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  1. #1
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    Fear of studies?

    For the longest time, Ive rarely attempted to do painting studies, the array of colours, depth, detail, etc, have already thrown me off, not because of it, but because I am such a damn perfectionist (who's never perfect, anyho) that I give up on studies because the faces or anatomy never replicate the actually picture, no matter how many times I measure and analyze the ref.

    My anatomy and painting skills are suffering because of this. What the hell should I do? ;_;

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  3. #2
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    Er...do your studies?

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    I can't paint or draw, but I think I can answer this question: give yourself permission to fail. I wouldn't expect to be perfect (or even good) at anything non-trivial without hard work and lots of mistakes. Personally, I also try to focus on enjoyment of the learning process itself, rather than just the product.

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    Learning to see

    "...the ideas are what matter most" Doug Chiang
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  7. #5
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    Sorry FF, no two ways about it. Everyones allowed to paint,draw,etc for fun, but I imagine you are
    wanting to make some money from your work, or at least produce the type of imagery that matches
    artists you admire.

    Not an easy path this. You know what has to be done. You've seen firsthand the result of what happens
    when you neglect necessary steps needed to improve.

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    I am one of those people that is very guilty of overthinking and always looking for a silver bullet that doesn't exist. Eventually it will dawn upon you that there are no shortcuts or secret techniques to suddenly make you a good artist. I feel like a hypocrite for saying this, because I still fall into the same trap and sometimes ask stupid questions, but the only way forward is just to get a pencil, some paper and draw. Keep drawing, no matter what. Good picture, bad picture, just keep ploughing forward.

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  10. #7
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    just to try and help it sink in.

    The truth of the matter is simple. You aren’t born knowing how to do much more than breath and scream. Everything else is a learned skill.

    Go Forth. Create!



    Learning to see

    "...the ideas are what matter most" Doug Chiang
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  12. #8
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    Try to learn or find enjoyment in the process. If you hate doing excercises, chord progressions, etc. you'll have a tough time learning how to play the guitar. People don't sit down and knock out a sweet rendition of Stairway to Heaven when they are learning. Think of the thousands of times a guitar player plays a little section of a piece...those are the practice and learning bits that go into knowing how to play the instrument. Art is like that too...much more practice, attempts, pieces of things and failures than finished successes.

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  14. #9
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    I often make studies as some kind of procrastination before attempting my own work. With the studies I'm doing, I get more information and know how so I can progress further and finish what I want to make. In studies you can also allow yourself screw things up more because you are after all experimenting and learning from them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Featheredface View Post
    For the longest time, Ive rarely attempted to do painting studies, the array of colours, depth, detail, etc, have already thrown me off, not because of it, but because I am such a damn perfectionist (who's never perfect, anyho) that I give up on studies because the faces or anatomy never replicate the actually picture, no matter how many times I measure and analyze the ref.

    My anatomy and painting skills are suffering because of this. What the hell should I do? ;_;
    Do whatever you want.

    I mean, what would you say to me if I said "I really want to do a triathlon but I can't swim and I've been avoiding the swimming training"? Now as to whether I ought to be doing triathlons or not, that's up to me, but I'm certainly not going to complete one if I keep ignoring a large chunk of the training. When race-day comes I am not going to discover that I'm half-porpoise, I'm just going to flounder around in the shallow water because I've been living in denial.

    So get your head out of denial-land and decide whether you want the results badly enough to work through your problems or whether you're happy doing what you're doing and not getting ahead much. Make your choices and then take the responsibility for them.

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  17. #11
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    I hate doing studies. Especially anatomy. It just makes me want to run away and do something else... But I know it's necessary and helps me become a better artist. So I do it anyway. Of course there are parts of it I enjoy, and on the rare ocation I'm even happy to do it. But when that doesn't happen, you just gotta sit through it.

    "I've got ham, but I'm not a hamster"

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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    Try to learn or find enjoyment in the process. If you hate doing excercises, chord progressions, etc. you'll have a tough time learning how to play the guitar. People don't sit down and knock out a sweet rendition of Stairway to Heaven when they are learning. Think of the thousands of times a guitar player plays a little section of a piece...those are the practice and learning bits that go into knowing how to play the instrument. Art is like that too...much more practice, attempts, pieces of things and failures than finished successes.
    Like Jeff said, you have to keep practicing bits at a time, trying and messing up till your able to play the whole song. It's good to try and learn how to play a lot of songs you like, but it's important to realize the distant goal your working towards isn't just to learn to replicate songs, but how to write and create your own. It's too much to take in all at once, you have to take a lot of pride in each little step that you learn of the process.

    It almost seems self delusional sometimes, so you have to be honest with yourself if your progressing and not be too hard on yourself at the same time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Featheredface View Post
    For the longest time, Ive rarely attempted to do painting studies, the array of colours, depth, detail, etc, have already thrown me off, not because of it, but because I am such a damn perfectionist (who's never perfect, anyho) that I give up on studies because the faces or anatomy never replicate the actually picture, no matter how many times I measure and analyze the ref.

    My anatomy and painting skills are suffering because of this. What the hell should I do? ;_;
    If you want a perfect replicas, get a camera. You job is not to replicate stuff perfectly, but to capture what you see in an interesting way.

    I have no intention of becoming a professional artist, I just aspire to become a really good amateur.

    Sketchbook: w176 love of the color dirt
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    Jeff already took my line of make it fun. I haven't done any serious drawing recently been busy with another focus but before, not too long ago I started to actually enjoy my studies. I switched up the way I did it, found new ways to do something. do short quick studies, do long studies, do studies with a subject you find interesting, really study the studies. Pick something to learn and make it fun then it's not a chore.

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  25. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Featheredface View Post
    For the longest time, Ive rarely attempted to do painting studies, the array of colours, depth, detail, etc, have already thrown me off, not because of it, but because I am such a damn perfectionist (who's never perfect, anyho) that I give up on studies because the faces or anatomy never replicate the actually picture, no matter how many times I measure and analyze the ref.

    My anatomy and painting skills are suffering because of this. What the hell should I do? ;_;
    I have the exact same problem that you do. The anxiety when I'm painting or drawing becomes really overwhelming and I just want to stop so that I feel better.

    When I get that impulse, I stop and really notice what I'm feeling. That is to say, I think about the impulse, and what it does to my body. (Which, as it turns out, is a burning sensation in the pit of my stomach, tightness in the muscles of my neck and back, and increased heart rate.) I notice the sensation and think, "My, that is unpleasant. I'm quite uncomfortable right now."

    Then I take a few breaths until my heart rate slows down and tell myself that if I still feel bad in five minutes, I can stop.

    Most of the time the deadline will pass and then some before I start getting antsy again. But that's not really the point. There are going to be some days that you do stop, but you will have gotten five more minutes in of practice before then. And, it actually tends to diffuse the feeling of panic for a while, allowing you to get used to working with your discomfort instead of running away from it.


    You might also consider picking up a good book on willpower. I just finished The Willpower Instinct, and it was quite good and very effective. I got this exercise from that book.

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    Break down the studies into small and manageable parts. For instance, right now I'm working on trying to get portraits working.... yeah, the drawings are awful.

    Okay, so I break it down into 1) Block out the whole head and get major shapes right. For me, values are fun... so, I'm doing it with just blue... or purple. Once I get the major block-ins working, then may work on eyes... or nose... the person will look pretty strange for a while, but that's fun, also. Come up with interesting ideas and creatures based on parts of the face being there.

    Eventually, I'll be able to have the whole head done.

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    You just have to get in the habit of doing them on a constant basis, it doesn't matter how bad they look at the moment. Months+ from now you'll be glad you didn't stop.

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  31. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Featheredface View Post
    For the longest time, Ive rarely attempted to do painting studies, the array of colours, depth, detail, etc, have already thrown me off, not because of it, but because I am such a damn perfectionist (who's never perfect, anyho) that I give up on studies because the faces or anatomy never replicate the actually picture, no matter how many times I measure and analyze the ref.

    My anatomy and painting skills are suffering because of this. What the hell should I do? ;_;
    Awfully damn sorry*!

    But, you're a textbook example of a person who should read Art and Fear.

    *It's just that the book, well, stresses the importance of WORK and moving forward instead of having a mindset like your current mindset.

    Last edited by Kamber Parrk; March 14th, 2012 at 11:51 PM. Reason: grammar
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  33. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by w176 View Post
    If you want a perfect replicas, get a camera. You job is not to replicate stuff perfectly, but to capture what you see in an interesting way.
    This ^


    I'm also a perfectionist, but I like to let mistakes happen. I usually don't see errors in my work until the next day. Sure, mistakes bother me a lot and I always end up hating everything I draw. I never go back to fix finished works either, they serve as a reminder and a report of progress. However, I learn a LOT more from my mistakes than I do from perfecting everything. The more mistakes I make, the less I see of the same mistakes in future works.

    Trying to make an exact copy of something is very stressing and you won't be able to retain interest. Heck, I don't draw from pictures, I only use them as references.

    Just learn from errors in your finished works. Don't try to perfect every single stroke because you won't see the full form. And don't stress if you can't seem to make something look right. Draw something new.



    "Machines aren't capable of evil, humans make them that way." - Lucca Ashtear, Chrono Trigger
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    Quote Originally Posted by w176 View Post
    If you want a perfect replicas, get a camera. You job is not to replicate stuff perfectly, but to capture what you see in an interesting way.
    Yes you should never blindly copy and image, but actually analyze it and draw what you understand.
    Things like Bargue drawings are beneficial. Setting up grids and copying exactly what you see. It really builds patients, and you will improve your abilities doing it.

    Go through a few master studies using grids and measuring, and I guarantee you'll see your patients and abilities improving on other drawings and paintings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gnarl View Post
    Yes you should never blindly copy and image, but actually analyze it and draw what you understand.
    But doing things like Bargue drawings are beneficial. Setting up grids and copying exactly what you see. It really builds patients, and you will improve your abilities doing it.

    Go through a few master studies using grids and measuring, and I guarantee you'll see your patients and abilities improving on other drawings and paintings.
    Yeah you right. My comment was more to offer a different point of view for someone who struggle with perfectionism, then some absolute truth.

    I have no intention of becoming a professional artist, I just aspire to become a really good amateur.

    Sketchbook: w176 love of the color dirt
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  39. #22
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    What? I've always sorta enjoyed doing studies so much that I neglect to work on any imaginary stuff......I mean, doing studies is awesome, you're observing color and form and details and all these wonderful things in your visual world. It's like seeing things, but in a very intense way!

    I got this obsessive habit of scribbling away in front of a computer. It's like, really really fun.

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  41. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by continue View Post
    What? I've always sorta enjoyed doing studies so much that I neglect to work on any imaginary stuff......I mean, doing studies is awesome, you're observing color and form and details and all these wonderful things in your visual world. It's like seeing things, but in a very intense way
    This.
    Suddenly everything around me is so fascinating that I feel I couldn't possibly come up with anything imaginary anyway!

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  43. #24
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    I usually feel the same, to me doing studies always represents setting myself up for an utter defeat and failure so I can't really enjoy them, but there's not much other choice since I need them to improve.
    No pain, no gain.

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  45. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by continue View Post
    What? I've always sorta enjoyed doing studies so much that I neglect to work on any imaginary stuff......I mean, doing studies is awesome, you're observing color and form and details and all these wonderful things in your visual world. It's like seeing things, but in a very intense way!

    I got this obsessive habit of scribbling away in front of a computer. It's like, really really fun.
    Yeah, I admit that I love to do studies too. I picked up the habit by drawing people in class when I was bored in high school. And once you figure out that you don't have to put in every single detail (and in fact it's better if you don't), you find that it's such a meditative thing to do.

    The world is full of really cool stuff to draw.

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    The only magic spell for this sort of problem is called perception/attitude.
    If you change your perception of how you think the result should be, and your attitude to "learn-through-failing", I bet you will find it more enjoyable

    Aim for improvement, and at some point you will get to where you want. At least that is my approach and I so hope it works out in the long run!

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  51. #28
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    GUH. Thank you all for your wonderful input/suggestions and comments. Sorry I've neglected a response, I honestly forgot about this... Thank you!

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    Also, I wish to apologise to those who have to say the same things to me over and over again because I'm too stupid and naive to improve and move in the right direction, artistically. I love doing imaginative stuff, but I'm tired of seeing the same "go back to fundamentals" thing, and often feel let down by myself for still being in the "damn, you suck" range of skill even after two years.

    Everyone else is in the right by the tenfold, for telling me to go back to fundamentals, while I'm doing myself no good and sticking to crappily drawn and muddily rendered sparkle-furries. I really want to be as good as some of my idols, and be able to accurately depict and bring to life my ideas, but I realise this will take a lot of work I may find unpleasant (like, tons of studies.)

    One side of me, the smart side, is all "Oh! These people are right! I really need to do this, and work on that."

    And the other side, the dumb, selfish side is all "Oh, they just hate me, my art is FINE! , FINE, I SAY!"

    So I appreciate all of your words of wisdom, and I will try to follow them, and I mean it.

    I do not know why I am rambling in such a manner, but I am off my meds, so I am kind of loopy and just want to hear my own voice.

    Thank you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Featheredface View Post
    GUH. Thank you all for your wonderful input/suggestions and comments. Sorry I've neglected a response, I honestly forgot about this... Thank you!
    ...so have you reached a conclusion? A new insight? Motivation?

    anything?

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