since I accidentally took an 8-hour nap. (Yes, a nap. I laid down at 3 PM and woke up at 11 PM. I still plan on sleeping tonight, but I may need to a bit of luck with that.)
But thank you for the kudos!