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Hello dear members,
To make it short: I (21, no art instruction or education yet) try to learn the craft of painting, and need a place where I can document my mistakes, my progress, and the useful stuff I stumble over, while being surrounded by like minded people, which can benefit from my postings as well. I somehow feel that this section is better suited than the SB forum.
This thread will hopefully turn into a small source of information for everyone who is in my position, everyone who is struggling, everyone who got rejected from an atelier or school, who hasn't got any money for proper education and seeks other ways to become better.
While searching for stuff to learn the fundamentals I discover many great things to learn, and I will share them of course.
Thanks for stopping by, and if you have something on your mind that could help anyone, no matter if critique, a tip, a question, videoclip, or a link -> please share your thoughts.
The first images show portrait studies from local people who where so kind to sit for me for free. (The old man is still a wip) I used charcoal and white chalk/pastel on toned paper. The first study is not finished yet, I will update it as soon as it is.
I try to use techniques I found by watching trailers and youtube clips.
Here you have them:
Instructions by the great and generous David Kassan.
Last edited by AckermannPhilip; October 21st, 2012 at 01:14 PM.
In a similar boat here although I m a bit older.
For education you may want to consider trying to go the USA. Theres a boatload of private classical realist academies there esp on the eastcoast and they are generally about half the price of the european ones. I think its something to do with the policies regarding taxes and recognition of non profit organizations. Not sure but I chatted once with one of the sculpture instructors at the grandcentral academy in NYC and thats what he said.
You seem to have a pretty good idea about working from general to specific which is obv key and a great start. You should check out Practice and Science of Drawing by Harold Speed. You can get it for free off the internets or cheap as a real book. I ve been reading it on my ipod and its pretty intense with loads of things to ponder about how to approach your drawing practice.
Also make use of your local museums. Idk what they have in Vienna but I m sure its great. Here in Berlin I try to make it over to the museums as much as I can and they are like my very own cast hall with loads of inspiration to get you pumped.
Thanks and sorry for the late reply...
You are right, museums are a great source for inspiration.
I recommend everyone to visit the kunsthistorisches museum vienna, or the belvedere.
To your suggestion: I don't have any money to study anywhere, except public schools, but I reject their teachings and philosophy.
Here another figure drawing tutorial for you, by Jacob Collins this time:
his painting process can be found here:
make sure to click through each week, the link above just shows week one
and a wip from me. The underdrawing... I will not use it as a cartoon which gets transfered, instead I will paint over it after applying fixative and matte medium. Its drawn on an aluminium composite panel. Pretty rough and messy drawn, but if its accurate I don't care about clean handling.
I did not do a real color study. But if I would want to do one:
If I you would like to do several color studies of one part of the picture, just draw the outlines on a surface with black ink, can be ordinary paper as well, and put tracing paper on the top. Paint on the tracing paper. For another color study of the same spot, just use another piece of tracing paper. No need to waste money on a canvas or a board.
Go and watch the videos of Duffy Sheridan on youtube. He uses tracing paper to paint on when he faces some problems. He just puts it on top of the problematic area and paints on it until he figured out the solution for his problem. Why don't use it for color studies as well?
BTW: I stumbled over a "white oil color test" as well: http://blog.jonathanlinton.com/2010/...n-making.html:
Add williamsburg titanium white to the yellowing oil colors. Never use it pure and unmixed for impasto!
Have a good one!
Last edited by AckermannPhilip; October 21st, 2012 at 01:36 PM. Reason: additional info added
You work is beautiful. Thank you very much for both posting your works in progress and the links to Jacob and others. They're very helpful.
I have no critiques to offer, but am curious about your methods. Do you just block in the forms that you 'see' (even when working from imagination), or do you also construct the objects from simple forms (like mannequins and spheres/cubes/whatever)?
Thank you rishenko,
I do both. It depends on the problem you have in front of your nose, and I would recommend not to get too hung up on one way, on a certain method. Always keep your eyes on solving the problem or mess, not on the method.
There are several schools to find if you start walking from the ateliers in America, across Europe and ending you journey in the Repin Academy.
Sight size and comparative measurement to draw and paint something accurately has it's place in a picture. Understanding what you draw and constructing it with knowledge and skill instead of abstracting reality into lines to copy what you see, as well. ( for example for painting a figure from imagination ) Both approaches should be used wisely in my opinion.
Some great artists like Duffy Sheridan in his youtube demo (6hrs free material), don't have a "real, rigid method" at all. They just "do" it until it is right.
The description above represents my own narrow view, so I recommend to read the posts and blogs of Scott Waddell and Douglas Flint, two masters in my eyes. There is also a thread about construction somewhere ... Take a look at Scott's videos as well, especially those about blocking in the forms(1st link):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEob0KmhFRg - Waddell block in
http://www.youtube.com/user/waddellw...?feature=watch - Waddell videos
http://scottssketchbook.blogspot.com/ - Waddell blog
http://douglasflynt.blogspot.com/ - Flint blog
http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=99413 - Flint painting demo
David Grey ( http://www.davidgrayart.com/#home ) described his drawing process in his incredible blog ( http://dgoilpaintingtechniques.com/) likewise... take a look:
I hope I could help you. If something is not clear described, just point it out.
To sum the answer up: I just learn every method I can find, and use it according to the problem I have to solve. (Sometimes it ends in a mess as well.) I recommend everyone to do the same thing. I do not have or use a single specific drawing method alone through the whole process. But remember, that I am just a "student", green stuff, when it comes to the ability of executing a painting.
ps: Please excuse any mistakes, because I have to get back to work, and I am from Austria, so it's in my nature to trip over the english language today.
Last edited by AckermannPhilip; October 21st, 2012 at 01:27 PM.
Only "eyeballing",... bad idea. No color sketch either, equally bad idea.
However, it is a study. so let's make mistakes.
Last edited by AckermannPhilip; October 21st, 2012 at 01:30 PM.
Very impressive that you got this far on your own. Subscribed.
fucking awesome thread.. i put it in my bookmarks!
I wish I would have had your dedication at that age. Great thread!
really solid drawing here, could push those darks for aabit of punch
Nickydraws, thank you. It was a hard road so far, but I did not accomplish anything worth mentioning so far. And it will probably get much harder from here... Reason enough to share what I find, because everyone goes through the same turmoil. Nobody should be left in the dark.
You subscribed? I am overwhelmed. I hope that I will do justice to your expectations.
Larriva, if you would know how long it takes me to get that stoff accurate.... but thanks. I appreciate it to read something like that from a skiled painter.
oma thanks, I hope to proof this thing worthy enough to be in your bookmarks.
ZombieMariachisThanks. It really does not always matter at what age we develop our dedication for something. Especially not in painting and drawing.
There is probably a huge amount of artists, which started extremely late, and achieved extremely much. Look at Brad Rigney for example.
Mane, Thank you. Yes, that is a "huge" problem. I think it's the main problem of many students or beginners. Getting the value relationship on solid ground. I will try to get past the mid tone dabble.
Last edited by AckermannPhilip; June 14th, 2012 at 10:44 AM.
Last edited by AckermannPhilip; October 21st, 2012 at 01:32 PM.
Yeah,... I "cached" the images on a site where I could upload them very fast, so that I just had to insert them here. The arduous uploading process on ca just killed my nerves. But I deleted my account there, so the images went down with it. My mistake, sorry guys.
And I am sorry that I had no motivation to update this. Sometimes I fall into a period of self-pity because I can't afford school and start to act like a little girl. It just takes some time until I slap myself and get my head straight again. Sry for that.
I 'll try to repair it.
3hrs from life, outdoor sketch
3hrs from life
3hrs from life
2-2,5hrs from life
Oil sketch from imagination
Last edited by AckermannPhilip; October 21st, 2012 at 02:46 PM.
Great work, its so impressive how far you have come working on your own in traditional mediums. I think you doing fantastic, there is such a maturity in your work already technically very impressive. I think even if you dont get formal training you can attain your goals looking at how far you have come on your own you clearly have a good way of teaching yourself. I hope at some point you can get some formal training if that is still what you want but as long as you keep working you will keep improving.
I am pretty blown away by the life portraits. Thanks for sharing your work and all the useful links (mind blowing working in there) and keep learning you can be as god as you want to be.
Those are beautiful man.
Lots of wonderful and beautiful work sir! Don't feel dissuaded by your lack of formal training. I know many people with formal degrees who can't touch what you've been able to achieve on your own. Luckily through DVD's, Youtube and any other long list of online resources you can still teach yourself and learn. They key to success is passion not formal training. Best of luck to you, though it seems you are making your own!!
ja1307, thank you! Your comment is very encouraging. Lately I haven given a lot of thought to schools,education and such. I realized I was craving for an education because I was/am lazy. It is time to shake that off. It is so simple. I just have to save some money and spend some muscle power to adapt a room for life drawing that I have at my disposal instead of crying because nobody gives me thousands of bucks to enter a school where all the organisation is done for me. I have to sleep less and sell some small landscapes on the weekend to save money so that I can afford a model.
And earplugs for all the naysayers that want to pull me away from my track.
Sida870, thank you Sida!
OnceUponASketch, and a heartly thanks to you too. I tell you something. All the DVDs, Books helped nearly nothing. Because it prevents you from doing. Nature is the best teacher. To be able to paint, one has to paint. Neither read, nor think about theories too much. Just action and failure. Of course you have to read and learn. But there the danger of develoing much fear and respect for the real doing if one is caught in the deep swamp of theory.
And you are very right: The key to success is passion not formal training.
Do you guys know Adolph Menzel? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolph_Menzel
About 1,40m high, self thaught. Look at his works. Insprining isn't it?
Here some underpaintings of technical studies and some theory. You know what I just wrote about theory right?
On these cold, high keyed and more or less tight underpaintings(indian red, chromium oxide green for green half tones, ivory black for shadows and blue halftones, white), subsequent glazed layers of warm skin color will be applied.
I think that the glazing colors should be darker than those you would normally mix if you had to paint the same subject in a direct method. For example: To achieve a mid tone with a glaze, I have found it useless to mix the actual midtone one is seeing on the model for a glaze. It would be too light. You always have to mix some steps darker. Otherwise you get a very light, sickly looking yellowish skin color.
The last image shows my first try with glazes and scumbles, with varying opacity. They were applied with fingers, a rag or "stabbed" on with a brush, and then blended or scrubbed with a dry brush,..or finger.
Very chaotic first try. Thus, I consider it failed, because I had no control but rather just reacted to every disaster I evoked in my folly.
The lights were touched in thickly, tho' still translucent - semiopaque ( a skin color mixed with transparent flake white and some balsam. No finger painting with flake white, don't worry)
Take a small hard bristle brush and give him a haircut to have just a stump left. With this brush or your finger you could remove the glazes by scrubbing/rubbing to expose the lights or green/blue halfrones from the underpainting.
Just make sure that your colors, palette and container with the medium are neatly cleaned. Small particles of dust and dirt from a carelessly cleaned brush are immediately found on the painting surface, incorporated into the glaze.
If you mess it up, just paint directly or just take it all off. An interesting experience. I picked that procedure up in a book from Joseph Solomon Joseph. I think Adrian Gottliebs "Verdaccio" technique is exactly the same. Just research a bit. It's like extending the alphabet, adding only another small tool.
However, everyone should just forget what I just wrote. It could be that I did everything completely wrong. But I thought it would be cool to share this for curious minds.
I am also asking some restorers about the stability of such a process. Oil is the enemy of every oil painting, and to use too much is certainly laying the foundation for disaster in the future, namely darkening, yellowing, and cracking.
That's why I think it would be wiser to complete each stage, overpainting and underpainting, of a head for example, in one single session.
Last edited by AckermannPhilip; November 20th, 2012 at 09:06 AM.
Selling landscapes....thats a good idea, last weakend i went to see my friend's father...
An incredible painter & an incredibly fast human printer as I like to call him.
Anyway he told me that when he was young he used to paint 15-20 landscapes a day and more.....and he wasn't kidding.
You just start with 1 then the next day you make them two then 3 etc.
They are small...like 10x15cm or 20x30...the point of the practice was to force you to focus on the essentials, not get too cought up on all the details
And to paint a landscape in a minimal amount of time.
I was thinking it would be a hell of a diciplin if i could stick to it and ill have plenty of landscapes to sell