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  1. #1
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    Learning to learn to draw...

    Hi guys.

    I open this thread seeking for a particular kind of guidance.
    After almost a year of drawing (billions of books, dvds, courses, etc) I feel I made some progress comparing to my previous stick figures.

    Now, even if I'm quite pleased with how everything is going, there's one thing I still can't accept in drawing: I don't know how I do it. And if I know it, usually the drawing sucks (that's my general rule).

    There is clearly not a systematic way to learn drawing; I think everybody has his own processes and mental shortcuts. Why it's so difficult for me to understand mines?

    My best drawings come from gestures, quick sketches and lines that aren't planned. But drawing isn't just a creative, istinctive art; it is completed and finalized by logic and analysis. If I use this second set of skills, I fail, always: the drawing looses all its life, all the rhythm (as it's called).

    Why this bothers me? Because I feel that this will just lead me to observational drawing; if I look at something, I can quickly sketch it but I'm not analyzing it, I'm not constructing it. I don't understand what I'm doing and this frustrates me.

    I compare this with playing guitar: when I started to learn I knew I had to practice chords (chunks of music) and riffs (smaller chunks) in order to play them in an instictive manner. They told me "you'll be frustrated for the first year or so but continue practicing these chords and riffs and, everyday, they'll sound better and you'll play them in a natural way". I sticked to that because it was a plan! Slowly all those chords and licks became second nature and I started to feel the connection between all of that stuff. Now making music on guitar feels natural to me.

    But maybe that's connected with my natural skills; it is so easy for me to remember a melody, to hum it, to find right pitches and to recognize music. On the opposite I've always had a hard time visualizing stuff, even if I've tried to train my visualization skills. What's curious is that I come from families of painters; my father was a painter, my grandfather too and his father too etc. I've always been encouraged not to draw in my life but that's another story...

    Anyway...
    Why am I not finding such "paths" in my drawing practice?
    What am I missing in your opinions?

    It really bothers me that, in order to draw well, I gotta stay in a sort of trance state; if I get out of that, I can't draw!

    I hope this all makes sense to someone; my mind is quite a trip so... thanks for following!

    Last edited by Rod.F; April 21st, 2012 at 03:41 PM.
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  3. #2
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    Your studies are quite basic, it's good to see that you keep to it, yet you have much to
    do. I'd advise that you let the sketchy studies aside for a while, and do something more
    basic, a long and tedious study of a simple object. Let anatomy and portraits aside. Take
    a white box, set it on a shelf, cast a spot light or something on it, and with your pencil
    proceed to draw it with accuracy, slow and steady. Study the angles, proportions, draw it
    all in line. Make your line drawing as accurate as you can. When you are done...shift your
    viewpoint and do it again. Then, try it a third time, and add the boundaries that separate
    light and shade and shade it, two tones, black and white. Then try some other objects, a
    cylinder, then a sphere then both a box and cylinder. Post the results and get crits on those.

    "Don't judge a book by it's cover" Frank Frazetta 1928-2010
    RIP Frank.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Line View Post
    Your studies are quite basic, it's good to see that you keep to it, yet you have much to
    do. I'd advise that you let the sketchy studies aside for a while, and do something more
    basic, a long and tedious study of a simple object. Let anatomy and portraits aside. Take
    a white box, set it on a shelf, cast a spot light or something on it, and with your pencil
    proceed to draw it with accuracy, slow and steady. Study the angles, proportions, draw it
    all in line. Make your line drawing as accurate as you can. When you are done...shift your
    viewpoint and do it again. Then, try it a third time, and add the boundaries that separate
    light and shade and shade it, two tones, black and white. Then try some other objects, a
    cylinder, then a sphere then both a box and cylinder. Post the results and get crits on those.
    Thanks for your suggestions.
    I've sticked to contour drawing and still life for 5-6 months; my observational skills improved and so my coordination.

    But that's not me; I mean I don't draw for maximum accuracy or maximum realism. This statement is not an excuse to be lazy, but if I start again drawing boxes I'll get bored, I know that.

    Lot of people in guitar tell you to learn scales while other tell you to immediately learn short licks (musical ideas)and start to play. Why? Because when you play you don't play scales.; I'm with the latter approach, even in drawing.

    The fact is; I'd like to see how, somebody with my mentality, learnt to draw easily from a constructive and imaginative/memory approach (that's my final objective)

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    There are skills you need to hone in order to draw in whichever way you want. Even an
    imaginative drawing needs to be drawn with sound proportions.

    Also, understand that a sketchy drawing, very loose, as you may see here and there,
    that looks good, has these basic properties down. Don't be fooled by the ease a more
    experienced artist will do it.

    I am not saying that drawing only in a loose manner, while practicing, won't yield results,
    I don't know that. But, learning about what makes a drawing convincing and how to do
    it are the tools. Using imagination is a separate tool but that just means relying on memory
    of something you've seen and broken down.

    "Don't judge a book by it's cover" Frank Frazetta 1928-2010
    RIP Frank.

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    CA Sketchbook http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=131601
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod.F View Post
    Now, even if I'm quite pleased with how everything is going, there's one thing I still can't accept in drawing: I don't know how I do it. And if I know it, usually the drawing sucks (that's my general rule).
    Remember that you are not just trying to become a guitar-player, you are trying to become a composer as well. If you play the guitar "by instinct" you will quickly get a pleasant plonking noise that sounds natural. But it might suck as a complete new song, especially when you put it together with some drums, a bass, another guitar or two and a singer, whose parts you also have to plan out.

    You will eventually have to learn the theory behind what you are doing and learn to do it deliberately, no matter how awkward and unnatural it seems right now. Interesting things might come out of random jamming sessions but additional work will be needed to turn a good accident into a composition that all works together.

    If you regard drawing as composition for an entire band, though, then you are less likely to think "well it only took me X years to play guitar why is drawing so hard?".

    *** Sketchbook * Landscapes * Portfolio * Store***

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    Quote Originally Posted by Line View Post
    There are skills you need to hone in order to draw in whichever way you want. Even an
    imaginative drawing needs to be drawn with sound proportions.

    Also, understand that a sketchy drawing, very loose, as you may see here and there,
    that looks good, has these basic properties down. Don't be fooled by the ease a more
    experienced artist will do it.

    I am not saying that drawing only in a loose manner, while practicing, won't yield results,
    I don't know that. But, learning about what makes a drawing convincing and how to do
    it are the tools. Using imagination is a separate tool but that just means relying on memory
    of something you've seen and broken down.
    Thank you again.

    Well that is what I'm talking about; for me drawing in a loose manner helps me catch immediately the gestalt of the figure/head/landscape I'm drawing.

    But I don't have any "method", it's just action.

    Maybe that's what bothers me; in visual arts there is a constant, subjective artistic thinking that you can't easily dissect and train, whereas in other kind of arts you can.

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    So I looked at your sketchbook and unfortunately what you think you are capturing, you aren't. There is nothing of what you are saying in writing in your drawings.
    You really need to discipline yourself. As has been said already you can't learn to draw with any degree of ability without understanding. This applies to painting and drawing as well as most other arts. The fundamentals have to become second nature to you; if it's too much of a chore to do then it will always handicap your abilities. Make no mistake that this is a discipline and focus problem you must overcome to get to the stage of creating competent work from imagination. I tell my students, you have to fall in love with the process not the outcome to reach a professional level.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dpaint View Post
    So I looked at your sketchbook and unfortunately what you think you are capturing, you aren't. There is nothing of what you are saying in writing in your drawings.
    You really need to discipline yourself. As has been said already you can't learn to draw with any degree of ability without understanding. This applies to painting and drawing as well as most other arts. The fundamentals have to become second nature to you; if it's too much of a chore to do then it will always handicap your abilities. Make no mistake that this is a discipline and focus problem you must overcome to get to the stage of creating competent work from imagination. I tell my students, you have to fall in love with the process not the outcome to reach a professional level.
    There is nothing visible in my drawings because my draftsmanship is still not able to give adequate expression to my feelings, that's clear; I've started drawing just a year ago, as I said.

    But, people, don't get me wrong!! The point of my thread agrees with yours: the point is that I still haven't found a structured approach, routine, tools, methods to train my drawing skills.

    I've found the majority of approaches and principles residing in anatomy, so that's the reason I'm studying it.

    My thread is an open request for help and directions, I'm afraid it came out wrong (it usually happens).

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    Well, we are giving you advice and direction. At the start, you have to be aware and conscious of everything, until it becomes second nature. Representational drawing has been around for about 2000 years, they pretty much have all the bugs worked out as far as learning how to draw.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod.F View Post
    Hi guys.
    But maybe that's connected with my natural skills; it is so easy for me to remember a melody, to hum it, to find right pitches and to recognize music. On the opposite I've always had a hard time visualizing stuff, even if I've tried to train my visualization skills. What's curious is that I come from families of painters; my father was a painter, my grandfather too and his father too etc. I've always been encouraged not to draw in my life but that's another story...
    Hi Rod! I think you make an interesting point, here's what i think: your natural voice can only come out if your draughtmanship is not obstacling it. Learn everything and then forget everything. So you can let go and access that flow state you talk about.
    If you're not struggling with solving execution problems then you can focus on what's "bigger" (composition, statement, design, emotion, purpose, etc)
    I think the piece you (we) are missing is the "learn everything" part, you still lack the experience.
    So just keep on going, you seem a pretty smart dude, if you want to achieve this you can probably get somewhere...but you need to practice.

    Regarding how to learn-
    I couldn't know for sure, since I'm far from being a teacher and I'm in the process of learning how to learn, just like you.
    I'll share my opinion. One should first study "traditional" (for lack of a better word) mediums, and strenghten his bones there.Ideally, before digital mediums it would be good to have some experience with pencil, ink, markers, oil paint (anything that suits your aestethic).
    Then step by step, plenty of studying from life, studies from the old masters, studies from construction books, thumbnails...slowly getting those miles of drawing; what do you think?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GaussianRaider View Post
    Hi Rod! I think you make an interesting point, here's what i think: your natural voice can only come out if your draughtmanship is not obstacling it. Learn everything and then forget everything. So you can let go and access that flow state you talk about.
    If you're not struggling with solving execution problems then you can focus on what's "bigger" (composition, statement, design, emotion, purpose, etc)
    I think the piece you (we) are missing is the "learn everything" part, you still lack the experience.

    Thank you, I totally agree on this.
    You know most of the times I pretend to draw like if I were drawing for 20 years, same in music and in other arts I approached; that's an obstacle and it leads me to hard times I have to overcome, in order to progress.

    Quote Originally Posted by GaussianRaider View Post
    ...Then step by step, plenty of studying from life, studies from the old masters, studies from construction books, thumbnails...slowly getting those miles of drawing; what do you think?
    Yes. That's what I've been doing more or less.
    Maybe I'm just being too obsessive about this but, maybe, what I'm looking for, is to enter the head of a professional illustrator and discover his process while he draws.
    Because that's what I'm extremely curious about: not the overall areas of study (perspective, composition etc) but the drawing process itself in the moment it happens.
    Do you guys think I'm focusing on something not so relevant?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod.F View Post
    Maybe I'm just being too obsessive about this but, maybe, what I'm looking for, is to enter the head of a professional illustrator and discover his process while he draws.
    Because that's what I'm extremely curious about: not the overall areas of study (perspective, composition etc) but the drawing process itself in the moment it happens.
    The best way to do that is to learn to draw like a professional illustrator. And the way to do that is to go through the discipline of learning all the things you'd rather skip over - the studies, the theory, the years of real, disciplined, focused practice.

    Because the process that goes on inside the head of a professional illustrator is built on those years of study and practice and theory. You wouldn't fully understand the thought process of a pro unless you understand everything the professional illustrator has learned. And you won't understand that unless you learn it, too.

    There is no magical "learn to draw" pill.

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    Quote Originally Posted by QueenGwenevere View Post
    There is no magical "learn to draw" pill.
    I'm sorry if, again, my posts are being interpreted as a way to find a magical pill when they are, in fact, the contrary. I'd like to definitely clarify this misunderstanding, please, in order to have a relaxed exchange of opinions.

    My focus is on actual instructions, best practices etc during the process of drawing, when the usual trend is to tell to a beginner "just draw", "just study a lot", "draw a lot", "just do it". These are magical pills, in my humble opinions. And this last approach is so wrong, in my opinion, don't you agree?
    An example of advices and directions I'm looking for and helped me enourmously, are found in mainly 3 books, for me very powerful and full of insights: Nicolaides, Speed and (I know that's not commonly regarded as a classical text) Edwards.

    They are able to clarify subjective processes that are happening during the drawing process and how to recreate them at will.
    Maybe my bias is due also to my formation in psychology; that's the reason why I'm so fascinated by the learning, cognitive process.

    With this post I hope to have clarified my original intentions and curiosity.
    I hope this will help everybody in getting rid of any prejudice, which could has easily been forged after silly threads and posts. I urge you to understand this is not one of them.
    So please no hate or prejudice, just unbiased and spontaneous opinions.

    Peace and love


    Last edited by Rod.F; April 22nd, 2012 at 08:33 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod.F View Post
    What I am just asking is that I'd like to be pointed to actual instructions, best practices etc during an actual drawing when the usual trend is to tell to a beginner "just draw", "just study a lot", "draw a lot", "just do it". These are magical pills, in my humble opinions. And this last approach is so wrong, in my opinion, don't you agree?
    An example of advices and directions I'm looking for and helped me enourmously, are found in mainly 3 books, for me very powerful and full of insights: Nicolaides, Speed and (I know that's not commonly regarded as a classical text) Edwards.

    They are able to clarify subjective processes that are happening during the drawing process and how to recreate them at will.
    Maybe my bias is due also to my formation in psychology; that's the reason why I'm so fascinated by the learning, cognitive process.
    Hey Rod, you make another interesting point but I disagree again ... Just like in some spiritual practices, intellectual understanding is nothing without empirical understanding, the experience of the thing.
    Unless you wanna be a scientist of drawing, and not an artist, a theologist and not a priest, etc... you get my example (observer and actor).
    I agree that we should explore everything about drawing (I often wonder about the cognitive processes that happen during it too) but it shouldn't prevent us from doing the actual thing (expecting an outcome or being too focused on what's going on in your mind while you're doing it can become a big obstacle).
    The more you draw, the more you get familiar with your own cognitive processes and also...the better you get at drawing, hey!
    Then, hearing other artists opinions usually confirms what you already discovered for yourself.

    Read books about it, cool, think about it, cool...but don't forget to actually do the thing more than anything else cause that's where you'll get more.
    Words in books can be empty words if they don't resonate with you. Personal experience is always going to resonate with you.

    Peace and love, dude, and draw on.

    (sono italiano anch'io, comunque)

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    Quote Originally Posted by GaussianRaider View Post
    Read books about it, cool, think about it, cool...but don't forget to actually do the thing more than anything else cause that's where you'll get more.
    Yep, that's something that usually paralyzes me; I gather a lot of info, research, studies, books... I become a sort of mini-expert in a field but I end up in always questioning my approach (like "will it be the right one?", "isn't there a better or a more complete one?"). That's because I've collected so many approaches, that I always feel the need of validation of one approach vs the other.
    That's the negative side of the Internet

    I believe the most important difference between a professional illustrator and someone who's still not there, apart of course from hard work and study, is the lack of such need of external validation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod.F View Post
    Yep, that's something that usually paralyzes me; I gather a lot of info, research, studies, books... I become a sort of mini-expert in a field but I end up in always questioning my approach (like "will it be the right one?", "isn't there a better or a more complete one?"). That's because I've collected so many approaches, that I always feel the need of validation of one approach vs the other.
    That's the negative side of the Internet

    I believe the most important difference between a professional illustrator and someone who's still not there, apart of course from hard work and study, is the lack of such need of external validation.
    Cool! Now put aside this machine you're using for a second and sketch something in this nice, lazy, sunday afternoon. Oh, and the most important thing...don't forget to have fun !
    At least, I know that's what I'm gonna do

    Edit:
    Just came to mind

    If you're interested in this kind of stuff, a very pragmatical thing to do (since this kind of discussion gets a bit too theoretical) would be to read some stuff about sport's inner game and on proper goal setting.
    Having a solid inner game (in tennis, golf, swimming, sales, poker, you name it) is what really makes the difference in the ability of learning from "failures" (framing them as "feedbacks") and keep on going.
    Again, reading about it is not enough, you gotta practice your inner game.

    http://www.amazon.com/Inner-Game-Mus...5101744&sr=8-5
    http://www.amazon.com/Developing-Res...5101802&sr=1-4
    http://www.amazon.com/Mental-Resilie...101802&sr=1-11
    http://www.amazon.com/The-Inner-Game...5101683&sr=8-1

    Last edited by GaussianRaider; April 22nd, 2012 at 09:37 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod.F View Post
    Yep, that's something that usually paralyzes me; I gather a lot of info, research, studies, books... I become a sort of mini-expert in a field but I end up in always questioning my approach (like "will it be the right one?", "isn't there a better or a more complete one?"). That's because I've collected so many approaches, that I always feel the need of validation of one approach vs the other.
    That's the negative side of the Internet
    The fact that there are many approaches might mean that people don't agree what the best approach is. I try to deal with this by picking something interesting, sticking to it, and giving it a fair shot. If it doesn't work out, it will usually give me a better idea of what I'm really looking for. BTW, I don't have much drawing experience, so I'm speaking in general terms here.

    There's a stickied post in this forum that I think would categorize this problem as a distraction that prevents one from getting work done .

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    The trouble is that with visual art there just isn't as much knowledge readily available and established methods as there is with music. Music education has enjoyed a much better history and has more established support than art education. Thus, there are things like the Suzuki Method with teachers around the globe teaching something similar, with proven results (in the right situation). Even on a smaller level, there are probably at least a couple music teachers even within the smallest community and they would presumably have at least decent talent, whereas you would be hard-pressed to find an art teacher worth anything in a small community. Part of this is because the art world moved away from an agreement on what "basic skills" are with the evolution of abstract art. Unfortunately this happened at a time when printing got cheaper so while music enjoyed the benefits of easily accessible and affordable resources and materials, traditional visual art stagnated.

    Now we're in an interesting era with the internet where tons of information is available, but there isn't a similar mass of people with actual skills to help sort through what's valuable and what's not. There are a number of teachers doing great things with media and the internet (such as Glenn Vilppu, Anthony Waichulis, and Jonathan Hardesty), but for the most part it's up to you to get serious. Really, you have one of two paths- get yourself a good teacher who can teach you what you want to know (which often takes work, travel, and/or money to find), or you make up your mind to carve your own path (which takes serious dedication).

    In 25 or 50 years I believe we'll look back at this time as a Renaissance of sorts for the art world, and several legitimate methods will be out there for free or cheap, with actual successful people who went through them and can vouch for them. But we're not there yet- we still need to do a tremendous amount of work on our own. If you want it badly enough, you won't rest until you get it.

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    I think you are trying to make this more complex then it has to be. Find the fundamentals and aim your drawings around them, now go draw. It's really not that hard to figure out, the part part is actually doing everything that has to be done.

    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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    Quote Originally Posted by dose View Post
    .....
    Now we're in an interesting era with the internet where tons of information is available, but there isn't a similar mass of people with actual skills to help sort through what's valuable and what's not. There are a number of teachers doing great things with media and the internet (such as Glenn Vilppu, Anthony Waichulis, and Jonathan Hardesty), but for the most part it's up to you to get serious. Really, you have one of two paths- get yourself a good teacher who can teach you what you want to know (which often takes work, travel, and/or money to find), or you make up your mind to carve your own path (which takes serious dedication).

    In 25 or 50 years I believe we'll look back at this time as a Renaissance of sorts for the art world, and several legitimate methods will be out there for free or cheap, with actual successful people who went through them and can vouch for them. But we're not there yet- we still need to do a tremendous amount of work on our own. If you want it badly enough, you won't rest until you get it.
    Thank you for understanding my doubts and concerns; listening to this from people with more drawing experience than mine, helps me in sticking to find something that works for me.

    I also agree so much on the Internet; everything is available now, at every time.
    The artistic confrontation is also easier.

    30 years ago a young artist could close himself in his garage/room and draw/play/etc for hours without knowing if it "could be done better", "differentely" or "right or wrong"; maybe what he learnt was a simple concept by his father, by a teacher or by an expensive paperback book, maybe he'd work hours on that concept, because it was unique and precious... maybe all of that could have pushed him working harder and being more confident.

    Anyway, sorry for the philosophical ramblings; just thinking about how internet/Google deeply modified our life and mind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod.F View Post
    My focus is on actual instructions, best practices etc during the process of drawing, when the usual trend is to tell to a beginner "just draw", "just study a lot", "draw a lot", "just do it". These are magical pills, in my humble opinions. And this last approach is so wrong, in my opinion, don't you agree?
    Dude, if "just do it" is so wrong what on earth would be so right? You're trying to understand things intellectually without actually "doing" them. The understanding comes through "just doing it". Period. Not writing about it, not reading about it...but actually doing it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dose View Post
    The trouble is that with visual art there just isn't as much knowledge readily available and established methods as there is with music.
    I think that part of it is a difference in perception between art and music. Every Tom, Dick and Harriet can empty three tubes of paint on a canvas, call it art and, sometimes, be recognized for it, for being original, expressive, creative, different. Somebody just hitting a piano will usually be told to sod off.

    I think, on average, one must spend a lot more time on music to get somewhere, than on art. As a consequence, the teaching methods for music are more developed, because they are more in demand.

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    It must really suck to try to learn to draw as an adult, when your critical faculties are developed, the demands on your time are great, and you have a sense of your own mortality. My recommendation is to go back in time to when you were ten years old, or however old you were when you stopped drawing for fun, and don't.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    It must really suck to try to learn to draw as an adult, when your critical faculties are developed, the demands on your time are great, and you have a sense of your own mortality. My recommendation is to go back in time to when you were ten years old, or however old you were when you stopped drawing for fun, and don't.
    I fully endorse this advice! I'm going to go cry now

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod.F View Post
    I'm sorry if, again, my posts are being interpreted as a way to find a magical pill when they are, in fact, the contrary. I'd like to definitely clarify this misunderstanding, please, in order to have a relaxed exchange of opinions.

    My focus is on actual instructions, best practices etc during the process of drawing, when the usual trend is to tell to a beginner "just draw", "just study a lot", "draw a lot", "just do it". These are magical pills, in my humble opinions. And this last approach is so wrong, in my opinion, don't you agree?
    An example of advices and directions I'm looking for and helped me enourmously, are found in mainly 3 books, for me very powerful and full of insights: Nicolaides, Speed and (I know that's not commonly regarded as a classical text) Edwards.
    They aren't magical pills. "Just do it" is re-used often because many beginners are frozen, looking for 'a way' to do art. "Just Draw" IS the form of study for art - especially observational drawing. Some schools of thought use sight-sizing, others encourage understanding through construction. I admit a bias to the second because sight-sizing isn't as useful for animation related fields.

    Many beginners also struggle with how awful the drawings can be at the beginning - but it's normal, and a book can't help solve that. It may give a student some insight, but the only thing that will solve the problem is practice. Lots of practice. A lot more than many people expect. It's also a matter of mindful practice and self-assessment. People make the same mistakes not because they can't get better, but because falling into habits is the path of least resistance. (Human nature - why do something the hard way when there's an easy way?)



    Make sense?

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    The 'Just Draw' idea is actually really useful for a beginner for this reason: You draw lots and have fun and draw what you want until you notice you keep making something look really crap. Maybe its that the legs look really weird on your character doodles or life drawings. Then you have a problem to solve. So you go to your Bridgman or whatever and try to understand how they are actually constructed. Do studies and apply them to your work and hey presto the legs are looking much better.

    Then you get to a point where you are trying to put a character or whatever in room and the perspective looks terrible. Time to study perspective so you get out the Scott Robertson DVD from all the dvds you have been hording and study up. Rinse and repeat.

    So you are drawing lots but also all your studies have an intention, a problem to solve.

    Just making sure you are doing lots of different things and not just stewing in your comfort zone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    It must really suck to try to learn to draw as an adult, when your critical faculties are developed, the demands on your time are great, and you have a sense of your own mortality. My recommendation is to go back in time to when you were ten years old, or however old you were when you stopped drawing for fun, and don't.
    Thanks god, I've been able to do it lately; only, my adult disguise, at times, pops out...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Whirly View Post
    The 'Just Draw' idea is actually really useful for a beginner for this reason: You draw lots and have fun and draw what you want until you notice you keep making something look really crap. Maybe its that the legs look really weird on your character doodles or life drawings. Then you have a problem to solve. So you go to your Bridgman or whatever and try to understand how they are actually constructed. Do studies and apply them to your work and hey presto the legs are looking much better.

    Then you get to a point where you are trying to put a character or whatever in room and the perspective looks terrible. Time to study perspective so you get out the Scott Robertson DVD from all the dvds you have been hording and study up. Rinse and repeat.

    So you are drawing lots but also all your studies have an intention, a problem to solve...
    Now what you wrote is what "just draw" translates into... for someone who knows all of this. For someone who went through the whole process.

    And you presented very useful advices here; but imagine if, pardon me the usual comparison with music, I'll tell to somebody who never took a guitar: "just play".
    It won't work.
    Now, if I tell him "learn these chords, repeat them etc", he'll have a map.

    Unfortunately, in the drawing field, the "just draw" direction is not always followed by more concrete directions and studies because, I don't know why, they are implied.

    So in my opinion, your "just draw" quoted here, is perfect for a beginner, because it's elaborated.

    The usual "just draw" instead, translates into "I've discovered everything by trial and error, why should I share my observations and approaches with you?". Thus becoming a kind of closed attituted which won't help art, discussion and growth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod.F View Post
    And you presented very useful advices here; but imagine if, pardon me the usual comparison with music, I'll tell to somebody who never took a guitar: "just play".
    It won't work.
    Now, if I tell him "learn these chords, repeat them etc", he'll have a map.
    But if you told someone to take guitar and play, he could play (even if it was just random sounds), and the more he played he would notice that some sounds sound better together and changing how he held the guitar would produce different sounds and it's very likely it would be lots of fun (it was for me at least) and who knows, maybe learn to play by ear even.
    And that would be a platform for that person to then study further.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod.F View Post
    And you presented very useful advices here; but imagine if, pardon me the usual comparison with music, I'll tell to somebody who never took a guitar: "just play".
    I think you should get get away from the music/drawing comparisons, any resemblances are metaphorical at best, and misleading at worst. One big difference between music and drawing is that music is a completely artifical system, whereas (representational) art is based on imitating nature. That's why giving someone a pencil and saying "just draw" is (admittedly incomplete) workable advice in a way that giving someone an instrument and saying "just play" isn't.


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